Promoting interprofessional learning with medical students in home care settings
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BACKGROUND: The home care setting is ideal for medical students to learn about the importance of interprofessional collaboration in the community. AIMS: This project examined the impact of a unique program designed to facilitate medical students' knowledge and awareness of the challenges of interprofessional care in the home. METHODS: In pairs, medical students participated in two community visits with preceptors from different professions. Students completed a structured personal reflection after their first visit. Students and preceptors participated in focus groups or interviews to identify strengths and challenges of the experiences. The structured reflections and the focus group and interview transcripts were analyzed qualitatively. RESULTS: 164 medical students and 36 preceptors participated in 326 visits. There were high ratings of satisfaction from students and preceptors. Students developed unexpected insights into peoples' lives, developed a greater understanding of the patient's perspective and determinants of health, learned about others' scope of practice, and developed an appreciation of the limitations of their own scope of practice. Preceptors had high expectations for student performance and engagement and enjoyed the opportunity to impart their knowledge to future physicians. CONCLUSION: Although organizationally complex, the program evaluation suggestions that students and preceptors benefit from interprofessional experiences in the home.