“Interprofessional education occurs when students from two or more professions learn about, from, and with each other to enable effective collaboration and improve health outcomes.”

Source: World Health Organization (WHO), “Framework for action on interprofessional education & collaborative practice”


Interprofessional Education (IPE) refers to occasions when students from two or more professions in healthcare learn together during all or part of their professional training, with the goal of cultivating collaborative practice techniques for providing improved, patient-centered care. Such patient-centered care is at the heart of practice transformation and the move by the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to promote value-based care and payment for healthcare services that directly links performance on cost, quality and the patient’s experience of care.


Interprofessional education ultimately seeks to promote interprofessional treatment, so that students who undergo training which emphasizes collaborative, comprehensive, patient-centered care will in turn provide the same level of care when they enter the workforce as physicians, nurses, pharmacists, nurse practitioners, social workers, and other healthcare professionals. This approach defines the AHEC Scholars Program and enhances the Clinical Education Program at AHEC West. The GGEAR (Geriatrics and Gerontology Education and Research) and GAIT (Geriatric Assessment Interdisciplinary Team) programs are additional examples of collaborative IPE programs being spearheaded by AHEC West.

To promote Interprofessional Education for the existing healthcare workforce, AHEC West maintains an Interprofessional Health Education Committee (IHEC) that works to develop IPE programs for healthcare providers throughout Western Maryland. Through the IHEC, AHEC West staff and others representing various health professions identify important topics for healthcare professionals to address collaboratively. These topics then form the basis for future Continuing Education and other training programs.