OBJECTIVE: The purpose of this study was to investigate attitudes toward interprofessional learning among first year medical, nursing, and physician associate students at an American university at the start of their training.
METHODS: First year medical (n=101), nursing (n=81), and physician associate (n=35) students were invited to complete an anonymous online survey which included items related to demographic information and the Readiness for Interprofessional Learning Scale. Scores were compared by the general linear model and Duncan's multiple range test while controlling for demographic differences.
RESULTS: All three groups scored in the high range, indicating readiness for shared learning. Female students, those with advanced degrees, and those with healthcare experience prior to enrolment in health professional school had significantly higher scores than their counterparts. After controlling for differences in demographic factors, nursing students scored significantly higher than physician associate and medical students (F = 6.22, 0.0025).
CONCLUSIONS: Health professions students demonstrated readiness for interprofessional learning early in their academic programs, however important differences in baseline readiness emerged. These findings suggest that educators consider baseline attitudes of students when designing interprofessional education curricula, and use caution when extrapolating data from other geographies or cultures.
- Interprofessional education
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