The subjective experience of collaboration in interprofessional tutor teams: A qualitative study

Research output: Contribution to journalResearch articleContributedpeer-review



Aim: The Center for Interprofessional Training in Medicine at the Faculty of Medicine Carl Gustav Carus at the Technische Universität Dresden, Germany, has offered courses covering interprofessional material since the winter semester 2014/15. The unusual feature of these courses is that they are co-taught by peer tutors from medicine and nursing. This study investigates the subjective experiences of these tutors during the collaborative preparation and teaching of these tutorials with the aim of identifying the effects of equal participation in the perceptions and assessments of the other professional group.

Method: Semi-structured, guideline-based interviews were held with six randomly selected tutors. The interviews were analyzed using structuring content analysis.

Results: The results show that collaborative work led to reflection, mostly by the university student tutors, on the attitudes held. However, the co-tutors from each professional group were perceived to different degrees as being representative of those in their profession. Asked to master a shared assignment in a non-clinical context, the members of the different professional groups met on equal footing, even if the medical students had already gathered more teaching experience and thus mostly assumed a mentoring role over the course of working on and realizing the teaching units. The nursing tutors were primarily focused on their role as tutor. Both professional groups emphasized that prior to the collaboration they had an insufficient or no idea about the theoretical knowledge or practical skills of the other professional group. Overall, the project was rated as beneficial, and interprofessional education was endorsed.

Conclusion: In the discussion, recommendations based on the insights are made for joint tutor training of both professional groups. According to these recommendations, harmonizing the teaching abilities of all tutors is essential to ensure equality during cooperation. Ideally, training programs should be attended together by medical and nursing students to emphasize their shared identity as "tutor".

Keywords: Interprofessional Relations; Peer Tutoring; Social Identification; Teaching and Learning; medical education.


Original languageEnglish
Article number25
Number of pages11
JournalGMS Journal for Medical Education
Issue number33(2)
Publication statusPublished - 29 Apr 2016

External IDs

Scopus 84964833869