To the Editor:
On behalf of the University of British Columbia (UBC), one of the academic institutions cited in the most recent article by Drs. Paradis and Whitehead, “Beyond the Lamppost: A Proposal for a Fourth Wave of Education for Collaboration,”1 we would like to clarify misconceptions about the implementation of interprofessional education (IPE) at our institution and present our current work, which we argue places us firmly in the fourth wave of education for collaboration.
The authors cite the work of Dr. John McCreary at UBC as an example of a failed attempt during the first wave of IPE. Although UBC’s Division of Interprofessional Education was not sustainable, it laid the foundation for decades of subsequent collaboration across the health professional programs at UBC through the College of Health Disciplines (2001–2015) and now the Office of UBC Health situated within the provost’s portfolio (2015–present). This evolution has firmly rooted collaboration within the health programs at UBC and has allowed us to move into what we would consider the fourth wave of IPE, which we argue is “integration” and includes a number of the elements proposed by Drs. Paradis and Whitehead.
Our work at UBC is anchored in the provincial priority of team-based care and is developed in partnership with patients, health authorities, government, and students. The evolution of health care towards an integrated system focused on individual and community well-being is a challenge of global importance and urgency; supporting this transformation is a strategic priority for UBC.
Under the umbrella of UBC Health, our programs use an integrated approach to health professional education, which focuses on learning opportunities that address complex areas of health care that benefit from a collaborative approach (ethics, Indigenous cultural safety, e-health, professionalism, and resilience). Technology supports learning that is unique to each profession and provides economies of scale for foundational knowledge common to all programs, while learning is enhanced by interprofessional components that bring together students for collaborative sessions interspersed throughout their programs. This integrated approach has moved IPE from an add-on that was often extracurricular and focused on discreet competencies, to being a part of students’ program requirements, replacing or supplementing current learning that is contextualized within the broader curriculum. Finally, the integrated approach to health professions education at UBC is supported by a unique organizational model with a governance structure that ensures that collaboration is at the heart of our daily operations.
Louise Nasmith, MDCM, MEd, FCFP, FRCPSC(Hon)
Professor, Office of UBC Health, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada; firstname.lastname@example.org.
Victoria Wood, MA
Curriculum manager, Office of UBC Health, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.
Carrie Krekoski, RDH, BDSc (Dental Hygiene), MEd
Practice education manager, Office of UBC Health, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.
1. Paradis E, Whitehead CR. Beyond the lamppost: A proposal for a fourth wave of education for collaboration. Acad Med. 2018;93:14571463.