Background: With the rapid aging of the population, collaboration among the various medical professions throughout the country is becoming increasingly indispensable in Japan. To promote collaboration in medical care, it is necessary to introduce the concept of collaboration to students at an early stage of their professional education. Despite this need, there are no core medical, healthcare and welfare education curricula in Japan that include interprofessional education (IPE). Therefore, the status of IPE in Japanese schools of medicine and other healthcare-related services is unclear.

Methods: We sent 3,430 questionnaires to 13 schools of medicine and related healthcare providers: doctors, nurses, physical therapists, registered dieticians, dentists, dental hygienists, social workers, pharmacists, occupational therapists, clinical psychologists, medical administrators, certified care workers, and speech therapists. The items addressed implementation rate of IPE, teaching methods and grading methods.

Results: Of the 3,430 surveys distributed, 572 completed surveys were returned (response rate 17%). Of the completed surveys, 493 qualified as valid, resulting in a final response rate of 14%. Only 19% (n = 93) of the analysed medical educational institutions included IPE instruction in their curricula.

Conclusion: While many educational institutions were conducting IPE, there were important inter-institutional differences with respect to attitudes towards IPE, teaching methods, and evaluation methods. This study was unprecedented in scale, and provides important basic information for the future development of IPE in Japan.

Keywords:        Interprofessional Education, Healthcare Professions, Teaching Methods, Grading Methods, Collaboration

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