Interprofessional identity development within a brief shadowing experience: An exploratory case study

Leslie N. Woltenberg, J. A. Ballard, D. A. Gnonhossou, J. C. Norton, P. V. Burkhart, J. Kuperstein

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


The Deans’ Interprofessional Honors Colloquium (DIHC) is an honors-level interprofessional elective course that provides a seminar-based forum for students from eleven academic programs to explore the characteristics and implications of collaborative interprofessional practice around a contemporary health topic. This project-based course combines didactic presentations, interactive group learning, and an interprofessional shadowing experience with a corresponding written reflection paper. Ten semesters of Interprofessional Shadowing Reflections (n = 401) were studied via thematic and content analyses to examine the extent to which a brief interprofessional shadowing experience influenced interprofessional identity development. Interprofessional socialization framework was employed as a lens to refine themes and to track students’ trajectory in developing a dual professional identity. This exploratory case study indicated that nearly all participants’ reflections included content indicative of the second stage (interprofessional role learning) of the interprofessional socialization framework, and many progressed toward the third stage (dual identity development). Major themes included emergent role learning, increased differentiation among roles and care models, and increased appreciation for other professionals. The experience provided an opportunity for correction of misconceptions and improved understanding of the role and practice of other professions. Nearly all of the participating students (1) reflected on the benefits of interprofessional collaboration and (2) indicated a desire to work interprofessionally in the future, an early indication of dual identity formation. Findings indicated that the interprofessional shadowing experience and written reflection were highly valuable elements of the DIHC and provided a critical opportunity for interprofessional identity development.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Interprofessional Care
StateAccepted/In press - 2019

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019, © 2019 Taylor & Francis Group, LLC.


  • Collaboration
  • interprofessional education
  • interprofessional identity
  • professional identity
  • shadowing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (all)


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