Third in a Series: The Imperative for Interprofessional Education

May 25, 2011, 12:00 PM, Posted by

On May 10, the Interprofessional Education Collaborative (IPEC) released two groundbreaking reports that recommend competencies for interprofessional health education to promote collaborative, team-based care, and strategies to implement them. This post is the third in a series in which the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s (RWJF’s) Human Capital Blog speaks to leaders of this initiative. This interview is with George E. Thibault, M.D., president of the Josiah Macy Jr. Foundation.

Human Capital Blog: What matters most about the report you released on May 10?

George Thibault: The leadership and consensus of the six associations [the American Association of Colleges of Nursing, American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine, American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy, American Dental Education Association, Association of American Medical Colleges, and Association of Schools of Public Health] representing the schools of the six health professions are powerful and moves this issue into the mainstream. In addition, the public-private partnership of the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) and the foundation world gives it added impetus.

HCB: How do you want to see it used?

Thibault: We want to accelerate the discussions that have already begun on education reform of our health profession schools and create stronger links between educational institutions and health care delivery organizations.

HCB: Why do you believe the timing is right to advance interprofessional collaboration in education?

Thibault: There is an urgent need to provide more access to reliable care to the public and this is one means of doing that.

HCB: Two years from now, what is the most important change you’d like to see as a result of this effort?

Thibault: Interprofessional education will be the norm for all health professional schools.


This commentary originally appeared on the RWJF Human Capital Blog. The views and opinions expressed here are those of the authors.