Interprofessional education (IPE) is promoted as a necessary precursor to the implementation of the collaborative practices in patient care thought to improve teamwork and communication among health care providers, patients, their families, and communities. Yet barriers to IPE persist, due largely to a lack of understanding on the part of health care team members about the norms and practices of health professions outside their own. A by-product of social interactions within groups and networks, social capital is a collective asset that contributes to the development of trust, innovation, and coordination of efforts toward mutual goals. Duke AHEAD (Academy for Health Professions Education and Academic Development), an interprofessional educator academy, is examined through the lens of social capital theory as a viable means of breaking down barriers to IPE, thereby improving patient care.
L.S. Lee is associate professor of the practice emerita of medical education, Duke University School of Medicine, Durham, North Carolina.
C. O’Connor Grochowski is associate dean for curricular affairs and associate professor of the practice of medical education, Duke University School of Medicine, Durham, North Carolina.
T.M. Valiga is professor emerita, Duke University School of Nursing, Durham, North Carolina; fellow, PhD Program, Villanova University M. Louise Fitzpatrick College of Nursing, Villanova, Pennsylvania; and senior visiting professor, Virginia Commonwealth University School of Nursing, Richmond, Virginia.
M. von Isenburg is associate dean for library services and archives, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, North Carolina.
D. Bures McNeill is director of Duke AHEAD (Academy for Health Professions Education and Academic Development) and professor of medicine, Duke University School of Medicine, Durham, North Carolina.
Acknowledgments: The authors acknowledge the efforts of Kristin Dickerson, Morgan deBlecourt, and Elizabeth Cook for their assistance in the preparation, review, and editing of this manuscript.
Funding/Support: None reported.
Other disclosures: The authors report no conflicts of interest.
Ethical approval: Reported as not applicable.
Correspondence should be addressed to Diana Bures McNeill, Duke AHEAD (Academy for Health Professions Education and Academic Development), 3015 Trent Semans Center for Health Education, DUMC Box 3158, Durham, NC 27710; email: firstname.lastname@example.org; Twitter: @ahead_duke.