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Adv Med Educ Pract. 2017 May 18;8:329-336. doi: 10.2147/AMEP.S133426. eCollection 2017.

Interprofessional education development: not for the faint of heart.

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Division of Acute Care/Health Systems, Yale School of Nursing, West Haven.
Department of Internal Medicine, Physician Associate Program.
Department of Pediatrics, Yale School of Medicine, New Haven, CT, USA.


Interprofessional education (IPE) has the potential to improve communication, collaboration and coordination of care, leading to improved health care outcomes. Promoting IPE has become an aim for many professional schools. However, there are challenges to implementing meaningful curricula that involve multiple health care professional schools. In this study, we outline 12 lessons learned when designing and implementing an Interprofessional Longitudinal Clinical Experience (ILCE) for 247 students from a School of Nursing, Medicine and Physician Associate Program in New England. Lessons learned over 4 years include pilot, evaluate and refine projects; create a formal interprofessional organizational structure; involve faculty who are passionate ambassadors for IPE; procure and maintain financial support; recognize power struggles and bias; overcome logistical conundrums to realize common goals, secure clinical sites and prepare IPE coaches; expect there will always be another hurdle; do not go it alone; recruit experts; recognize role differentiation and similarities; be aware of fragility of students and faculty and collect data to assess, evaluate, improve and gain buy-in. We were able to successfully implement a large program for students from three different health care professional schools that takes place in the clinical setting with faculty coaches, patients and their families. We hope that the lessons learned can be instructive to those considering a similar effort.


curriculum; interdisciplinary communication; intersectional collaboration; professional education; teamwork

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