Patient with Kaposi’s Sarcoma: Teaching students medicine management therapy
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Interprofessional education (IPE) is a cornerstone in advancing health professional education, with the aim of improving the overall quality of healthcare.1 The World Health Organization (WHO) states: “Interprofessional education occurs when two or more professions learn about, from and with each other to enable effective collaboration and improve health outcomes”.2 IPE enables students to function within the broader health workforce team, with the aim of transferring this skill into their future practice environment, by having a shared goal to improve the quality of care and patient outcomes. Teamwork and interprofessional collaboration are critical to patient safety; however, many allied health graduates often feel ill-prepared to participate in a collaborative practice setting. There are many barriers to the systematic integration of interprofessional education and collaboration in pharmacy undergraduate training programmes in South Africa. Not many South African pharmacy schools are linked to a medical school or have regular access to teaching hospitals. In the School of Pharmacy at the University of the Western Cape, members of staff in Clinical Pharmacy are required to precept pharmacy students during their clinical placements across Cape Town health facilities. Following a patient-centred approach directed at medicine-related needs, academic pharmacists work with patients, their physicians and families towards a safe and effective medication therapy plan, which is modelled on the principles of teamwork and collaboration with students from other health disciplines. With a case vignette, I highlight the role of faculty in the practice environment working within a team in the provision of quality care.