Niigata University of Health and Welfare

Inter-professional Education

Learning Team Approach in Interprofessional Education (IPE)–Beyond the Departmental Borders

Since NUHW is a comprehensive university consisted of various departments related to health, welfare and sports professions, students are expected to learn some of the characteristics of other professions as well as practical skills useful for team work to serve as a member of “QOL supporters” in the future. As is shown in the Fig. 1 below, the core curriculum is composed of subjects related to IPE and are cumulatively learned from the first year onwards, aiming to produce competent team workers.

In IPE Seminar II, an IPE subject for seniors, the students from different departments make teams and try to solve some specific problems that clients, real or virtual, may experience in life. Throughout this seminar, the participants discuss the problems of the clients and/or their families earnestly in order to establish the best care plans for them. They make presentations of the plans on the last day of the seminar.

During the trial phase of IPE from 2004 to 2007, our university was the only one that conducted IPE in the district of Niigata. Last few years, four different universities around the city of Niigata join our IPE seminar. Moreover, international students from abroad, that is, from the Philippines (Angeles University Foundation and the University of Santo Thomas) and from Taiwan (National Yang-Ming University and Chun Shan Medical University), and from Vietnam (Hai Duong Medical Technical University) are also participating in the seminar. Thus, the circle of IPE is spreading widely.

Fig. 1 Educational goals of interprofessional education and the corresponding subjects for each academic year