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It takes a village:

Partnering for authentic and sustainable interprofessional education

Hatch1, T., King1, S., Hall2, M., Paslawski3, T., Schmitz4, C., Taylor4, E., Guirguis5, L., Kahlke1, R., MacGregor6, D., McLaughlin6, A.

Health Sciences Education and Research Commons; 2Department of Physical Therapy; 3 Department of Speech Pathology and Audiology; 4Department of Occupational Therapy; 5Faculty of Pharmacy; 6Alberta Health Services 1

Eight Health Science Faculties have collaborated to deliver interprofessional education (IPE) for over 20 years. Aside from one required course, IPE is fragmented across these faculties. To expand learning beyond this course and enhance integration of IPE, educators sought activities that would: • Build early understanding and engagement among students • Enhance the connection between academia and practice To this end, a 3-hour interactive education session was piloted with 435 students from five disciplines in the first month of their academic program. The event aimed to: • Establish common understanding of the philosophy, language and expectation of IPE • Provide early exploration of collaborative practice. In one component, interprofessional student teams navigated stations hosted by patients, practitioners and regulatory bodies. The stations were designed to develop role clarification skills. Students explored how intentional discussion and foundational documents build knowledge of scope of practice and collaborative practice from patient, front line and organizational perspectives. Time constraints, volume of students and uncertainty regarding the novel approach raised concerns related to recruitment of external partners needed for stations. Despite initial concerns, response was positive with 15 stations available to students.

Launch Participants

Future Directions




54 Patients


Occupational Therapy

99 IP Practitioner Teams



94 Regulatory Bodies



131 IP Student Groups


Speech Language Pathology Student Total


57 435 Station Total


Post-event Survey Results Evaluation Statement

Average Student Rating (5)

I increased my knowledge of interprofessional practice


I am motivated to learn more about interprofessional practice


The IP pathway launch was relevant to my education


“. . . I loved hearing from the patients as to how important it is for the team to work together.” “I was surprised at the frequency and depth of communication between health care professionals. Loved this activity.” “Loved that we interacted with real patients, practitioners and regulatory body reps. Two thumbs up.”

Regulatory Body Stations

• Broaden representation of regulatory bodies; seek practice representatives from organizational level. • Engage regulatory bodies at other points in IPE to support early learners who struggle with role clarification in the context of peer to peer learning.

“Went well, thank you to all professionals that were involved - your time was much appreciated.”

Patient Station

• Partnership between sectors shapes professional practice and supports transition to workforce • Students value learning about professions from regulatory bodies. • Tapping into the foundational documents and human resources of regulatory bodies is invaluable in building sustainable IPE experiences. • Engaging patients and front line practitioners provides authenticity. • Participation of external partners highlights the value placed on IPE beyond the ivory tower. • Diverse representation of professions among external partners is key. • Early learners feel supported when own profession is represented.


The contribution of participating students, internal and external partners was greatly appreciated.

It Takes A Village: Partnering for authentic and sustainable collaboration  

Provides an overview of a 3-hr interactive interprofessional program for first year health sciences students. It describes an unique partner...

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