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Table of Contents
BRIEF REVIEW
Year : 2021  |  Volume : 4  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 312-314

Advocating interprofessional education and learning in medical students during their training period


1 Medical Education Unit Coordinator and Member of the Institute Research Council, Department of Community Medicine, Shri Sathya Sai Medical College and Research Institute, Sri Balaji Vidyapeeth – Deemed to be University, Ammapettai, Nellikuppam, Chengalpet District, Tamil Nadu, India
2 Department of Community Medicine, Shri Sathya Sai Medical College and Research Institute, Sri Balaji Vidyapeeth – Deemed to be University, Ammapettai, Nellikuppam, Chengalpet District, Tamil Nadu, India

Date of Submission09-Dec-2020
Date of Decision03-Jan-2021
Date of Acceptance16-Jan-2021
Date of Web Publication26-Jul-2021

Correspondence Address:
Saurabh RamBihariLal Shrivastava
Professor, Department of Community Medicine, Shri Sathya Sai Medical College and Research Institute, Sri Balaji Vidyapeeth (SBV) – Deemed to be University, Tiruporur - Guduvancherry Main Road, Ammapettai, Nellikuppam, Chengalpet District - 603108, Tamil Nadu
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/jnsm.jnsm_162_20

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  Abstract 


The successful practice of medicine requires an effective team work, and in order to be a leader and a contributor to the team, a medical undergraduate student should acquire these traits during their training period. This highlights the need for a medical student and students from other allied health sciences to work and learn in an interprofessional team during their undergraduation period and as a part of the continuing professional development. An extensive search of all materials related to the topic was carried out in the PubMed search engine, and relevant research articles published in the period 2009–2020 were included in the review. Interprofessional education and learning have gained considerable importance as it can be looked upon as a strategy to optimize the use of educational resources, reduce the workload of training, and eventually deliver a cost-effective, efficient, and holistic package of services to the beneficiaries. However, in order to ensure smooth execution of interprofessional learning, there is an immense need to perform a thorough curriculum planning and offer support to the staff. In conclusion, the approach to adopt interprofessional education in medical education will play a significant role in improving the competence and capacity of the medical students to be ready for the dynamic challenges of the health-care delivery.

Keywords: Curriculum planning, interprofessional education, interprofessional learning, medical education


How to cite this article:
Shrivastava SR, Shrivastava PS. Advocating interprofessional education and learning in medical students during their training period. J Nat Sci Med 2021;4:312-4

How to cite this URL:
Shrivastava SR, Shrivastava PS. Advocating interprofessional education and learning in medical students during their training period. J Nat Sci Med [serial online] 2021 [cited 2021 Oct 19];4:312-4. Available from: https://www.jnsmonline.org/text.asp?2021/4/3/312/322323




  Introduction Top


The successful practice of medicine requires an effective team work, and in order to be a leader and a contributor to the team, a medical undergraduate student should acquire these traits during their training period.[1] This highlights the need for a medical student and students from other allied health sciences to work and learn in an interprofessional team during their undergraduation period and as a part of the continuing professional development.[1] The need of the hour is to create opportunities and give a structured exposure to the medical students to learn while working in an interprofessional team and thereby prepare them for their future career.[1],[2]


  Methods Top


An extensive search of all materials related to the topic was carried out in the PubMed search engine. Relevant research articles focusing on interprofessional education and medical education published in the period 2009–2020 were included in the review. A total of 15 studies similar to the current study objectives were identified initially, of which, five were excluded due to the unavailability of the complete version of the articles. Overall, ten articles were selected based on the suitability with the current review objectives and analyzed. Keywords used in the search include interprofessional education and medical education. The collected information is presented under the following subheadings, namely, interprofessional education in medicine, ways to encourage learning in interprofessional education, merits of interprofessional education, attributes for successful interprofessional learning, implications for practice, and implications for research.

Interprofessional education in medicine

We have to acknowledge that provision of only health-care services cannot guarantee optimal well-being, unless other factors (namely, educational options, job opportunities, relationships, and housing) are also given adequate attention.[3],[4] In general, interprofessional education in the field of medicine takes place whenever professionals from two or more streams learn with, from, and about each other with an aim to ameliorate patient care and enhance collaboration.[2],[5] In other words, it refers to the learning which happens when professionals from different educational background work together to identify the best possible way of delivering health care to patients and in the process learn from each other.[1],[2],[3] As a matter of fact, the overall process of delivery of health and social services is complex, and this justifies the need to encourage learning in interprofessional teams.[2],[4],[5]

Ways to encourage learning in interprofessional education

In interprofessional education, the emphasis is more toward acquisition of skills and inculcating the ability in students to adapt to the given situation.[1],[2] The learning can happen in a wide range of ways, like by means of participation in debates, workshops, problem-solving activities, and joint consultations.[3] In addition, the students can also be benefited by participating in a joint research or in community projects or in initiatives to improve the quality of offered services. Moreover, the students can also learn through role plays and experiential sessions involving teamwork and refine their overall capacity.[3],[6]

