ABSTRACT: Interprofessional education: The magical mystery tour now less of a mystery
Interprofessional education (IPE) is on today’s agenda in medical education as a response to advances in medicine, the changes that have taken place in healthcare delivery, and pressures from the public and the profession. Although attention has focused on IPE in the later stages of the education program, there are benefits to be gained from the introduction of IPE in the early years. Curriculum developments supporting this include the adoption of outcome-based education and vertical integration. There is also a recognition that students’ attitudes and biases are formed early in their education and the appropriate learning environment in the early years is important. Interprofessional education in the early years can also be seen as a part of a more general trend to greater collaboration in the delivery of an education program in the healthcare professions. Anatomy by incorporating IPE can help shape the future of medical education as well as being shaped by it. The possibility of success or failure with IPE can be captured with the equation IPE = (V × I)/N, where V = the IPE vision, I = the implementation strategy and N = negative perceptions of the approach. Success is more likely where there is a well thought out and shared vision for what is to be achieved, an appropriate implementation strategy and a plan to counteract a negative mind-set.