Council on Medical Student Education in Pediatrics


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COMSEP Meeting in Ottawa, ON

Platform Presentation:

Healthcare Professional Student Perspectives about Interprofessional Education

Eve R. Colson,Yale School of Medicine,New Haven,CT,Jake . Weatherly,Yale School of Medicine,New Haven,CT,Gillian . Graham,Yale School of Nursing,Orange,CT,Paula Schaeffer,Yale University,New Haven ,CT,Linda H. Pellico,Yale University,West Haven,Ct,David M. Brissette,Yale University Physician Associate Program,New Haven,CT,John Encandela,Yale School of Medicine,New Haven,CT

This research is funded in large part by the COMSEP-Sarkin Foundation Grant


The Yale Schools of Medicine and Nursing and the Yale Physician Associate (PA) Program are collaborating to implement an interprofessional curriculum. Although healthcare organizations have called for interprofessional education (IPE), such initiatives have been difficult to implement. Per the Kern framework of curriculum development, design and implementation is likely to be more successful if a needs assessment is done as the first step.



To understand better healthcare professional students’ perspectives about IPE as part of a needs assessment for developing an IPE curriculum.


Because little is known about stakeholder perceptions of IPE, we used a qualitative, grounded theory approach. We conducted in-depth, semi-structured interviews with students from the three health professional programs at Yale. Sixteen students were selected using purposeful sampling. Interviews were audiotaped, transcribed and stored in Atlas-ti. Members of an interprofessional team individually conducted open coding of transcripts.  Codes were compared using an iterative process and constant comparative method, resulting in emerging categories.  Data collection at this stage stopped when saturation of concepts and codes was reached.


Many emerging concepts were identified, including a number of potential facilitators and barriers to IPE.  Among facilitators were students’ positive perceptions of teamwork as essential for optimum patient care and safety, as well as a desire to understand better possibilities for complementary and interchangeable roles.  Among barriers were the perceived persistence of hierarchy among healthcare professionals, the historical silos of health professional education, logistical challenges, and student concerns about buy-in of IPE from various stakeholders.  Examples of these and other concepts will be shared in the presentation.


Our study shows potential facilitators and barriers to IPE from the perspective of healthcare professional students. These perceptions will inform curriculum development improving the likelihood of success.