Long-term effect of a short interprofessional education interaction between medical and physical therapy students

Terin T. Sytsma, Elizabeth P. Haller, James W. Youdas, David A. Krause, Nathan J. Hellyer, Wojciech Pawlina, Nirusha Lachman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


Medicine is increasingly focused on team-based practice as interprofessional cooperation leads to better patient care. Thus, it is necessary to teach teamwork and collaboration with other health care professionals in undergraduate medical education to ensure that trainees entering the workforce are prepared to work in teams. Gross anatomy provides an opportunity to expose students to interprofessional education (IPE) early in their training. The purpose of this study is to describe an IPE experience and report if the experience has lasting influence on the participating students. The Readiness for Interprofessional Learning Scale (RIPLS) questionnaire was administered to first year medical (MD) and physical therapy (PT) students at Mayo Medical School and Mayo School of Health Sciences. Results demonstrated an openness on the part of the students to IPE. Interprofessional education experiences were incorporated into gross anatomy courses in both medical and PT curricula. The IPE experiences included a social event, peer-teaching, and collaborative clinical problem-solving sessions. These sessions enhanced gross anatomy education by reinforcing previous material and providing the opportunity to work on clinical cases from the perspective of two healthcare disciplines. After course completion, students again completed the RIPLS. Finally, one year after course completion, students were asked to provide feedback on their experience. The post-curricular RIPLS, similar to the pre-curricular RIPLS, illustrated openness to IPE from both MD and PT students. There were however, significant differences in MD and PT perceptions of roles and responsibilities. One-year follow-up indicated long-term retention of lessons learned during IPE.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)317-323
Number of pages7
JournalAnatomical Sciences Education
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 1 2015


  • Gross anatomy education
  • IPE
  • Interprofessional curriculum
  • Interprofessional education
  • Interprofessional learning
  • Medical education
  • Physical therapy education

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anatomy
  • Histology
  • Embryology


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