Answer to "What are the best ways to introduce IPE into a curriculum?"


Ideally, interprofessional education would form part of the standard curriculum for all health professional programs and all curricula would be constructed to include it. However, this is frequently not the case. Programs have developed over time, and IPE is sometimes considered for inclusion into already congested curricula (Lee et al., 2013).


A number of theory-informed approaches have been used to support the introduction of IPE to existing curricula in ways that enhance, rather than compete with, existing curricular content. The University of British Columbia (UBC) model for IPE (Charles, Gilbert & Bainbridge, 2010) takes a developmental approach, suggesting opportunities to embed interprofessional learning experiences across the curriculum from first to final year at increasing levels of complexity. These interprofessional experiences, from exposure to immersion levels of learning, reflect similar pathways that health professional students experience in their uniprofessional learning. The Griffith university interprofessional framework has resulted in a competency-based three phase developmental curriculum that focuses both on the interprofessional skill development and the affective changes in students over time to ensure interprofessional capability on graduation (Teodorczuk et al, 2016). 


The similarities of these curricular approaches include recognition that interprofessional learning should be introduced early, occur over time and be designed to reflect both the cognitive and affective changes experienced by learners as they are socialised into their health professional roles. Both examples, and others that have been documented, capitalise on existing curricular designs in order to reduce the already significant content burden on most curricula.


IPE may also be introduced via simulation and online learning.  However, it is important that learners have opportunities to work together in real work settings such as clinics, on hospital wards and in community settings.



CHARLES, G., BAINBRIDGE, L., and GILBERT, J. (2010).  The University of British Columbia model of interprofessional education.  Journal of Interprofessional Care, 24, 9-18.

LEE, A., STEKETEE, C., ROGERS, G., and MORAN, M. (2013). Towards a theoretical framework for curriculum development in health professional education. Focus on Health Professional Education, 14(3), 64-77.

PELLING, S., KALEN, A., HAMMAR, M. and WAHLSTRöM, O. (2011). Preparation for becoming members of health care teams: findings from a 5-year evaluation of a student interprofessional training ward. Journal of Interprofessional Care. 25(5): 328–32.

SCHUTTE, T., TICHELAAR, J., DEKKAR, R.S., VAN AGTMAEL, M.A., DE VRIES, TPGM., and RICHIR, M. (2015). Learning in student-run clinics: a systematic review.  Medical Education 49: 249-263.

TEODORCZUK, A., KHOO, T. K., MORRISSEY, S. AND ROGERS, G. (2016), Developing interprofessional education: putting theory into practice. The Clinical Teacher, 13, 7-12. doi:10.1111/tct.12508

VAN SOEREN, M., DEVLIN-COP, S., MACMILLAN, K., BAKER, L., EGAN-LEE, E., and REEVES, S. (2011). Simulated interprofessional education: An analysis of teaching and learning processes. Journal of Interprofessional Care, 25(6),434-40.