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Short Communication

Learning by doing: the MD-PA Interprofessional Education Rural Rotation

Submitted: 11 August 2016
Revised: 12 January 2017
Accepted: 25 January 2017
Published: 22 March 2017

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Author(s) : Palmer RT, Stilp C.

Citation: Palmer RT, Stilp C.  Learning by doing: the MD-PA Interprofessional Education Rural Rotation. Rural and Remote Health (Internet) 2017; 17: 4167. Available: (Accessed 20 October 2017). DOI:


While much investment has gone into developing interprofessional education (IPE) curriculum for healthcare professional students, many of these efforts have focused on classroom rather than clinical environments. Implementing robust IPE experiences into clinical training is often complicated by obstacles such as differing rotating schedules and differing curricular requirements. The Combined Medical-Physician Assistant Student Rural Rotation (Med-PARR) at the Oregon Health and Science University takes a practical approach to these challenges. Med-PARR students participate in focused IPE activities that overlay, or 'float', on top of each trainee’s profession-specific curricular requirements. Through critical reflection, goal setting, and a community-based project, students get the opportunity to critically reflect on their interprofessional roles while participating in their rural clinical settings. The practical approach of the Med-PARR can serve as a model for other institutions seeking to solve similar logistical issues in their own rural and community clinical IPE implementation efforts.

Key words: education, interprofessional collaboration, interprofessional education, interprofessional learning, MD, physician assistant, rural training, USA.

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