First Advisor

Candyce Reynolds

Date of Publication

Spring 6-5-2017

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) in Educational Leadership: Postsecondary Education


Educational Leadership and Policy




Interprofessional education, Rural health services, Medical students -- Attitudes, Medical personnel -- Recruiting, Health care teams, Rural medicine, Medically underserved areas



Physical Description

1 online resource (v, 239 pages)


As the cost for health care delivery increases, so does the demand for access to care. However, individuals in a rural community often do not have access to the care they need. Shortages of rural health care professionals are an ever-increasing problem. The Affordable Care Act of 2010 sought to increase health care access by focusing on team-based care delivery. Thus, the need to educate health care students in the fundamentals of team-based practice has led to an increased emphasis on Interprofessional Education (IPE). While past research focused on urban IPE, a literature gap exists for the effects of a rural team-based educational experience on practice location decisions. This study examined how rural IPE influenced health profession students' perspectives of what it means to be a member of a rural health care team and explored what factors go into making decisions of where to live and provide care. Motivational Theory provided the framework for a mixed methods approach with data from student reflective journaling and a post-experience Q sort. Analysis yielded important understandings about the impact of rural IPE. Accordingly, having a rural IPE experience provided positive motivation for returning after graduation. Further, the time spent in rural IPE generated understandings of what it means to live and provide care to a rural community. One important new discovery gained is the clinical setting is not where most IPE took place. As a result, social interactions with fellow students and community members achieved the goals of rural IPE. Despite these influential findings, noted barriers to genuine rural IPE persisted. In the end, students, educators, and rural health care professionals need to be aware of the multiple factors that guide decisions of where to live and provide care.


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