Preparing Clinicians to Be Effective Interprofessional Clinical Instructors: A Faculty Development Workshop


Growing numbers of health professions educators seek to expand interprofessional education (IPE) opportunities in clinical settings as a means of preparing learners for interprofessional practice (IPP) and the delivery of person-centered team-based care. This requires clinical faculty who effectively facilitate learning focused on competencies for collaborative practice. While clinicians frequently instruct learners in the course of care delivery, most teach discipline-specific knowledge and skills to individuals entering their own professions, with interprofessional aspects of care in the background. The purpose of this workshop is to develop strategies for preparing clinicians to explicitly teach the knowledge, skills and attitudes needed for IPP to learners from multiple professions.

Methods and/or Description of Project

Through an academic-practice partnership, we have developed a clinical education model in which hospital staff provide early learners from nursing, occupational therapy, physical therapy, physician assistant studies, and speech-language pathology with clinical experiences focused on interprofessional aspects of practice based on the IPEC competencies. Clinicians from multiple disciplines, including physical therapy, serve as clinical instructors who, for this program, are referred to as Interprofessional Practice Instructors (IPIs). As they treat their patients, these IPIs supervise interprofessional student dyads with a goal of making the interprofessional aspects of care delivery visible.

Supporting our goal of a cost-effective and scalable program, we obtained funding to design and evaluate an IPI development approach. After piloting our interprofessional student experience, we worked with IPIs in focus groups to identify training needs that would help them develop strategies for clinical education of students who may or may not be from their own practice discipline. Through a toolkit with online, reading and practice sessions, we developed IPI resources to help clinicians recognize interprofessional collaboration occurring in everyday care delivery and acquire the skills and confidence to integrate IPE seamlessly into a complex and fast-paced practice environment.

In this interactive workshop, using our IPI development experience as a foundation, participants will have opportunities to experience and consider how to adopt or adapt clinical instructor development strategies in their own settings. We will share the challenges and successes that have helped us shape our current model, and allow participants to reflect on how they can build stronger academic-practice partnerships to foster interprofessional clinical education.

The four IPEC domains will be used as the framework for giving IPIs a context for creating effective student experiences. We will explore the use of active observation as a technique whereby students are focused on the IPEC competencies rather than their own clinical skills, and the application of group debriefing to foster reflection for students, and academic and clinical faculty.


Workshop participants will discuss how to facilitate the expansion of IPE into practice settings by preparing clinical instructors to work with students from diverse professions by setting the stage for interprofessional learning, fostering active observation through effective question-asking, and facilitate debriefing to enrich students' integration of collaborative practice. Participants will consider faculty development in their home settings, identify resources, and get feedback on ideas regarding how to explicitly teach elements of IPP in the course of care delivery.

Conclusions/Relevance to the conference theme: The Pursuit of Excellence in Physical Therapy Education

This workshop is for health professions educators interested in facilitating development of clinical faculty who effectively and efficiently integrate IPE in their practice setting and facilitate learning focused on competencies for collaborative practice. It will be most beneficial to teams from both academic and clinical settings who want to strengthen their collaborative relationships.

The workshop has implications for expanding delivery of person-centered team-based care by future generations of healthcare providers. Developing clinical instructors who have a firm understanding of IPE and IPP is essential to creating effective academic and clinical experiences that support each other, and that make interprofessional practice a reality for students. Such training has also had an effect on the interprofessional culture of the practitioners who are supervising students.


Interprofessional Education Collaborative Expert Panel. Core competencies for interprofessional collaborative practice: Report of an expert panel. Washington, D.C.: Interprofessional Education Collaborative. 2011.

World Health Organization Department of Human Resources for Health. Framework for action on interprofessional education and collaborative practice. Geneva: WHO. 2010).
Abu-Rish E, Kim S, Choe L, Varpio L., Malik E, White AA, Craddick K. Current trends in interprofessional education of health sciences students: A literature review. Journal of Interprofessional Care. 2003. 26: 444-451.

Brandt B, Lutfiyya M, King J, Chioreso C. A scoping review of interprofessional collaborative practice and education using the lens of the Triple Aim. Journal of Interprofessional Care, 2014, 28(5): 393-399.

Hall LW, Zierler BK. (2015) Interprofessional Education and Practice Guide No 1: developing faculty to effectively facilitate interprofessional education. Journal of Interprofessional Care, 29(1): 3-7.

Morris C. Teaching and Learning through Active Observation. Centre for Educational Development, Imperial College London. 2003. Available online at:

Simmons B, Oandasan I, Soklaradis S, et al. Evaluating the effectiveness of an interprofessional education faculty development course: the transfer of interprofessional learning to the academic and clinical practice setting. J Interprof Care 2011;25:156-157.

Zwarenstein M, Goldman J, Reeves S. Interprofessional Collaboration: Effects of practice-based interventions on professional practice and healthcare outcomes. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, 3, CD000072. 2009.

Course Objectives

Workshop participants will be able to:
1. Discuss the importance of clinicians who explicitly teach collaborative aspects of care delivery in the practice environment

2. Implement selected interprofessional clinical teaching strategies including:
a) Active Observation – focusing learners on collaborative aspects of care
b) Facilitated Debriefing – anchoring reflective learning related to IPP

3. Develop a plan to address faculty development needs in their own settings, identifying potential challenges and strategies for addressing them.

Instructional Methods

This interactive workshop will include introduction to key concepts related to IPE, IPP and clinical teaching, interspersed with opportunities to practice applying strategies for teaching interprofessional aspects of practice. The workshop will conclude with participants engaging one another and workshop faculty as they consider faculty development in their own settings, identify resources, and get feedback on ideas. Through group discussion, participants will be able to identify potential challenges and suggest solutions that can be brought back to their home institutions.

Tentative Outline/Schedule

1. Introduction and Context (15 min)
a) Interprofessional education and practice (IPE/IPP)
b) Description of an interprofessional clinical experience and CI development

2. Clinical Teaching Skills for IPIs (45 min)
a) Setting the stage for learners: Focus on IPP not uni-professional skill development (video and discussion)
b) Fostering Active Observation in clinical setting (question-asking practice)
c) Facilitating Interprofessional Debriefing (video and application practice)

3. Individual action plan for IPI/CI development in own setting (worksheet and feedback; 20 min)

4. Wrap-up Q & A (10 min)

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  • Control #: 2525594
  • Type: Educational Session
  • Event/Year: ELC2016
  • Authors: Dr. Leslie Portney, Mary Knab, Caitlin Fitzgerald, Ann Jampel, Carmen Vega-Barachowitz, Rebecca Santos Inzana, Trish Zeytoonjian
  • Keywords:

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