Merits of interprofessional education

Interprofessional education and learning have gained considerable importance as it can be looked upon as a strategy to optimize the use of educational resources, reduce the workload of training, and eventually deliver a cost-effective, efficient, and holistic package of services to the beneficiaries.[5],[6],[7],[8] The available evidence suggests that students who have been exposed to interprofessional learning tend to understand the role of other members of the health team better, display effective collaboration, and deliver quality assured patient care and services.[2],[3],[6],[9] As we aim to prepare the learners to be ready for the real-life challenges, it is a must to give due recognition to the creativity displayed by the students through timely feedback and the teachers should also encourage students to reflect upon their learning.[2],[3]

Attributes for successful interprofessional learning

However, in order to ensure smooth execution of interprofessional learning, there is an immense need to perform a thorough curriculum planning, with a focus toward the areas to be covered during interprofessional sessions, formulation of specific learning objectives, defining the range of educational experiences offered to the students, and ways to facilitate the learning in the team.[10] It is quite obvious that the faculty members have to play an important role to ensure effective interprofessional learning, and thus they should be sensitized about their responsibilities. The faculty members have to not only make the learning process enjoyable but also effective through their feedback and supervision of the various learning experiences.[6],[10] In addition, it is a must that, in order to obtain fruitful patient outcomes, the interprofessional team should have clear objectives, hierarchy, defined roles, standard operating procedures, periodic training, a mutual feeling of trust-respect-support, periodic reviews of their work profile, and finally acknowledgment of the group accomplishments.[2],[3],[6]

Implications for practice

The need of the hour is to expose the medical students to interprofessional education and it can be done either in the form of starting an elective course or guiding the students to enroll for such courses/sessions during their vacation period. The idea should be to sensitize the students and prepare them for their role of working as an active member of an interprofessional health-care team and contribute effectively toward improving the patient and other health-care outcomes. It is essential that such kind of avenues should be encouraged more among medical students and this can be envisaged by motivating the students to join in massive open online courses.

Implications for research

As the field of interprofessional education in the branch of medicine is still a growing field and is still in nascent stages, there is an immense scope for research. In fact, the Manipal Academy of Higher Education offers a 2-year fellowship program with an aim to develop leadership competencies for interprofessional practice.[11] Such kinds of fellowships offer unique opportunities for people from different streams to come together and work to improve the problems of the health or allied sector by carrying out mutual research activities.


  Conclusion Top


The approach to adopt interprofessional education in medical education will play a significant role in improving the competence and capacity of the medical students to be ready for the dynamic challenges of the health-care delivery. Moreover, in the process, the medical students will develop better team working skills and learn to acknowledge the role of other professionals and eventually improve the quality of health-care services.

Financial support and sponsorship

Nil.

Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.



 
  References Top

1.
Shrivastava SR, Shrivastava PS. Exposing undergraduate medical students to inter-professionalism education in the competency-based curriculum. MAMC J Med Sci 2020;6:125-6.  Back to cited text no. 1
  [Full text]  
2.
Weinstein AR, Reidy PA, Simon L, Makosky A, Merson J, Williams R, et al. Creating interprofessional learning in practice. Clin Teach 2020;17:22-30.  Back to cited text no. 2
    
3.
Hammick M, Olckers L, Campion-Smith C. Learning in interprofessional teams: AMEE Guide no 38. Med Teach 2009;31:1-2.  Back to cited text no. 3
    
4.
Reed K. Interprofessional education: A critical component of medical education. Iowa Med 2010;100:20.  Back to cited text no. 4
    
5.
Sternschein R. Nursing a healthy balance in medical education: A case for interprofessional education. Acad Med 2020;95:826-7.  Back to cited text no. 5
    
6.
Hudson JN, Lethbridge A, Vella S, Caputi P. Interprofessional learning: For and with patients. Med Educ 2016;50:1076.  Back to cited text no. 6
    
7.
Hark LA, Deen D. Position of the academy of nutrition and dietetics: Interprofessional education in nutrition as an essential component of medical education. J Acad Nutr Diet 2017;117:1104-13.  Back to cited text no. 7
    
8.
Khabaz Mafinejad M, Ahmady S, Soltani Arabshahi SK, Bigdeli S. Interprofessional education in the integrated medical education and health care system: A content analysis. J Adv Med Educ Prof 2016;4:103-10.  Back to cited text no. 8
    
9.
Al Achkar M, Hanauer M, Colavecchia C, Seehusen DA. Interprofessional education in graduate medical education: Survey study of residency program directors. BMC Med Educ 2018;18:11.  Back to cited text no. 9
    
10.
O'Keefe M, Ward H. Implementing interprofessional learning curriculum: How problems might also be answers. BMC Med Educ 2018;18:132.  Back to cited text no. 10
    
11.
MAHE-FAIMER. About Fellowship; 2020. Available from: http://mu.faimerfri.org/mufiilipe-fellowship. [Last accessed on 2020 Dec 30].  Back to cited text no. 11
    




 

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