Department of Medicine Publications

A Medical Student's Perspective of Participation in an Interprofessional Education Placement: An Autoethnography

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Journal of Interprofessional Care





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Interprofessional education (IPE) has emerged as a critical pedagogy for promoting interprofessional collaboration (IPC) within healthcare. However, the literature includes few reports of students' perspectives on IPE experiences. Understanding students' experiences is critical, as they are the crux of IPE's culture change agenda. This paper presents an autoethnographic account of my experiences as a medical student participating in an IPE placement within a Canadian academic hospital. During the five-week placement, I collected data using participant observation and reflective journaling on all placement experiences. I expanded my notes using the emotional recall technique and conducted thematic analysis. Using a series of narrative vignettes, this paper explores the relationships between my personal experience and the cultural and educational issues underpinning IPE. The first vignette explores the relationship between students' patient access and our status in tutorial discussion. The second vignette considers the impact of shadowing on my appreciation of another professional's practice. The last vignette portrays my experience learning about the complex politics that shape IPC. The conclusion suggests that the IPE placements incorporate reflexive activities (i.e., journaling and interviewing) to enhance the students' appreciation and understanding of roles, responsibilities and professional perspectives, and to promote critical thinking and professional growth.


Dr. Lorelei Lingard is currently a faculty member at The University of Western Ontario.

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