I thoroughly enjoyed reading the three papers from Professors Nildo Alves Batista and Sylvia Helena, Marcelo Viana da Costa and Marina Peduzzi responding to my review paper on interprofessional education (IPE). Collectively, I think these contributions make a number of excellent points about IPE within Brazilian context. Each paper thoughtfully explored a range of differing, but inter-connected, elements related to developing and implementing IPE in a country which has only recently engaged with this form of health professions education.
Based on my experiences of studying IPE in the United Kingdom, Canada and the United States for over the last 20 years, these authors have helpfully outlined some key pedagogical, professional and organisational challenges which can impede IPE from being successfully seeded, nurtured and then sustained. I therefore think that Brazilian colleagues about to engage with growing IPE in their respective institutions should consider the various elements highlighted in this collection of IPE papers. In doing so, colleagues will be much better prepared to tackle, and also overcome, the array of issues (e.g. teaching/learning, logistical, financial) they will encounter in their IPE curriculum development work.
These papers also provide a useful ‘springboard’ for thinking about next steps for IPE in Brazil. At this point, one could ask the following question: where do we go from here? For me, I believe that critical engagement in the IPE literature is extremely important. Such engagement will help colleagues review the nature of the IPE evidence-base to understand what IPE approaches have been successful and what have been more problematic. Of course, careful contextual interpretation is needed to ensure research findings generated, for example, in Western Europe and North American can be transferred into the Brazilian context. I also believe that engagement with social sciences theory is another key element to not only designing and developing IPE, but generating detailed analyses about the nature of this type of education and how such factors like imbalances in professional power/status continued to deeply affect the interprofessional relationships of individuals participating in IPE (developers, facilitators and learners). Readers interested in understanding these issues in a little more depth may find the following papers of interest11. Reeves S, Hean S. Why we need theory to help us better understand the nature of interprofessional education, practice and care. J Interprof Care. 2013; 27(1):1-3.
2. Reeves S. The need to problematize interprofessional education and practice activities. J Interprof Care. 2010; 24 (4):333-5.-33. Reeves S. Ideas for the development of the interprofessional field. J Interprof Care. 2010; 24(3):217-9..
Crucially, I believe a central element to building IPE in Brazil is the need for collective action amongst a group of like-minded colleagues to expand IPE activities locally, regionally and nationally. By collaborating together, colleagues can share their emerging successes as well as elicit support and guidance from other one another. Over time, this could produce a vibrant and productive Brazilian IPE community of practice. In relation to this idea, it was very pleasing to hear that work here is currently underway, with colleagues beginning to establish a national IPE network. The initial efforts from this interprofessional group will be shortly reported in this journal.
In summary, as noted above, building up the initial review paper, my colleagues’ commentaries have identified some critical elements to consider in beginning to root IPE in Brazil. These elements, as well as my ideas presented in short reply paper hopefully will offer some useful foundational materials to advance IPE across the country. I look forward with optimism to hearing from colleagues as they work to build their IPE programs.
- 1Reeves S, Hean S. Why we need theory to help us better understand the nature of interprofessional education, practice and care. J Interprof Care. 2013; 27(1):1-3.
- 2Reeves S. The need to problematize interprofessional education and practice activities. J Interprof Care. 2010; 24 (4):333-5.
- 3Reeves S. Ideas for the development of the interprofessional field. J Interprof Care. 2010; 24(3):217-9.
- Publication in this collection
26 Oct 2015
27 Oct 2015