Is dentistry at risk? A case for interprofessional education.
Additional Document Info
The goal of interprofessional education (IPE) is to bring various professional groups together in the educational environment to promote collaborative practice and improve the health care of patients. Interest in IPE has been sparked by several factors in the health care system, including the increased awareness of oral-systemic connections, an aging population, the shift of the burden of illness from acute to chronic care, and lack of access to basic oral care. Increasingly, since the publication of the U.S. surgeon general's report in 2000, the dialogue surrounding IPE in dentistry has escalated. But how has dentistry changed regarding IPE since the report was released? This position paper argues that little has changed in the way dental students are taught and prepared to participate in IPE. The authors contend that academic dentistry and organized dentistry must take the lead in initiating and demanding IPE if dental students are to be prepared to work in the health care environment of the twenty-first century. Included are reasons why IPE is necessary and why dentistry must lead the conversation and participate in the solution to the oral health care crisis. It explores existing models and alternate approaches to IPE, barriers to implementation, and proposed strategies for academic institutions.