We describe an interprofessional educator development program, designed intentionally, that was implemented at an academic healthcare centre. In 2014, we purposefully adapted our pre-existing educator development program to be able to include all interprofessional educators at our institution. The program’s goals were to enhance educator skills, a common need due to requirements of accreditation, and to create a local interprofessional community of teachers. The framework of the program was based upon adult learning principles, reflective practice, experiential learning and peer groups, all key characteristics of faculty development programs. It was also longitudinal and immersive. Kirkpatrick’s program evaluation model was used for identifying results; participants’ self-reported evaluation forms were collected and their narrative comments were analyzed.
After we opened our educator program to all interprofessional staff, our number of program participants increased. The interprofessional participants included, but was not limited to, physicians, physician trainees, nurses, physician assistants, audiologists, perfusionists, and basic science researchers. Our number of program sessions and program faculty were expanded. Our interprofessional participants reported that they were able to learn essential knowledge, skills and attitudes for their growth and development as educators, in the context of an interprofessional community, while also appreciating the diversity of their peers.
We share our insights with the redesign and implementation of an interprofessional educator program so that others can learn from our experiences. Key takeaways include using a conceptual framework for teaching effectiveness, involving interprofessional stakeholders and obtaining their perspectives, reviewing interprofessional literature and competencies, and highlighting best practices across the disciplines.