Benefits of Interprofessional Education

Karen Dhaliwal


This research paper will explore the benefits of interprofessional education (IPE) and how it has been successfully integrated at the student, curricula, and institutional levels at universities across Canada. Studies indicate that communication and collaboration failures between different health care professionals negatively impact all levels of the health care system. Patient health care needs are often beyond the scope of a single health care discipline and, therefore, it is virtually impossible for health care professionals from one discipline to provide effective and comprehensive care. The World Health Organization has identified and promoted interprofessional collaboration (IPC) as a strategy to strengthen and optimize health care systems and improve patient outcomes. However, health professional students have traditionally been trained in professional silos. To achieve positive outcomes, IPC must be integrated into health education curricula through IPE. To expedite the process, proponents of IPE and IPC must work together to transform existing attitudes and push health care jurisdictions around the world to embrace IPE and IPC. Strong student leaders and advocates of IPE, such as the student led National Health Science Students’ Association (NaHSSA) chapters across Canada, are essential to entice and socialize other students to promote and participate in IPE experiences. However, student led initiatives require strong institutional support in order to be successful.

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