Interprofessional Education: Opportunities and Challenges for Psychology

Wendy Ward, Alexandra Zagoloff, Cortney Rieck, William Robiner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


This manuscript is an outgrowth of an invited panel presentation at the national Association for Psychologists in Academic Health Centers Conference in 2017 on Interprofessional Education (IPE). IPE is a structured and transformative educational strategy designed to provide active learning experiences where trainees from diverse healthcare professions gain shared content knowledge plus collaboration skills as they learn about, from, and with each other. Collaboration skills include understanding professional role distinctions and overlap, effective team-based communication, shared values/ethics and respect for each other’s expertise, and teamwork dynamics. It is increasingly important to expand training beyond the intraprofessional activities in which psychology trainees engage to prepare them to participate in interprofessional collaborative care. As healthcare systems move to team-based collaborative practice and value-based reimbursement models, the profession of psychology needs leaders at every academic health center to facilitate the design and/or implementation of IPE activities. The panel of psychologists presented roles that psychologists play in IPE institutional program design and implementation, graduate training programs, and the perspectives of an early career psychologist and psychology trainee. Opportunities and challenges are highlighted, culminating in a call to action. Psychologists must embrace their identity as health professionals and engage their learners in IPE so that the emerging cognitive schemata of healthcare that is developed includes the profession of psychology. Otherwise, healthcare teams and health professionals will not understand the value, roles, or potential contributions of psychologists in enhancing patient care outcomes, ultimately jeopardizing psychologists’ referrals, involvement in healthcare delivery, and career opportunities.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)250-266
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Clinical Psychology in Medical Settings
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 1 2018

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We would like to thank the Association of Psychologists in Academic Health Centers for allowing us to present our experiences at the 2017 conference and, specifically, conference planners Amy Williams, Ph.D. and John Yozwiak, Ph.D. We would also like to thank Rodger Kessler, Ph.D., for participating in our panel presentation. We appreciate the opportunity to bring this important topic to the attention of psychologists working in healthcare settings. We appreciate the further opportunity for consideration for publication in the Journal of Clinical Psychology in Medical Settings.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018, Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature.


  • Healthcare
  • Healthcare professional
  • Interprofessional collaborative practice
  • Interprofessional education
  • Quadruple aim


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