Intraprofessional workplace learning in postgraduate medical education: a scoping review

Lara Teheux*, Ester H.A.J. Coolen, Jos M.T. Draaisma, Marieke de Visser, Nynke D. Scherpbier-de Haan, Wietske Kuijer-Siebelink, Janiëlle A.E.M. van der Velden

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Residents need to be trained across the boundaries of their own specialty to prepare them for collaborative practice. Intraprofessional learning (i.e. between individuals of different disciplines within the same profession) has received little attention in the postgraduate medical education literature, in contrast to the extensive literature on interprofessional learning between individuals of different professions. To address this gap, we performed a scoping review to investigate what and how residents learn from workplace-related intraprofessional activities, and what factors influence learning. Methods: The PRISMA guidelines were used to conduct a scoping review of empirical studies on intraprofessional workplace learning in postgraduate medical education published between 1 January 2000 to 16 April 2020 in Pubmed, Embase, PsycINFO, ERIC and Web of Science. This study applied ‘best fit’ framework-based synthesis to map the existing evidence, using the presage-process-product (3P) model developed by Tynjälä (2013). Results: Four thousand three hundred thirty records were screened, and 37 articles were included. This review identified influencing (presage) factors that derived from the sociocultural environment, learner and learning context. Studies described that complexity of care can both facilitate and hinder learning. Furthermore, intraprofessional learning is threatened by professional stereotyping and negative perceptions, and awareness of learning opportunities and explicit reflection are critical in intraprofessional workplace learning. Studies described a range of informal and formal intraprofessional activities (process) under the headings of collaboration in clinical practice, rotations or placements, formal educational sessions and simulated workplace training. In general, learners responded well and their attitudes and perceptions improved, learners reported increased knowledge and skills and positive behavioural changes (product). Learning outcomes were reported in the domains of patient-centred care, collaborative attitudes and respect, mutual knowledge and understanding, collaborative decision making, communication, leadership, teamwork and reflexivity. Conclusions: This review gives insight into the high learning potential of intraprofessional activities. Many of the included studies relied on self-reported perceptions of change, therefore, future research should focus on generating more robust evidence including objectively examined outcome measures. This review offers a comprehensive overview of the factors that influence intraprofessional workplace learning in postgraduate medical education. Finally, we provide recommendations for enhancing intraprofessional learning in clinical practice.

Original languageEnglish
Article number479
JournalBMC Medical Education
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Dec-2021
Externally publishedYes


  • Collaborative practice
  • Intraprofessional learning
  • Postgraduate medical education
  • Workplace learning

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