Excellent oncology care requires the close collaboration of numerous professionals. Extending and enhancing interdisciplinary care will require interprofessional education (IPE)for students which develops their understanding of the strengths, capabilities, skills, roles, and cultures of other professionals and teaches the communication and collaboration skills essential for effective teamwork. Integration of palliative care is now recommended at the time of a cancer diagnosis?regardless of prognosis?and palliative care, by its very nature, requires interdisciplinary patient-centered care to meet the complex needs of oncology patients. This project will develop a critical mass of competent equipped oncology educators skilled in the development and implementation of IPE for palliative oncology care. Through faculty development webinars and materials, a train-the-trainer workshop, ongoing educational activities and mentoring by experienced interprofessional educators, 160 health science educators (representing the fields of medicine, nursing, social work and chaplaincy) from 35-50 institutions will develop the skills, knowledge and resources to overcome barriers to IPE and teach oncology palliative care and teamwork to students of multiple disciplines. Guided by this project?s faculty, the trainees will work in interprofessional faculty teams to develop a plan for implementing an IPE curriculum in palliative oncology at their site. Trainee and institutional outcomes will be evaluated using validated instruments and a pre/post-test design. A national summit on interdisciplinary palliative oncology education will be held at the completion of the project; sites will share their experiences and other interested educators will be invited to attend and present their own initiatives.
(Relevance) Excellent care of patients diagnosed with cancer requires the integration of palliative care and the close collaboration of professionals from many disciplines including physicians, nurses, chaplains, and social workers. Through faculty development webinars, online modules and a train-the- trainer program, this project will train 160 health science educators to provide interprofessional education in oncology palliative care at 35- 50 institutions across the nation. As a result, students of the health sciences at these institutions will learn the skills and knowledge essential for providing effective team-based, patient-centered palliative oncology care.