Interprofessional Education and Collaborative Practice: Welcome to the "New" Forty-Year Old Field
Since 1999, the United States (U.S.) healthcare delivery system has been transforming in profound and fundamental ways.
As U.S. healthcare leaders responded and led transformation, recognition grew that the graduates of health professions schools may be technically competent but are not ready to practice in today’s evolving health system. Therefore, many healthcare leaders and educators are calling for “new” models of education: interprofessional education (IPE) linked to collaborative practice and team-based care.
Concurrently since 2010, while the Affordable Care Act (ACA) grabs headlines, remarkable and historic developments are occurring in both healthcare delivery systems and health professions education to transform both. These developments will impact today’s undergraduate advisees and professional students who advance into health careers. Many planned changes and rapid disruptive innovations in healthcare are creating a new U.S. healthcare system that is not yet well understood.
The purposes of this paper are to describe the seismic shifts in healthcare creating calls for interprofessional education and collaborative practice (IPECP) and to provide references and resources to enable advisors, faculty, and students of the health professions to keep abreast of and adapt to the changes.