Objective: To assess the extent to which US colleges and schools of pharmacy are incorporating interprofessional education into their introductory pharmacy practice experiences (IPPEs), and to identify barriers to implementation; characterize the format, structure, and assessment; and identify factors associated with incorporating interprofessional education in IPPEs.
Methods: An electronic survey of 116 US colleges and schools of pharmacy was conducted from March 2011 through May 2011.
Results: Interprofessional education is a stated curricular goal in 78% of colleges and schools and consistently occurred in IPPEs in 55%. Most colleges and schools that included interprofessional education in IPPEs (70%) used subjective measures to assess competencies, while 17.5% used standardized outcomes assessment instruments. Barriers cited by respondents from colleges and schools that had not implemented interprofessional education in IPPEs included a lack of access to sufficient healthcare facilities with interprofessional education opportunities (57%) and a lack of required personnel resources (52%).
Conclusions: Many US colleges and schools of pharmacy have incorporated interprofessional education into their IPPEs, but there is a need for further expansion of interprofessional education and better assessment related to achievement of interprofessional education competencies in IPPEs.
Keywords: experiential education; interdisciplinary education; interprofessional education; introductory pharmacy practice experiences.