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Rural multidisciplinary training: opportunity to focus on interprofessional rapport-building

Submitted: 29 August 2016
Revised: 3 March 2017
Accepted: 28 March 2017
Published: 29 August 2017

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Author(s) : Hudson JN, Croker A.

Judith HudsonAnne Croker

Citation: Hudson JN, Croker A.  Rural multidisciplinary training: opportunity to focus on interprofessional rapport-building. Rural and Remote Health (Internet) 2017; 17: 4180. Available: (Accessed 19 October 2017)


In 2016, the Australian Government committed further funds in support of quality rural health education to improve the health and wellbeing of rural and remote communities. The stated funding requirement for longer rural placements in all disciplines is an exciting opportunity for greater investment in interprofessional education to foster collaborative practice, a global system imperative for health care. †This commentary explores how findings from earlier research, which investigated how students in a co-located area learn to work with other health professions, can be translated into practice. While recognising the importance of an individualís interpersonal capabilities, this commentary focuses on how the core contextual conditions for interprofessional-rapport-building opportunities (shared space, adequate time and balance of disciplines) were considered in one rural centre.

Educational leaders and academics globally should recognise that offering health professional students opportunity to live and work together in extended placements in rural settings has potential benefits for interprofessional education. Understanding the contextual conditions for building rapport between health professional learners, and reflecting on these, potentially will lay the foundation for collaborative practice when these learners become health professionals. Through the reflective questions we pose, policy-makers, health managers and clinical leaders from all health disciplines can build on this foundation by considering the interpersonal capability and contextual conditions for rapport-building in the health workforce to foster a collaborative practice environment for graduates to embrace when they enter the health workplace.

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