Interprofessional Education: Are we ready for it?

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Rabbia Qadeer Mian


Background- Interprofession education arose as a solution to the increasing healthcare challenges occurring worldwide, however its practice is mostly lacking in developing countries like Pakistan where the concept of IPE has yet to be formally established.
Objective- To assess the readiness of dental and medical postgraduates for interprofessional education and explore whether there is a difference in readiness with respect to discipline, gender and training level.
Method- A cross sectional survey was conducted at Fatima Memorial Hospital, College of Medicine and Dentistry, from August 2019 to September 2019, using the ‘readiness for interprofessional learning scale (RIPLS) which was to be scored on a 5 point Likert scale. Participants included all 178 postgraduate trainees enrolled in different FCPS program at the institute. Data was interpreted using descriptive, parametric and nonparametric statistics.
Results – The response rate was 61% (109/178), out of which 60% were females. The overall mean score for readiness was 79.26±6.84. The lowest mean score was 7.02±1.2 for the roles and responsibilities domain. A comparison between the two disciplines, genders and training year showed no significant difference, however findings for the final year training were slightly higher than others.
Conclusion- The medical and dental postgraduates, both showed equal and considerable readiness towards IPE. Though highly in favour of shared learning, they had ambiguity regarding their roles and responsibilities. This favours the immediate introduction of IPE in Pakistan at all levels to promote collaborative practice and diminish professional identity uncertainty; all for the betterment of Pakistan’s healthcare system.

Keywords: Interprofessional education, postgraduates, interprofessional learning, teamwork, collaboration, roles and responsibilities.

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