McMaster University

McMaster University

Students sitting on lawn outdoors at McMaster campus


McMaster University has always valued and modeled team work and collaboration. The Faculty of Health Sciences was the first in Canada to include programs in medicine, nursing, physiotherapy, occupational therapy and midwifery in one integrated faculty. We also welcomed the  inaugural class of Physician Assistant students in September 2008, the first in Ontario.

In order to reaffirm the commitment to collaboration, a working group developed recommendations for a new interprofessional curriculum in December 2004, for the purpose of developing an IPE curriculum for students from all health science disciplines.

In keeping with the adult, self-directed learning philosophy at McMaster, the report from the task force recommended that students should be able to choose from a “menu” of IPE events within a mandatory curriculum. Prior to graduation, students would be required to participate in a minimum of 3 IPE events, which would encompass the Four IPE Core Competencies agreed upon by the educational leadership in all health professional programs at McMaster. The philosophical approach agreed upon, reinforced the notion that interprofessional activities should begin early in the student’s program, and occur in both academic and clinical settings.

In May 2007, the IPE office was developed. Supported by an IP Advisory Committee, the office was responsible for working toward developing, piloting and evaluating IPE events for the mandatory core curriculum. The IPE curriculum evolved to focus on the achievement of IPE competencies, where students could select from a menu of events, rather than specific mandatory courses. By providing a choice of IPE events, students have been more willing to engage in learning what is personally most relevant and meaningful. Some examples of these activities include: a tutorial course on Rehabilitation and HIV, a Day in Aboriginal Health, e-learning modules on Ethics, and IPE tutorials in the clinical environment, which complement students’ clinical experiences.

Terms of Reference and Scope – November, 2007

The overall goal of PIPER is to serve as an organizational structure to foster a culture of interprofessional education and collaboration across the Faculty of Health Sciences. PIPER will work with the educational programs to establish integrated and sustainable interprofessional activities.

Goals & Objectives:

  1. Developing and evaluating IPE curricular initiatives to enable learners to obtain mandatory IPE competencies
  2. Increasing the number of faculty who are prepared to develop and facilitate InterProfessional Education (IPE) and InterProfessional Collaboration (IPC), in partnership with the Program for Faculty Development
  3. Developing an evidence base to support IPE and IPC initiatives in partnership with the Program for Educational Research and Development
  4. Serving as a centre of information sharing and resources related to IPE and collaborative practice for faculty and students
  5. Developing IPE experiences in clinical practice settings
  6. Responding to funding opportunities to ensure long term sustainability
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