Challenges

There are several challenges related to targeted professional education:

  • Hierarchical attitudes and silo preferences present challenges to professional education on collaboration. This includes turf protection. One public health professional explained that “a ‘do not enter into my territory’ attitude doesn’t work in collaboration”. This also includes a superior attitude;
  • Students need support. A lack of peer and mentorship support and lack of fostering mutual respect presents barriers to learning and professional development;
  • Financial support for professional education is limited and may be challenging to obtain;
  • Operational plans without inclusion of an explicit focus on public health-primary care collaboration education can impede partnership development.

Summary
Students in the health professions need support to develop an understanding of what it is to learn collaboratively and to participate in the development and exchange of knowledge relevant to intersectoral practice. . For the next generation of public health-primary care collaboration, strength will come from their foundational collaborative intersectoral educational experiences.

Public Health NurseA public health nurse explains his summary of collaborative thinking:
“Collaborative thinking becomes second nature through education by getting it more engrained into our thinking.”