IPE and the rural and remote practice context

Teamwork is an essential part of providing effective health care when working in a rural and remote setting. Incorporating interprofessional education in a rural clinical placement can enhance a placement by:

  • enabling students to target a key clinical goal of working in a team
  • increased exposure to other professions
  • increased understanding of roles within a team
  • reinforcing client-centred care

Exchange opportunities between rural and urban clinicians are another way of actively learning from peers.  Work shadowing allows the rural clinician to access specialist knowledge and resources to observe practical applications of skills and also to extend professional networks.  Work shadowing is an effective use of the rural clinician’s time because the learning is targeted and intensive.  The practical nature of work shadowing secondments ensures that relevant work skills are applied rapidly to the workplace and consolidated by the clinician. 

For information about interprofessional education including tools, refer to  Interprofessional Education.


Rural and remote IPE Resources



  • Health Workforce Australia. Expanded scopes of practice program.
  • Health Education Training Institute (2012). The Learning Guide – A handbook for allied health professionals facilitating learning in the workplace. Sydney: HETI. Retrieved from
  • National Rural Health Student Network (2013). Extended scope of practice, emerging health professions and rural career pathway attraction opportunities position paper.
  • National Rural Health Student Network (2012). Inter Professional Education (IPE) position paper. 
  • Smith, T., Stone, N. & Bull, R. (2008). In Liaw, S. & Kilpatrick, S. (Eds.).  A textbook of Australian Rural Health. Australian Rural Health Education Network, Canberra.


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