The transition of interprofessional education in a large metropolitan academic setting
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INTRODUCTION: Interprofessional education (IPE) is the organized integration of health care disciplines. IPE provides an environment for students and faculty from multiple disciplines to learn collaboration and communication skills for future clinical practice. In the 1970s, United States health institutions began focusing on team-based health care and IPE. IPE was viewed as a solution to the growing burden of health care costs and the increasing ratio of diseases to available resources. IPE was formed around four competencies--Ethics, Communication, Teamwork, and Roles and Responsibilities--to provide students with the necessary tools to work efficiently in health care teams upon entering the workforce. FOCUS AND GOALS: USF Health currently has five major pre-professional disciplines on its campus--medicine, physical therapy, pharmacy, nursing, and public health. An IPE initiative began in 2010 in order to eventually integrate portions of all disciplines and their curricula. The central question of this thesis is, "Has there been a change within the student and faculty populations of USF Health in terms of IPE awareness and opinion since before the IPE initiative began in 2010?" This thesis aims to evaluate the changes in both student and faculty perspectives across several health disciplines at USF Health when compared to previously recorded perspectives from 2010. This information will be recorded to provide a guide for improving the current IPE initiative at USF Health. METHODS: Using data from a 2010 survey, the researchers created an updated survey and released it to the students and faculty of all five disciplines. The results provided a comparison for the original 2010 data. A general literature review was used to supplement the collected survey results and guide the analysis and discussion of data. Results: The qualitative data from the original student (n=29) and faculty (n=58) surveys was quantified and compared against the data from the updated student (n=83) and faculty (n=16) surveys. Several consistent themes were found in responses from selected questions. The following themes were found within the literature: student and faculty perspectives of IPE, barriers and opportunities to IPE, and implementation methods. CONCLUSION: The study found that changes in opinion occurred between both student and faculty participants. Both students and faculty showed an increase in IPE awareness and alluded to several barriers that were also found within the literature. This study will serve as a continued method of evaluating IPE at USF health in order to maintain a continued improvement of IPE implementation amongst all colleges. LIMITATIONS: The initial student data set was significantly smaller than the new student data set and represented a different distribution of disciplines. This may account for some of the changes observed between both groups and should be considered in any future analysis of this data. Because the data presented in this thesis project is a preliminary sample of the future, complete survey results, a follow-up analysis of the complete data will be required to draw any comprehensive conclusions from this study.