Translating Interprofessional Education to Practice: The experiences of Physician Assistants within the first years of practice

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Narrandes, Shavira
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In response to the importance and demand of interprofessional collaboration (IPC) in healthcare settings, the World Health Organization acknowledged the need for Interprofessional Education (IPE) when training healthcare professionals. The University of Manitoba (U of M) implemented an IPE course to physician assistant (PA), medical, dentistry, nursing, pharmacy, and rehabilitation sciences students in 2016. Since then, no studies have been conducted to determine whether the IPC program impacted the practice of working PAs. We distributed the Interprofessional Socialization and Valuing Scale (ISVS) survey to graduate PAs from U of M Master of Physician Assistant Studies (MPAS) who did and did not complete a curriculum-integrated IPC course (classes of 2010-2022). The results were compared to ISVS surveys completed by MPAS graduates during their training (classes of 2018-2022) using the Mann-Whitney U-test. From the ISVS part A questions, “I feel comfortable in accepting responsibility delegated to me within a team” had a significant difference between the two groups of practicing PAs (p=0.024). From the part B questions, “I have gained an enhanced awareness of my own role on a team” (p=0.003) and “I feel comfortable being the leader in a team situation” (p=0.002) were significant between the three groups. Although the study did not provide conclusive answers regarding IPE during the MPAS curriculum, practicing PAs who completed IPE were shown to have gained an enhanced awareness of their role on a team. This is consistent with studies demonstrating that IPE can enhance a students’ knowledge of their role within a multidisciplinary team, as well as the roles of other healthcare professionals.