An interprofessional team of maternity care providers and academics developed a pilot interprofessional education (IPE) program in maternity care for undergraduate students in nursing, midwifery and medicine. There are few published studies examining IPE programs in maternity care, particularly at the undergraduate level, that examine long-term outcomes. This paper outlines findings from a case study that explored how participation in an IPE program in maternity care may enhance student knowledge, skills/attitudes, and may promote their collaborative behavior in the practice setting. The program was launched at a Canadian urban teaching hospital and consisted of six workshops and two clinical shadowing experiences. Twenty-five semi-structured, in-depth interviews were completed with nine participants at various time points up to 20 months post-program. Qualitative analysis of transcripts revealed the emergence of four themes: relationship-building, confident communication, willingness to collaborate and woman/family-centered care. Participant statements about their intentions to continue practicing interprofessional collaboration more than a year post-program lend support to its sustained effectiveness. The provision of a safe learning environment, the use of small group learning techniques with mixed teaching strategies, augmented by exposure to an interprofessional faculty, contributed to the program's perceived success.
Collaborative patient-centred care has the potential to address serious issues in the Canadian health-care system such as those related to increasing complexity of care; patient safety and access; and recruitment and retention of health human resources. This approach involves teams of health professionals working together to provide more coordinated and comprehensive care to clients. It places priority on the preferences of the patient and fosters respect for the skills and perspectives of all health-care providers. Interprofessional education at the undergraduate, graduate and practice levels is essential for facilitating the transition to team-based care. The author presents the rationale for collaborative care and describes an interprofessional education project at Memorial University of Newfoundland that is preparing students and health professionals for this groundbreaking change in practice.
No previous rigorous qualitative studies exist on student Balint groups. The aim of this study was to explore the contexts and triggers of cases presented in student Balint groups and to clarify the themes in the group discussions.
Fifteen student Balint sessions in two groups were organised. Nine female students participated. A grounded theory-based approach with thematic content analysis of the field notes was used.
We identified five triggers for case narrations (witnessing injustice, value conflict, difficult human relationships, incurable patient, role confusion) that originated from three distinct contexts (patient encounters, confusing experiences in medical education, tension between privacy and profession). Four main discussion themes could be identified (feelings related to patients, building professional identity, negative role models, cooperation with other medical professionals).
The concept of case in student Balint groups was wider than in traditional Balint groups. Feelings related to patients and to one's own role as a doctor were openly discussed in groups. The discussions often touched on professional growth and future professional identity as doctors.
The Balint groups may support medical students' professional growth process. This topic warrants further study in more heterogeneous student groups.
With the burgeoning role of distributed medical education and the increasing use of community hospitals for training purposes, challenges arise for undergraduate and postgraduate programs expanding beyond traditional tertiary care models. It is of vital importance to encourage community hospitals and clinical faculty to embrace their roles in medical education for the 21st century. With no university hospitals in northern Ontario, the Northern Ontario School of Medicine and its educational partner hospitals identified questions of concern and collaborated to implement changes. Several themes emerged that are of relevance to any medical educational program expanding beyond its present location. Critical areas for attention include the institutional culture; human, physical and financial resources; and support for educational activities. It is important to establish and maintain the groundwork necessary for the development of thriving integrated community-engaged medical education. Done in tandem with advocacy for change in funding models, this will allow movement beyond the current educational environment. The ultimate goal is successful integration of university and accreditation ideals with practical hands-on medical care and education in new environments.