OBJECTIVE: To explore the status and processes of interprofessional work environments and the implications for interprofessional education in a sample of family medicine teaching clinics. DESIGN: Focus group interviews using a purposive sampling procedure. SETTING: Four academic family medicine clinics in Alberta. PARTICIPANTS: Seven family physicians, 9 registered nurses, 5 licensed practical nurses, 2 residents, 1 psychologist, 1 informatics specialist, 1 pharmacist, 1 dietitian, 1 nurse practitioner, 1 receptionist, and 1 respiratory therapist. METHODS: Assessment of clinic status and performance in relation to established principles of interprofessional work and education was explored using semistructured focus group interviews. MAIN FINDINGS: Our data supported the D'Amour and Oandasan model of successful interprofessional collaborative practice in terms of the model's main "factors" (ie, shared goals and vision, sense of belonging, governance, and the structuring of clinical care) and their constituent "elements." It is reasonable to conclude that the extent to which these factors and elements are both present and positively oriented in academic clinic settings is an important contributory factor to the establishment of interprofessional collaborative practice in primary care. Using this model, 2 of the 4 clinics were rated as expressing substantial progress in relation to interprofessional work, while the other 2 clinics were rated as less successful on that dimension. None of the clinics was identified as having a clear and explicit focus on providing interprofessional education. CONCLUSION: The key factor in relation to the implementation of interprofessional work in primary care appears to be the existence of clear and explicit leadership in that direction. Substantial scope exists for improvement in the organization, conduct, and promotion of interprofessional education for Canadian primary care.
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