Interprofessional Leadership and Mentoring - Local, System, and National

Track Leaders: Gerri Lamb, PhD, RN, FAAN and Keith A. Mays, PhD, DDS, MS


What does it mean to be an interprofessional leader?  The National Center challenges each of us to explore the answer to this question from multiple and diverse viewpoints in the Interprofessional Leadership and Mentoring Track at the Nexus Summit 2020 – and to use our dialogue to generate actionable ideas to prepare effective interprofessional leaders and mentors to accelerate the growth and impacts of interprofessional practice, education, research and policy.

Understanding the whys and wherefores of leadership has fascinated people for centuries. If you have been courageous enough to search for theories and practical advice on leadership, you know just how much is out there. It is not always clear what is relevant to the challenges we have before us today.  Our work in the interprofessional space demands that we look at leadership through the lens of teamwork and collaboration to understand what is required of leaders to bring about education that is “about, from and with” and collaborative practice that brings together diverse groups of individuals across all health care settings to “deliver the highest quality of care” (WHO, 2010).  

In the course of the seminars, lightning talks, and posters that comprise the Interprofessional Leadership and Mentorship Track, we will call out and talk about the characteristics and competencies that distinguish interprofessional leadership from other types of leadership, structures that support the growth of interprofessional education and practice,  persistent barriers that prevent potential leaders from stepping forward and importantly, strategies and research needed to prepare interprofessional leaders and mentors for now and the future.


Learning Objectives:

  1. Explore the need to call out interprofessional leadership from other types of leadership.
  2. Identify “must-have” competencies for interprofessional leaders, champions and mentors.
  3. Describe common features of intra and cross-university structures and models for advancing interprofessional education.   
  4. Generate meaningful research questions about interprofessional leadership and mentorship that draw from the priorities of patients, clinicians, educators, students, and administrators.


Provocative Questions:  

  1. What differentiates interprofessional leadership from other types of leadership? What are the implications of NOT calling out interprofessional leadership as distinct from other types of leadership in terms of our ability to demonstrate its impact on quality of care, costs, innovation, and workforce capacity and health?
  2. What competencies are essential for interprofessional leaders, champions, and mentors?
  3. What are the barriers to interprofessional leadership – explicit and implicit – and what will it take to reduce them or get rid of them altogether?
  4. What next? How can we move from conversation to action?