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Abstract

Introduction and Background: Interprofessional education (IPE) is outlined in many health professions education standards creating an increased demand for its inclusion in already crowded curricula with limited faculty and financial resources. The Interprofessional Education Collaborative (IPEC) developed “Core Competencies for Interprofessional Collaborative Practice” that outline a framework for meaningful IPE experiences. Case-based learning activities have been used to foster improvements in interprofessional role clarity, communication, and rapport among student groups. The authors describe one trial of incorporating interprofessional and team work activities in a shared professional course and report on student learning outcomes in the context of IPEC competencies.

Course Design: In an existing shared professional course, athletic training (AT) and physical therapy (PT) students were exposed to an interprofessional teaching team and engaged in team work activities during lab sessions. Students were also assigned to interprofessional (IP) and uniprofessional (UP) teams to complete four case-based learning activities regarding the application of therapeutic modalities in various patient cases. Students then wrote critical reflections of their experiences working in teams. Instructors evaluated these reflections in the context of eight relevant IPEC sub-competencies.

Outcomes: Both IP and UP groups of students were able to articulate the demonstration of each of the eight IPEC sub-competencies, suggesting that incorporating a variety of interprofessional and team work activities in a shared professional course may offer a valuable IPE experience that promotes development of students’ collaboration skills.

Discussion and Conclusion: Embedding IPE in existing curricula could be a viable way to overcome many of the challenges faced by health professions programs, meet IPE accreditation standards, and prepare students for interprofessional collaborative practice.

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