An Autoethnographic Study of Interprofessional Education Partnerships

Samantha Hurst, Karen A. Macauley, Linda Awdishu, Kathleen M Sweeney, Sophie S Hutchins, Jennifer M Namba, Michelle L Johnson, Peggy A Wallace, Karen A Garman, Amy M Zheng


Background: Thiis qualitative longitudinal study describes an Interprofessional Education (IPE) collaboration between a public university with medical and pharmacy schools and a private, non-affiliated university with a nursing school. The study explores the dynamics of the IPE partnership and lessons learned over a three-year period in which members of the collaborative directed three IPE simulations.

Methods and Findings: An autoethnographic inquiry technique was used to interview eight collaborators who designed and implemented a large-scale IPE simulation for approximately 300 students and 100 faculty members annually for three years. Two, 90-minute group narrative interviews were conducted and audio recorded for transcription and analysis. Five themes emerged: Natural Collaboration, Shared Vision and Commitment, Integrations and Synergy, All Hands on Deck, and Lasting Foundations. Collaborators agreed the joint effort was a positive experience with multidimensional returns on investment. They applied teamwork competencies to build the partnership, develop the IPE simulation, and overcome implementation challenges.

Conclusions: Thiis article provides readers with the opportunity to learn from those who have been intimately involved in the design and implementation of a large-scale IPE collaboration to enhance the shared learning process for health students and faculty. Findings highlight the complexity of building an IPE collaborative and the necessity to build partnerships with facilitators committed to communication.


Interprofessional education; Simulation; Faculty development; Autoethnography

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