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Abstract

Objective. To assess the impact of this international interprofessional learning experience on perceptions of pharmacist-physician relationships and interprofessional teams.

Methods. Medical and pharmacy students completed a one-week interprofessional medical mission experience in the Dominican Republic. Anonymous surveys were administered to 17 students before and after completion to measure perceptions of pharmacist-physician relationships and interprofessional teams. Responses were matched and changes in perceptions were analyzed using the Wilcoxon Signed Rank test. The SPICE-R2 instrument was administered after the experience to measure attitudes toward interprofessional teams.

Results. Of the 17 participants, 100% responded to all surveys. Significant improvements were seen in the perception of pharmacists as an integral part of medical mission trips (P=0.035) and confidence in the ability to communicate with other healthcare disciplines (P=0.033). All students stated they would recommend this experience, and agreed that interprofessional experiences enhance their team work skills and should be incorporated into their education. Student comments supported that this was a meaningful and effective interprofessional experience. The results of the SPICE-R2 demonstrated positive attitudes about interprofessional teams, with all questions having a median score of “agree” or “strongly agree.”

Conclusions. An international interprofessional experience improved the perception of pharmacist-physician relationships. The experience provided understanding of the other healthcare discipline, an appreciation for the importance of interprofessional teamwork, increased student confidence in communicating with the other discipline, and cultivated interest in future interprofessional collaboration.

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