On Being a Team Player: Evidence-Based Heuristic for Teamwork in Interprofessional Education

Eduardo Salas, University of Central Florida
Elizabeth H. Lazzara, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University
Lauren E. Benishek, University of Central Florida
Heidi King, United States Department of Defense

Dr. Lazzara was not affiliated with Embry-RIddle Aeronautical University at the time this paper was published.


Identifying the need of a team-based approach for improving quality care, there has been growth in creating and implementing interprofessional education (IPE). The goal of IPE curricula should be to instill the knowledge, skills, and attitudes required for optimal teamwork. With this objective in mind, this paper will provide a streamlined, evidence-based, memorable heuristic of teamwork that could guide interprofessional educators. Rooted in science, this heuristic consists of the six Cs of teamwork – cooperation, communication, conflict, coordination, coaching, and cognition. This paper will define the ‘Cs’ of teamwork and describe their importance, implications, and strategies for integration within interprofessional curricula.