Development, Implementation and Evaluation of a Novel Fourth Year Interprofessional Clerkship
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Many health profession schools, including medicine, struggle to implement interprofessional education (IPE) in their curriculum, in particular within the experiential portion of the programs. In 2013, the Commonwealth Medical College (TCMC) implemented a novel 2-week required clerkship in IPE. The goal of the course was to expose and include fourth year medical students to high functioning, interprofessional team environments. Course objectives were related to the IPEC core competencies and professionalism. The course required a number of activities and assignments to meet course outcomes. Thirteen clinical sites were identified and utilized during the 2013–2014 academic year, and sites had one to six learners throughout the year. Learners had meaningful interactions with an average of seven different health professionals during the 2-week rotation, and 86 % of the learners agreed that the course was effective in enhancing their understanding of interprofessional practice while 94 % of the learners would recommend their site to other learners. Qualitative analysis of the learners’ final reflections of the course identified themes which were consistent with course outcomes and illustrates the emphasis that the students placed on meaningful experiences. This study demonstrates a required fourth year clerkship in interprofessional practice has significant potential for promoting interprofessional and team-based care. In the future, the faculty hopes to expand site availability to primary care and inpatient settings. In addition, documentation of more meaningful outcomes beyond student perception is necessary. Coordinating this course with other health professional programs is a long-term goal.
KeywordsInterprofessional education Interprofessional practice Medical education Experiential learning Clerkship
The authors thank the many preceptors who dedicated their time, talent, and energies to promoting interprofessional practice among our students. In addition, we wish to thank Ms. Tina Koerber and Jill Taggart for their administrative support of the course and the study. We also thank Kathleen Provinzano, PhD for assistance with survey development and data analysis.
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