• Interprofessional Education and Collaboration in Healthcare: An Exploratory Study of the Perspectives of Medical Students in the United States

      Zechariah, Sunitha; Ansa, Benjamin E.; Johnson, Stephanie W.; Gates, Amy M.; De Leo, Gianluca; Institute of Public and Preventive Health (MDPI, 2019-10-15)
      Qualified and competent healthcare professionals working in a collaborative team environment is a prerequisite for high quality patient care. In order to be successful in the healthcare working environment, medical students need to be exposed to interprofessional learning early in their education. A single stage online survey was administered to medical students to evaluate their attitudes and perceptions of interprofessional education (IPE) and whether prior exposure to IPE increased their appreciation for interprofessional collaboration. The results suggest that irrespective of prior exposure to IPE, medical students appreciated the importance of interprofessional education and collaboration. Medical students showed a strong interest in attending interprofessional courses in other disciplines. Time constraints, scheduling conflicts, and communication emerged as barriers to IPE. Medical students embraced IPE and welcomed the opportunity to learn with other disciplines. Clinical case studies and simulations were identified as potential methods to integrate with other healthcare disciplines. The positive attitude and perceptions of the medical students toward interprofessional education and collaboration warrants the inclusion of related courses in medical curricula, as this may further increase students’ potentials in becoming effective healthcare providers.