Core Principles of Interprofessional Practice

IPE Session 1 Kick Off

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 Core Principles of Interprofessional Practice program at UCSF includes content and learning experiences related to:

  1. Understanding teams and teamwork
  2. Knowledge of roles and responsibilities of other healthcare professionals
  3. Effective task distribution and follow-up
  4. Usual and crisis communication
  5. Conflict management and negotiation
  6. Strategies for effective team membership and leadership


UCSF is dedicated to the advancement of IPE education, and 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. The curriculum is delivered using a "flipped classroom" format with online modules that are complemented by a facilitated small group session in which students apply knowledge and practice skills learned in the online module. All first and second-year students from Dentistry, Medicine, Nursing, Pharmacy and Physical Therapy participate in this curriculum. Small group sessions are held quarterly and are spread over the course of two years.

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

  • Define interprofessional education (IPE) and interprofessional collaborative practice.
  • Discuss the evidence regarding benefits of interprofessional collaborative practice, including the impact on quality and safety of patient care.
  • Compare and contrast different forms of interprofessional collaboration.
  • Discuss factors that influence interprofessional collaboration.
  • Describe key elements of effective interprofessional team-based care.
  • Identify barriers to interprofessional collaborative practice.

2. Module/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.
  • Describe the process by which the scope of practice for a healthcare professional is determined.
  • Discuss and describe the role of the patients, their families and community representatives as integral partners in the collaborative care delivery process.
  • Assess how different clinical settings might affect the roles and responsibilities of health professionals.

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

  • List the benefits of collaborative practice to your work.
  • Describe the importance of communication for effective collaboration.
  • Identify essential elements of effective communication.
  • Demonstrate use of strategies and tools that facilitate effective communication and collaboration.
  • Identify ways to distribute and follow-up on tasks among interprofessional health care providers.

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

  • Describe sources of conflict in the healthcare setting.
  • Describe two main types of conflict and how they are interrelated, as well as the impact on team functioning.
  • Compare and contrast different styles of managing conflict.
  • Describe one's own conflict management style.
  • Demonstrate a three-step approach to managing conflict.
  • Describe communication strategies helpful in the management of conflict.

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

  • Define clinical leadership.
  • Discuss leadership functions that facilitate team-based health care.
  • Describe the concepts and importance of psychological safety and leader inclusiveness.
  • Analyze one's own strengths, areas for development and leadership style.
  • Define team membership styles and their impact.
  • Demonstrate use of strategies and tools for effective healthcare team leadership and membership.


In the second level of the Core Principles of Interprofessional Practice program, students are expected to be able to integrate all six Core Principles and apply them 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 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.