What is IPE?

“Interprofessional education occurs when students from two or more professions learn about, from, and with each other to enable effective collaboration and improve health outcomes. Once students understand how to work interprofessionally, they are ready to enter the workplace as a member of the collaborative practice team. This is a key step in moving health systems from fragmentation to a position of strength.”

Source: World Health Organization (WHO). (2010). Framework for action on
interprofessional education & collaborative practice.  Geneva: World Health Organization.

Why is IPE important?

Historically, education for health professionals has been delivered in unidisciplinary contexts, occurring in separate, often isolated silos by a team of individual experts.   However, with the increasing complexity of healthcare delivery today, it is no longer adequate to have a team of experts.  Rather, an expert team with demonstrated skills in shared decision making, joint accountability for patient care, and population health is needed to address state of the art needs and challenges.

Thus, the driving force behind Interprofessional Education (IPE) is to promote the development of skilled expert teams of collaborative care practitioners who positively impact the delivery of  high quality, safe and effective health care services.  IPE seeks to support interprofessional students learning from and with each other to gain a clear understanding and knowledge of each others’ roles to optimize collaboration.  IPE expands upon an interdisciplinary approach in that it is intentional in designing course enrollment, curricula, learning experiences, and interactions with students from two or more disciplines.

To achieve this goal, the Center for Interprofessional Education seeks to foster a growing menu of IPE of learning opportunities for University of Michigan students that includes not only traditional semester-based courses, but also clinical and field experiences, service learning, simulations, online learning modules, and more.