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Evaluating an undergraduate interprofessional education session for medical and pharmacy undergraduates on therapeutics and prescribing: the medical student perspective

Authors Shelvey BM, Coulman SA, John DN

Received 6 July 2016

Accepted for publication 25 September 2016

Published 5 December 2016 Volume 2016:7 Pages 661—670


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewers approved by Dr Amy Norman

Peer reviewer comments 5

Editor who approved publication: Dr Anwarul Azim Majumder

Video abstract presented by Bethany M Shelvey

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Bethany M Shelvey,1 Sion A Coulman,2 Dai N John2

1School of Medicine, 2School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, Cardiff University, Cardiff, Wales, UK

Background: The current literature on undergraduate interprofessional education (IPE) for pharmacy and medical students highlights a range of positive outcomes, although to date IPE has focused predominantly on student views and experiences of IPE sessions with these opinions being sought at the end of the sessions. This study aimed to evaluate medical students’ experiences of therapeutics and prescribing IPE, with pharmacy students, 1 year following the session.
Methods: Following ethics committee approval, 3rd year medical students at Cardiff University were invited to participate using non-probability sampling. Topic guide development was informed by the literature and research team discussions, including a review of the materials used in the IPE session. Semi-structured one-to-one interviews explored experiences, prior to, during, and after the IPE session. Interviews were audio-recorded, transcribed verbatim, and analyzed thematically.
Results: Eighteen medical students were interviewed; 11 were females. Seven themes were identified, namely 1) refinement of pre-session preparation, 2) session value, 3) learning with a pharmacy student, 4) learning about a pharmacist, 5) learning from a pharmacy student, 6) importance and application of what was learnt into practice, and 7) suggestions for change.
Conclusion: This study provides a valuable insight into medical students’ experiences of a therapeutics and prescribing IPE session and emphasizes the value they placed on interaction with pharmacy students. Medical students were able to recall clear learning experiences from the IPE session that had taken place 12 months earlier, which itself is an indicator of the impact of the session on the students. Furthermore, they were able to describe how knowledge and skills learnt had been applied to subsequent learning activities. Those developing IPE sessions should consider the following: clarify professional roles in the session content, incorporate IPE as a series of activities, and use small groups of students to optimize student–student interaction and active learning.

Keywords: learning, case-based, medical education, pharmacist, qualitative research, thematic analysis

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