Interprofessional Learning occurs through collaborations among students and professionals of different disciplines working together to develop ideas, opinions and professional connections. IPL can occur only when there is a natural connection between/among the different disciplines involved. This common connection in the workplace will dictate the common goals that can be achieved through this shared learning.

A hospital is a natural place where different disciplines come together to serve the main stakeholder, the patients. It becomes imperative for students in different disciplines to learn together the common goals that help them work as a team. The common goal/s will decide the shared core competencies that can be learned together. NUS in Singapore has implemented a curriculum common to all health professions., emphasising preventative healthcare and the utilisation of technology and analytics to support independent elderly. This allows students of various health professions Nursing, Medicine, Public Health, Pharmacy, and Dental to interact and learn the interdisciplinary needs for patient centred care.  The common curriculum can cover the critical core intelligence that is required of any discipline graduate, foundational and professional knowledge/skills common to different disciplines.

How to develop IPL for your students. The examples used will be for BDS programme as the one of interest.

  1. Identify the discipline(s) that is naturally connected to the concerned profession in an authentic workplace. For dentistry, disciplines of medicine and pharmacy directly affect patient care and outcomes. Further, administration, finance, human resources affect the dental practice.
  2. Identify the common goals of learning for the identified disciplines. Medicine, Dentistry and Pharmacy can have – Safe and judicious use of medications (antimicrobials and analgesics).
  3. Develop the learning outcomes that can achieve the common goals.
  4. Develop activities that allow equal/equitable participation of the students and staff.
  5. Develop assessments that replicate the collaborative participation of the various disciplines in an authentic workplace
  6. Monitor the implementation through feedback and assessment outcomes.
  7. Review the common curriculum by revisiting points 1-6.

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