What is Interprofessional Education (IPE)?

“Interprofessional education occurs when students from two or more professions learn about, from, and with each other to enable effective collaboration and improve health outcomes. Once students understand how to work interprofessionally, they are ready to enter the workplace as a member of the collaborative practice team. This is a key step in moving health systems from fragmentation to a position of strength.”

Source: World Health Organization (WHO). (2010). Framework for action on
interprofessional education & collaborative practice. Geneva: World Health Organization.


About the Interprofessional Education Collaborative (IPEC)

In 2009 six national education associations of schools of the health professions formed a collaborative to promote and encourage constituent efforts that would advance substantive interprofessional learning experiences to help prepare future clinicians for team-based care of patients. These organizations that represent higher education in allopathic and osteopathic medicine, dentistry, nursing, pharmacy, and public health would come to create core competencies for interprofessional collaborative practice that can guide curricula development at all health professions schools.

Although the panel focused its recommendations on the professions of medicine, nursing, pharmacy, dentistry, and public health, the IPEC hopes to engage other health professions with the release of its final report.

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IPEC incorporated as a 501(c)(3) in 2013 with the following founding members representing the leadership:

  • President:  Polly Bednash, Chief Executive Officer, American Association of Colleges of Nursing

  • Vice-president:  Carol Aschenbrener, Chief Medical Education Officer, Association of American Medical Colleges

  • Secretary:  Steve Shannon, President and CEO, American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine

  • Treasurer:  Rick Valachovic, Executive Director, American Dental Education Association

  • Board Chair:  Harrison Spencer, President and CEO of the Association of Schools and Programs of Public Health

  • Board Vice-chair:  Lucinda L. Maine, Executive Vice President and CEO, American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy