Best practices in interprofessional education and training in surgery: Experiences from American College of Surgeons−Accredited Education Institutes

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Interprofessional education (IPE) in health care describes a process for training that places health care learners from different professional disciplines into an environment or situation in which shared or linked educational goals are pursued. IPE represents a new way of thinking about education as a value proposition directed at high-quality interprofessional patient care and as such is an innovative strategy endorsed in statements by the Institute of Medicine and the World Health Organization. The requirements of the American College of Surgeons−accredited Education Institutes (ACS-AEIs) for Comprehensive (Level I) accreditation state that education and training activities at the accredited institutes (simulation centers) must be multidisciplinary in nature. Until recently, concepts of shared interprofessional educational goals and facilitation of interdisciplinary colearning have not been addressed explicitly by the Consortium of ACS-AEIs.


In March 2012, the ACS Education Division convened a forum on IPE at the Annual Meeting of the Consortium of ACS-accredited Education Institutes in Chicago, IL. Five different ACS-AEI perspectives on IPE and training were presented, covering (1) simulation-based crisis resource management training for operating room teams, (2) the use of multidisciplinary simulation at an academic medical center-based simulation facility, (3) the development of a collaborative IPE curriculum between nursing and medical schools at a major university, (4) the development of a simulation-based interprofessional obstetrics educational program at a university medical center, and (5) the development of an interprofessional macrosystem simulation program in conjunction with opening a new hospital facility. We describe these experiences and present them as best practices in simulation-based IPE in surgery.


These IPE experiences in the ACS-AEIs reflect varied and robust approaches to integrated interdisciplinary teaching and learning. Demands and directives to increase these types of educational activities in the near future will have to be met with a wider range of offerings and greater specific knowledge and expertise within the ACS-AEI Consortium.

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