Collaboration, a relationship of interdependence, requires the recognition of complementary roles. Traditionally, physicians generally have not demonstrated collaboration in their work with nurses; nurses, on the other hand, have more often sought a collaborative relationship. But the rapidly changing, increasingly complex and constraining world of health care requires that doctors, nurses, and the institutions that educate and employ them reevaluate the doctor-nurse relationship and assess the value of making it a more collaborative one. This essay deals with the phenomenon of collaboration, why there are compelling reasons to promote it, the barriers that exist between nurses and physicians in achieving collaborative relationships, and strategies to promote change. Comments of experienced observers and summaries of the pertinent research literature are presented.
(C) 1992 Association of American Medical Colleges