Office of Interprofessional Education

“The Office of Interprofessional Education is located within the Division of Academic Affairs and contributes to the curriculum development, scholarship productivity, research infrastructure, and collaborative practice environment across all 6 colleges at UAMS.”





Message From The Director:

“Thank you for taking time to visit our website!  Please explore the various sections to learn more about our vision, our curriculum, our faculty, and our success to date.

I was delighted to join UAMS as the Director of Interprofessional Education in November 2013.  As many of you know, interprofessional education (IPE) occurs when 2 or more health professionals learn FROM, ABOUT, and WITH one another to improve health outcomes of the patients we are all called to serve as members of the health care “team”. IPE is not a new concept by any means; however, it represents a paradigm shift from how many health professional schools traditionally teach their learners.  Many health professions schools around the country are still in separate “silos”.  Paradoxically though, we are all expected to function together as a team when we enter the clinical environment together. The fundamental question driving the need for IPE is this:  if we are to practice together in a coordinated patient-centered fashion…shouldn’t we train together? The answer is YES!  Here is what we know from the medical and IPE literature.  Medical error is unfortunately prevalent in the health care industry.  Why is that?  Is it negligence of providers or is it the system of health care education and delivery?  It is the latter.  We know that communication failures are the root of the vast majority of medical errors and we know that IPE improves communication within the team.  Let’s consider chronic disease…such as diabetes.  Team based decision making has been shown to lead to superior results of patients with chronic disease as compared to our current model of delivery.  The Institute for Healthcare Improvement articulated that the key to health care reform is to strive for the “triple aim”:  (1) Improve the care of the individual; (2) Improve the health of the population; and (3) Decrease the cost of care.  They assert that interprofessional education and collaborative practice are essential to meeting this aim. I tend to agree.

UAMS is uniquely positioned to make a tremendous impact in meeting that triple aim locally, regionally, and Nationally.  Our education and health care delivery systems are located on one campus.  Our Executive Leadership supports and asserts IPE as a means to improve the health of those we serve in the State of Arkansas.  We also have tremendous resources at UAMS to support IPE.  These include but are not limited to:  a Center for Health Literacy, an Office of Patient and Family Centered Care, an Office of Global Health, an Office of Diversity Affairs, a robust student run clinic at the 12th St Health and Wellness Center, etc, etc, etc!!  The assets we have here at UAMS to foster IPE FAR OUTWEIGH the barriers to its success.

The future of IPE and collaborative practice at UAMS is very bright!  We are excited about our IPE initiatives to foster ongoing curricular implementation, faculty development, scholarship dissemination, and extramural funding success.  Please contact us if you would like to learn more or if you would like to get involved.  One of our UAMS students said it the best when she said:  “If we are expected to work together…why not practice now?”  I couldn’t agree more!”

Lee Wilbur, M.D.
Director of Interprofessional Education


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Interprofessional education can be defined simply as:

Quote…When students from two or more professions learn about, from and with each other to enable effective collaboration and improve health outcomes” (WHO 2010)