The Importance of Interprofessional Practice in Family Medicine Residency Education

Fam Med. 2021 Jul;53(7):548-555. doi: 10.22454/FamMed.2021.151177. Epub 2021 Jun 17.


The practice of family medicine is undergoing rapid transformation, with increasing recognition that family physicians can most effectively meet the needs of individual patients and populations within the context of highly effective interprofessional teams. A substantive evidence base exists to support effective workplace learning by practicing health care teams and learners, much of which has been developed in primary care teaching practices. A strong national consensus now emphasizes the importance of the interprofessional clinical learning environment, including in graduate medical education. Evidence for the impact of improved team function on quadruple aim outcomes is increasingly robust. The World Health Organization, Interprofessional Education Consortium, National Collaborative for Improving the Clinical Learning Environment, and National Center for Interprofessional Practice and Education have developed evidence-based approaches and tools for improving interprofessional collaboration to improve important health outcomes in the clinical learning environment. Embracing the practice as the curriculum and preparing our residency graduates to work within high-functioning interprofessional collaborative practice teams, family medicine has the opportunity to lead the way in demonstrating the value of effective interprofessional practice across health care settings, including virtual teaming, to improve the health of the communities we serve, and across the nation.