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Background: Team-based care has been proposed as a way to utilize rural healthcare resources wisely. Thus, the need to educate healthcare profession students in the fundamentals of rural team-based practice has increased in recent years. Thisstudy sought to examine student reflections of a rural interprofessional practice and education (IPE) program in an effort to learn how students described their experience and what they valued.

Methods and findings: Student reflection journals from a formal rural IPE program were examined for themes related to post-experience values, attitudes, and beliefs. In general, the time spent in rural IPE led to understanding what it means to live and provide care as a team to a rural community. One important new discovery is that social interactions outside formal IPE curriculum are central to achieving programmatic goals.

Conclusion: Understanding the significance of rural IPE and how to guide students both inside and outside the clinical setting will help lead the development of future IPE. The findings of this study shed light on what students valued in a rural IPE experience and, thus, have implications for where institutional resources should be concentrated.


Originally published in Journal of Research in Interprofessional Practice and Education. 2019. Volume 9. Issue 1.