Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access Thesis

Degree Name

Medical Doctor (MD)



First Advisor

Eve R. Colson



The Yale Schools of Medicine and Nursing and the Yale Physician Associate (PA) Program are collaborating to implement an interprofessional curriculum. Although healthcare organizations have called for interprofessional education (IPE), such initiatives have been difficult to implement. Per the Kern framework of curriculum development, design and implementation is likely to be more successful if a needs assessment is done as the first step.


To better understand healthcare professional students’ perspectives about IPE as part of a needs assessment for developing an IPE curriculum.


Because little is known about stakeholder perceptions of IPE, we used a qualitative, content analysis approach. We conducted in-depth, semi-structured interviews of students from the three health professional programs at Yale. Sixteen students were selected using purposeful sampling. Interviews were audiotaped, transcribed and stored in Atlas-ti. A focus group was conducted with volunteers at the HAVEN student-run clinic to triangulate the data and see if any new ideas emerged. Members of an interprofessional team individually conducted open coding of transcripts. Codes were compared using an iterative process and constant comparative method, resulting in emerging categories. Data collection at this stage stopped when a saturation of concepts and codes was reached.


Many emerging concepts were identified, including a number of implications for an IPE curriculum. The students’ ideas are organized into five categories: culture and teamwork, communication, roles, hidden curriculum, and implementation of IPE. These categories lead to a conceptual model for an interprofessional curriculum: the curriculum should build teamwork and teach about roles, information about other professions’ training curricula, communication, and conflict resolution, and the curriculum can be delivered in an interprofessional setting where a student’s responsibilities are based on competencies


Our study shows student perspectives that imply a conceptual model for an interprofessional curriculum. Student perceptions will inform curriculum development, improving the likelihood of success.

Open Access

This Article is Open Access