Interprofessional Education

3 women students at table reviewing documents while male professor looks on

Interprofessional education events have been held annually at the University of Arizona for many years. At the University of Arizona Health Sciences (UAHS), these events include students from the colleges of nursing, medicine, pharmacy and public health. They routinely incorporate students from the UA College of Law and the Arizona State University College of Social Work, as well. 

Interprofessional education events are designed to help students better understand the other professions and to develop positive teamwork skills that can improve patient safety and the quality of the healthcare experience for patients and professionals. The Institute of Medicine (now the National Academy of Medicine) issued a report that called for transformation of the health education system toward interprofessional education. This has led all of the UAHS colleges to make interprofessional education and practice their first priority in the most recent strategic plan. Students will see even more interprofessional activities in the near future.

The College of Pharmacy offers a rotation in interprofessional practice for fourth-year students. Presented through the college's Medication Management Center, it brings together pharmacy, medicine and nursing students. Here's a story describing the rotation in more depth.

For more information about interprofessional education at the Tucson location of the College of Pharmacy, contact John Murphy, associate dean.

Download this document for the core competencies expected in interprofessional collaborative practice.


man at lectern with screen showing remote sites also participatingInterprofessional Education Events

There are at least four major interprofessional education events each year that engage up to 550 students at a time. The event for first-year students relates to communication and professional culture, while later-year students engage in a mock disaster drill (using a pandemic influenza or Ebola outbreak as the example), a session on understanding the intricacies of providing healthcare to individuals with disabilities, and a scenario focused on teamwork during a medical emergency requiring CPR.

Each of these experiences is designed to allow students to examine the roles of the other health professionals and explore how their own profession fits within the overall team.

Hundreds of faculty and staff support the development and delivery of the interprofessional education events and thousands of hours go into ensuring that they are valuable experiences for the students. After each event, the planners examine feedback from students and facilitators in order to improve the next ones.

View a story and photos of a 2015 interprofessional education event.

Interprofessional Education at the Phoenix Biomedical Campus

Interprofessional education is a major emphasis at the Phoenix Biomedical Campus. There is significant collaboration between the healthcare professions, both on the campus and in the greater Phoenix area, to develop and provide interprofessional experiences for our students. A Macy Foundation-funded project supported the development of interprofessional experiences and stimulated the local community of educators and clinicians to forge new relationships. Through the support of the Macy Foundation, an integrated core curriculum to prepare primary care nurse practitioners, physicians and pharmacists to work closely together to serve the needs of patients and their families was developed. The Phoenix Biomedical Campus community will continue to collaborate on and create new interprofessional education experiences for students and clinicians.

For more information about interprofessional education at the Phoenix location of the College of Pharmacy, contact Philip Schneider, associate dean.


Originally posted: August 29, 2013
Last updated: September 6, 2016
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