Strong interprofessional relations have been espoused as a keystone for effective care and healthy workplaces. However, emerging evidence suggests that the cultural and historical manner in which health professional students have been socialized may impact future collaboration and respectful interprofessional relations. The aim of this CIHR- funded longitudinal study is to understand the process of formal professional socialization over time and how we can better prepare health professional students for collaborative practice.
This research employed an interpretive, narrative methodology, guided by the philosophical and theoretical tenets of interpretivism, hermeneutics, and narrative theory. Participants who entered their first year of health professional study in dentistry, medicine, nursing, pharmacy, or physiotherapy at Dalhousie in September 2015 were interviewed before, during and following completion of their respective programs, until 2 years post graduation. Narrative analysis of interviews were conducted within and across the five cohorts to identify key narrative components as they relate to professional identity development, interprofessional socialization and collaboration.
Findings highlight the socialization experiences of health professional students, including examples of interprofessional learning and role modeling. Findings illustrate how professional identity, attitudes, and beliefs evolve throughout formal education and showcase exemplars in terms of building interprofessional respect.
Understanding how health professional roles are conceptualized among students provides valuable insight into addressing stereotypes and promoting IPC within interprofessional education curricula. Findings are currently informing the development of health professional curricula to optimize the clinical learning environment and other socialization initiatives designed to enhance interprofessional respect and collaborative practice.