Interprofessional education (IPE) encompasses a learning continuum that stretches from the university to clinical practice in many types of settings. It involves numerous stakeholder groups, among them students, faculty, clients/patients/families, clinicians and administrators. IPE expands the traditional uniprofessional education model to an educational process where two or more professional groups are brought together to “learn about, from and with each other to enable effective collaboration and improve health outcomes” (World Health Organization, 2010). In current strategic planning that is occurring at Health Canada, the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care, and the University of Toronto, IPE is seen as key to developing well-prepared professionals who will assume leadership roles in health care upon graduation.
The University of Toronto (IPE) curriculum/program builds upon a rich history of IPE and is focused on the development of specific values and core competencies across eleven health professional programs (i.e., dentistry, medical radiation sciences, medicine, nursing, occupational therapy, pharmacy, kinesiology and physical education, physician assistant, physical therapy, social work and speech-language pathology). The knowledge, skills/behaviours and attitudes developed through the IPE curriculum/program will enable students to provide collaborative patient/client-centred care in an interprofessional context.
This curriculum/program has traditionally included four core learning activities: Teamwork, Conflict in Interprofessional Life, a Case-based Interfaculty Pain Curriculum and IPE components during Advanced Pharmacy Practice Experience Rotations. In addition, students participate in a minimum of two elective IPE learning activities.
The University of Toronto is now expanding the Interprofessional Education for health professional students into an Integrated Curriculum model which includes the above core activities, but with more scheduled IPE activities, and fewer IPE electives being available. These activities will be incorporated into the curriculum as they are developed and approved.
Further information, including information on the number of contact hours for each learning activity, is available on the University of Toronto Centre for Interprofessional Education website (http://ipe.utoronto.ca).