Interprofessional education (IPE) occurs when members from two or more distinct professions learn together in a way that is reciprocal and interdependent. That is, students experiencing IPE simultaneously and cooperatively learn from each other and about their respective professions. Educational programs in psychology do not tend to include IPE.
Effective collaborative care requires early socialization between students of different disciplines. At Memorial, academic units involved in IPE during 2005 included the Faculty of Medicine; School of Nursing; Centre for Nursing Studies; Western Regional School of Nursing; School of Pharmacy; School of Social Work; and the Counselling Centre (Rural Mental Health Project). Following 2005, two other disciplines began to participate (School of Human Kinetics and Recreation, and the Psychology PsyD program).
IPE at Memorial occurs in several stages. In the pre-clinical phase, students focus on health and society, and later participate in more in-depth study of health and illness, and practice-based learning, as clinical novices. Prior to licensure, students work within interprofessional teams in practice workshops, and later pursue continuing education as independent, licensed practitioners in their respective fields.
The Health Professional Learning Block covers issues relevant across disciplines (e.g. professionalism). There are both advantages and challenges in including PsyD students in this component. Health/Illness Learning Modules include activities related to the health and well-being of children, mental health, HIV/AIDS, and patient safety. Delivery includes both online and face-to-face components.