Sixteen Months “From Square One”: The Process of Forming an Interprofessional Clinical Teaching Team

Eileen M. McKinlay, Peter A Gallagher, Lesley A Gray, Christine L Wilson, Susan R Pullon


Background: Descriptions of interprofessional education (IPE) programs and teacher competencies exist, but limited research has been undertaken about the process of IPE teaching team formation. This research project examined how pedagogically naïve clinicians of different disciplines initially formed an IPE teaching team.

Methods and Findings: A case study approach was undertaken with data collected over the first sixteen months of an IPE program. Data included: audio recordings, transcripts, and field notes from nine individual teacher interviews, two teaching team focus groups, five student focus groups, and eight summary reports. Data analysis using a grounded theory constant comparison approach revealed themes relating to the formation, development, and evolving sophistication of the teaching team from functioning, to co-ordinating, to co-operating, and finally to collaborating. These stages were influenced by four external factors: remote rural context, Hauora Māori principles, personal attributes, and teacher development.

Conclusions: Formation of interprofessional clinical teaching teams requires educational preparation, time learning to work with each other, and trust development, with a number of local contextual factors influencing this process. Teaching team formation paralleled Wegner’s Community of Practice model where shared vision supported the adoption of an increasingly complex IPE pedagogy.


Interprofessional relations; Staff development; Remote rural; Education

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