What Works in Rural IPE? A Study of Student Reflections


  • Curt C. Stilp Oregon Health & Science University
  • Candyce Reynolds Portland State University




Rural, Interprofessional education, Social IPE, Values, Attitudes, Beliefs


Background: Team-based care has been proposed as a way to utilize rural healthcare resources wisely. Thus, the need to educate healthcare profession students in the fundamentals of rural team-based practice has increased in recent years. Thisstudy  sought to examine student reflections of a rural interprofessional practice and education (IPE) program in an effort to learn how students described their experience and what they valued.

Methods and findings: Student reflection journals from a formal rural IPE program were examined for themes related to post-experience values, attitudes, and beliefs. In general, the time spent in rural IPE led to understanding what it means to live and provide care as a team to a rural community. One important new discovery is that social interactions outside formal IPE curriculum are central to achieving programmatic goals.

Conclusion: Understanding the significance of rural IPE and how to guide students both inside and outside the clinical setting will help lead the development of future IPE. The findings of this study shed light on what students valued in a rural IPE experience and, thus, have implications for where institutional resources should be concentrated.

Author Biographies

Curt C. Stilp, Oregon Health & Science University

Dr. Curt Stilp is the Director of the Oregon Area Health Education Center (AHEC) and an Assistant Professor at the Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU) Physician Assistant program in Portland Oregon. His research interests include health education, IPE, and rural IPE. Curt is a member of the OHSU Interprofessional Initiatives Steering Committee enjoyed bringing his own interprofessional education and experience to AHEC and the state of Oregon. 

Contributions: Responsible for substantial contributions in the creation, collection, analysis, interpretation of data, and conclusions. Gave approval of final manuscript.

Candyce Reynolds, Portland State University

Dr. Reynolds, is a professor and the chair of the Educational Leadership and Policy Department at Portland State Univeristy. Dr. Reynolds has a wide variety of experience in higher education and beyond, working in student affairs, the departments of psychology, business and management consultation, general education, a peer mentoring program and in faculty development. In recent years, her work has focused on the use of the ePortfolio to promote student learning and program assessment.

Contributions: Responsible for critically revising and editing manuscript and approving final version.






Articles: Empirical Research