Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine

Interprofessional Education (IPE)

Interprofessional Education Programme  
Interprofessional Education (IPE) is a process when students from two or more professional programmes that are involved in healthcare learn about, from and with each other. Competencies common to all involved professions and perspectives unique to each are shared with a common goal of improved function of the healthcare team. Therefore IPE is an essential step in preparing a “collaborative, practice-ready” health workforce. A “collaborative, practice-ready” health professional is someone who has learned how to work in an interprofessional team and is competent to do so.
In a healthcare setting, collaborative practice happens when multiple health professionals from different professional backgrounds work together with patients, families, carers and communities to deliver the highest quality of care. It allows health professionals to engage with any individual whose skills can help achieve local health goals.
As Singapore moves towards an integrated healthcare system, interprofessional collaborative practice will become more prevalent and essential. In a special address delivered on 2 September 2010, Ms Yong Ying-I, Perm Sec (Health) also advocated that interprofessional education will be good for medical, dental, nursing, pharmacy and social work students at NUS. The students can learn together, build friendships and cultivate professional relationships that will enable them to work better in collaborative care teams in the future.
At the NUS, five academic units namely the Alice Lee Centre for Nursing Studies, the Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine, the Department of Pharmacy, the Faculty of Dentistry and the Department of Social Work fully support the idea of incorporating IPE into their respective professional health programmes. As a result, an initiative for IPE among healthcare undergraduates in NUS has been undertaken. A steering committee, comprising faculty members from the five academic units, has been set up to design the general curricular requirements and competency standards for transforming the undergraduates into "collaborative, practice-ready" healthcare professionals.