Core Principles of Interprofessional Practice

The Core Principles of Interprofessional Practice program seeks to provide students from the health professions at UCSF with interprofessional didactic and clinical experiences that facilitate an appreciation of the diversity of knowledge and perspectives inherent in interprofesional teams that enhance patient care, public service and research.


The first level of the Core Principles of Interprofessional Practice program provides students with early exposure and experience collaborating with other healthcare professional students in small groups in the classroom setting. All first and second-year students from Dentistry, Medicine, Nursing, Pharmacy and Physical Therapy participate in this required curriculum. Small group sessions are held quarterly over the course of two years.

1. Session 1 - What is it all about? Introducing core interprofessional concepts

  • Define interprofessional education (IPE) and interprofessional collaborative practice.
  • Describe the benefits of high functioning interprofessional teams.
  • Define healthcare disparity using the Institute of Medicine model.
  • Brainstorm examples of how interprofessional collaboration can be used as a tool to decrease healthcare disparities.

2. Session 2 - Who is on my team? Understanding roles, responsibilities, and abilities of different professions

  • Describe the roles, responsibilities, and abilities of various health care professions involved in collaborative work, including their training and scopes of practice.
  • Describe one's own professional role in relation to collaborating with other professionals.
  • Demonstrate understanding of professional roles and responsibilities by collaboratively interviewing a simulated patient encounter.
  • Formulate a problem list and recommendations for a caregiver based on collaborative history taking and team discussion.

3. Session 3 - How will our work get done? Understanding communication, accountability and task distribution

  • Describe the importance of communication for effective collaboration.
  • Recognize jargon within one’s own profession, how use of jargon affects interprofessional communication, and strategies for reducing jargon in interprofessional communication.
  • Describe tools and strategies to enhance interpersonal communication and know what purposes they serve.
  • Demonstrate use of strategies and tools that facilitate effective communication and collaboration.

4. Session 4 - How to tackle challenges: Conflict management and negotiation

  • Describe sources of conflict in the healthcare setting.
  • Compare and contrast different styles of managing conflict.
  • Describe one's own conflict management style.
  • Demonstrate basic skills in a three-step approach to managing conflict.

5. Session 5 - How can we work together? Leadership and Membership

  • Identify and analyze leadership compass styles and discuss how to support team members with different styles.
  • Describe tactics of exemplary team members and how they impact team functioning.
  • Demonstrate interprofessional collaboration skills while working in an interprofessional team.


In the second level of the Core Principles of Interprofessional Practice program, students are expected to be able to apply their interprofessional collaboration skills to a standardized patient while working with an interprofessional team of colleagues.  This exercise is designed to provide students with:

  • An opportunity to work with an interprofessional team to care for a patient.
  • The knowledge of the roles of other healthcare professionals in chronic illness care.
  • Experience in developing an interprofessional team care plan.
  • Feedback from a standardized patient and their interprofessional team about their communication and collaboration skills.


In the third level of the Core Principles of Interprofessional Practice program, students are expected to gain experience in each of the Core Principles in their professional programs and to engage in interprofessional activities through elective courses, clinical experiences and volunteer opportunities.