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Introduction Interprofessional education (IPE) is essential for students in health care disciplines to learn skills necessary for collaborative patient care. While IPE is an essential component of health professional training, implementation is challenging. Faculty members from pharmacy, nursing, exercise physiology, and medical laboratory science at a rural, private university developed an IPE activity with the goals of exposing students to interprofessional care. The process of IPE activity development will also be described.

Methods Using a pretest/posttest method, data was collected from 2 student cohorts (n=409) from four disciplines using the Readiness for Interprofessional Learning Scale (RIPLS). Students worked multidisciplinary teams (n=66) to assess patient cases and design a treatment plan. Responses were evaluated using a common rubric. Student feedback on the activity was also gathered after the activity.

Results Students were positively influenced by the exercise. Ten items on the RIPLS had statistically significant differences between pretest and posttest. Students (91%) identified the activity improved their understanding of other healthcare disciplines and roles, and 89.7% agreed the activity made them more aware of cultural competency. Common themes of gaining appreciation of teamwork, collaboration to improve patient care, and learning across disciplines emerged from student feedback. Student performance was consistent with academic progression.

Conclusion IPE activities improved student readiness for interprofessional learning, produced case responses reflective of interprofessional collaboration, and were viewed positively by students. Faculty were able to identify solutions to challenges identified during project implementation providing support for future activities and a template for others developing IPE activities.