The Faculty of Health Sciences at McMaster University has a dedicated Program for the teaching and facilitation of Interprofessional Education, the Program for Interprofessional Practice, Education, and Research (PIPER)
. The integration of multiple healthcare modalities under one faculty gives students the opportunity to work with a variety of complimentary care providers to learn alternative modalities of care. During their first two years, students will be given the opportunities to directly interface with students of other healthcare branches, developing necessary skills in cross profession communication. The competencies developed during these courses will enhance a midwife’s ability to liaise effectively, increasing team effectiveness and providing the best care possible to their clients.
During third year, midwifery students will have the opportunity to engage in two rounds of three placements with other maternity and newborn healthcare providers. In the first section, these will include a period in an obstetrical office, a period in a labour and delivery setting, and a third elective placement. The second section will provide two weeks in a neonatal intensive care unit, two weeks on a postpartum maternity ward, and two weeks in a community placement related to maternity or infant care. Previous examples of elective choices have included lactation consultants, social services, or shelters. These placements will give students an opportunity to experience other modalities of maternity care, building an understanding of the systems in which midwives frequently refer, consult, and work within.