Lightning Talk

The Interprofessional Socialization Experiences of Health Professional Students: Are They Ready for Collaborative Practice Upon Graduation?

Wednesday, September 14, 2022, 1:15 pm - 2:15 pm CDT

During this lightening talk, we will discuss the findings of our longitudinal research on early interprofessional socialization among health professional students. Socialization of health professionals can impact their future as collaborative practitioners. However, there is a gap in our understanding of best practices in relation to interprofessional education, including how professional socialization impacts perceptions, expectations and practices of collaboration across health professions. The aim of this research is to gain an understanding of how professional socialization experiences among health professional students (dentistry, medicine, pharmacy, physiotherapy) impacts readiness for collaborative practice at the time of graduation.
This study employed an interpretive, narrative methodology to understand the experiences and evolving self-identities of health professional students over the course of 6 years. This talk will focus on the graduation narratives of 15 individuals who had recently completed their health professional programs. Findings reveal the integral role of interprofessional education towards preparing collaborative practitioners. Across all health profession groups, participants did not feel adequately prepared for collaborative practice and expressed the need for more formal and informal interprofessional opportunities during their educational programs. Participants believed that greater focus was needed on experiential learning, building meaningful connections with other health professionals, and better integrating interprofessional education into the health professions curriculum. Participant narratives also provide insight into the critical influence of peers, mentors, and role models, and experiential learning (clinicals, placements, and simulations) on the development of their interprofessional identities. Findings emphasize that educational programs/curriculums need to provide enhanced exposure to the best settings, practitioners and experiences to optimize interprofessional identity development and readiness for collaborative practice. The findings of this study can assist academic institutions in better understanding the needs of health professions students to adequately prepare them to work in collaborative teams and deliver collaborative care.