Can We Realize Our Collaborative Potential? A Critical Review of Faculty Roles and Experiences in Interprofessional Education

Francesca M. Cimino*, Lara Varpio, Abigail W. Konopasky, Andrea Barker, Renée E. Stalmeijer, Ting Lan Ma

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Purpose Faculty within interprofessional education (IPE) are essential contributors to IPE implementation efforts. Although the majority of existing IPE literature consists of reports on IPE innovations, few insights are available into the experiences of the faculty members who deliver IPE. This critical narrative review was designed to synthesize the knowledge available about (1) roles assigned to IPE educators and (2) IPE faculty members' experiences of fulfilling these roles. Method Six databases for English-language studies published between 2000 and March 2021 were searched: PubMed, Embase, Web of Science, MEDLINE, CINAHL, PsycINFO, ERIC, and MedEdPortal. A total of 1,717 manuscripts were identified for possible inclusion. After applying inclusion/exclusion criteria, 214 articles constituted the final literature corpus. Harden and Crosby's original framework of 6 roles of medical educators augmented with the manager role introduced in Harden and Lilley's 2018 framework informed the analysis. Results IPE faculty take on all 6 roles identified by Harden and Crosby: facilitator, planner, information provider, examiner, role model, and resource developer, as well as the manager role. Faculty were most commonly identified as facilitator and planner, and rarely as role models. The authors identified 3 main struggles experienced by IPE faculty: personal (e.g., confidence as a cross-professions educator), interpersonal (e.g., co-teaching IPE), and institutional (e.g., supporting IPE logistics). Conclusions This review highlights the complexity of the roles taken on by IPE faculty and the struggles they experience in the process. The results suggest that attention to the different roles that IPE faculty play in educational interventions and to equipping faculty with the necessary competencies, tools, and support, is fundamental to the success of IPE. Future research should harness the explanatory power of theories to help explain dynamics at play between personal, interpersonal, and institutional barriers to identify interventions that can aid IPE faculty in delivering collaboration-ready professionals.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)S87-S95
JournalAcademic Medicine
Issue number11
StatePublished - 1 Nov 2022
Externally publishedYes


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