A Middle Eastern journey of integrating Interprofessional Education into the healthcare curriculum: a SWOC analysis
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Interprofessional education (IPE) is an emerging concept in the Middle East with a number of health professional degree programs continually striving to meet international accreditation requirements to enhance the quality of education and ensure high standards are maintained. Using the College of Pharmacy at Qatar University (CPH QU) as a model, this article describes the IPE initiatives coordinated through the College's IPE Committee, with representation from fourteen programs at four Healthcare institutions: Qatar University; Weill Cornell Medical College in Qatar; the University of Calgary in Qatar; and the College of North Atlantic in Qatar. These activities are based on the model proposed by the University of British Columbia across the different pharmacy professional years. Learning objectives for these initiatives were selected from the IPE shared competency domains and competency statements developed for Qatar context. A meeting with six faculty members, who have been instrumental to designing and executing the IPE activities in the previous 2 years, was convened. Faculty members reflected on IPE activities and collaborations with other participating programs. A structured SWOC (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Challenges) framework was used to guide discussion. The discussion was recorded and notes were taken during the meeting. Raised points were categorized into each SWOC category for the final analysis. Implementation of IPE program is a major undertaking with a number of challenges that require invested time to overcome. This article highlights the importance of incorporating IPE into healthcare curricula to graduate students ready for collaborative practice in the workforce. Learning objectives for IPE initiatives need to be based on shared competency domains. When developing and implementing an IPE program it is necessary to align activities under a strong theoretical framework. This should be done under the leadership of an IPE steering group or committee to oversee the integration of IPE into the healthcare curriculum. The article presents many lessons learned through IPE implementation that are relevant to other academic institutions keen to incorporate IPE into their programs and also provides a successful model for integrating IPE into healthcare curricula.
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