Early Experiences of Interdisciplinary Learning: A Framework for Professional Learning for the Future?


  • P M Rutter Department of Pharmacy, School of Applied Sciences, University of Wolverhampton, Wulfruna Street, Wolverhampton, WV1 1SB.
  • L Bayliss-Pratt School of Health and Wellbeing, University of Wolverhampton, Boundary House, Gorway Road, Walsall, WS1 3BD


nterprofessional learning, interdisciplinary learning, nursing, pharmacy, physician assistant


Background: It is recognised that no one profession has the expertise to respond adequately to the complexity of modern day patient care. It is therefore necessary to expose healthcare students to situations where they can work with other professional groups and share knowledge. An interdisciplinary week was devised at the University of Wolverhampton to allow students this interaction but in the controlled environment of a purpose built clinical skills centre.Aim: To bring together and expose four different healthcare professional groups to simulated clinical scenarios in order to engender greater awareness of each groups’ role within a healthcare team. Methods: Surveys pre and post the interdisciplinary week. Results: Most students prior to studying their respective courses had an appreciation for the work their role would entail, although over two-thirds of students stated they had subsequently changed their opinion since starting their course. The concept of shared learning was positively received by all professional groups.Conclusion: The week allowed different professional groups to learn from each other and afforded them an opportunity to gain a greater understanding of each other’s role. 


Bridges, D. (1993) School-based teacher education. In Bridges, D, Kerry, T. (Eds) Developing Teachers Professionally. Routledge, London.CAIPE (2009).

Defining IPE Available at: http://www.caipe.org.uk/about-us/defining-ipe/?keywords=definition. Accessed 10 August 2009

Chalmers, R. K., Adler, D. S., Haddad, A. M., Hoffman, S., Johnson, K. A., & Woodward, J. M. B. (1995) The essential linkage of professional socialization and pharmaceutical care. American Journal of Pharmaceutical Education, 59, 85-90.

Cleminson, A., & Bradford, S. (1996) Professional education: the relationship between ‘academic’ and experiential learning. Journal of Vocational Education and Training 48, 249-259.

Cooper, H., Spencer-Dawe, E., & Mclean, E. (2005) Beginning the process of teamwork: Design, implementation and evaluation of an inter-professional education intervention for first year undergraduate students. Journal of Interprofessional Care, 19, 492-508.

Coster, S., Norman, I., Murrells, T., Kitchen, S., Meerabeau, E., Sooboodoo, E., & d’Avray, L. (2008) Interprofessional attitudes amongst undergraduate students in the health professions: A longitudinal questionnaire survey. International Journal of Nursing Studies, 45, 1667–1681.

Curran, V.R., Sharpe, D., Forristall, J., & Flynn, K. (2008) Attitudes of health sciences students towards interprofessional teamwork and education.Learning in Health and Social Care, 7, 146–156.

Davidson, M., Smith, R.A., Dodd, K.J., Smith, J.S., & O’Loughlan, M.J. (2008) Interprofessional pre-qualification clinical education: a systematic review. Australian Health Review, 31, 111-120.

Parsell, G., & Bligh, J. (1999) The development of a questionnaire to assess the readiness of health care students for interprofessional learning. Medical Education, 33, 95-100.

Reeves, S. (2001) A review of the effects of interprofessional education on staff involved in the care of adults with mental health problems. Journal of Psychiatric and Mental Health Nursing, 8, 533-542.

World Health Organisation (1988) Learning together to work together for health. Report of a WHO Study Group on Mulitprofessional Education of Health Personnel: the team approach. World Health Organisation Technical Report Series no 769, Geneva.


How to Cite

Rutter, P. M., & Bayliss-Pratt, L. (2015). Early Experiences of Interdisciplinary Learning: A Framework for Professional Learning for the Future?. Pharmacy Education, 10. Retrieved from https://pharmacyeducation.fip.org/pharmacyeducation/article/view/267



Research Article