In the coming years, learning communities will become a fundamental organizing principle in the education of health professionals. Education within learning communities will prioritize the formation of units in which continuity in teaching, advising and mentoring relationships between students and faculty enhances personal and professional growth. Learning communities will positively shape health care learning environments to reinforce professionalism, caring attitudes and well-being, broadly impacting students, faculty and health care delivery. Thus, the creation of learning communities will become a mark of excellence in an institution’s commitment to train humanistic health practitioners and impart a sense of wholeness to health professions education.
The LCI acknowledges that its starting point is with undergraduate medical education in the United States and Canada. However, we envision that learning communities will have broad appeal with collaboration of learning communities across the health professions. Coalitions will form among students, faculty and educational leaders from a variety of disciplines, including medicine, dentistry, nursing, and the allied health fields, and serve as a catalyst for growth in inter-professional education.