Book Review: Interprofessional Education and Medical Libraries: Partnering for Success

By | 2nd November 2017

Interprofessional Education and Medical Libraries: Partnering for Success
by Mary E. Edwards
Rowman and Littlefield Publishers, USA, 2016
222 pages, $95.00
ISBN 978-1-44226-389-5



Reviewed by
Traci-lee Christianson ,Student, Department of Applied Psychology Concordia University of Edmonton

Interprofessional Education and Medical Libraries: Partnering for Success is edited by Mary E. Edwards, the reference and liaison librarian at the University of Florida Health Science Center Libraries. Edwards provides a concise description of interprofessional education (IPE) and its importance for healthcare professionals as well as their patients. The book is geared towards medical educators new to IPE, experienced IPE practitioners, and medical librarians looking to learn more about the ways in which libraries can support interprofessional initiatives. Various IPE programs are broken down so the reader is able to discern what might be of use to them, how they can implement change within their institution, or how they can begin to plan and develop new IPE programs. A focus throughout the book is the expansion of the interprofessional care team to include the clinical medical librarian. The reader quickly becomes aware of the importance of IPE, the librarian’s role within the interdisciplinary care team, and the positive impact the librarian can have on the implementation, planning, and development of IPE programs.

The book begins by providing the reader with foundational information, with the first chapter providing a brief history of IPE programs across several countries. The second and third chapters provide an introduction to the educational, social psychological, and organizational theories that have implications in the development of IPE curricula and relevant instructional theories and practices that can be employed to increase the success of the IPE program.

The midsection of the book addresses the barriers to IPE, provides frameworks for organizational change, and case studies to demonstrate the application of the aforementioned frameworks. It also touches on the over-arching importance of organizational culture and the impact that IPE can have on it. It includes recommendations for designing, planning and implementing IPE programs and introduces the idea of using librarians as leaders in development because of their neutrality within the health sciences. Chapter six provides an example of a unique and successful IPE program that others may draw from in developing and implementing their own IPE program. Chapter seven discusses the impact that IPE has on patient safety and provides models for IPE courses that have the potential to improve patient safety in different contexts and maximizes the potential education of the learners.

The latter portion of the book discusses librarians not only as a neutral entity but as a valuable resource in the development and implementation of IPE programs and provides ways in which librarians can reach out in order to forge relationships that will enable them to successfully support IPE. Chapter nine elaborates on professionals and disciplines that comprise the interprofessional care team, with an emphasis on the clinical medical librarian’s role. Chapter ten, “Assessing Interprofessional Education”, discusses various evaluation models and their strengths and weaknesses.

The book is logically organized as each chapter author(s) builds on the information provided in the previous chapters. The language used is concise and easily understood by the reader. Examples and case studies are used to illuminate the applicability of the concepts being discussed and the information provided is supported by substantive references and, in some cases, demonstrated using figures and tables.

This book is an excellent resource for librarians and medical educators alike. The overview of IPE and the barriers the reader may encounter are clearly articulated. The techniques and resources provided are both relevant and applicable in diverse contexts.