A Context-Learning Pharmacotherapy Program for Preclinical Medical Students Leads to More Rational Drug Prescribing During Their Clinical Clerkship in Internal Medicine
ABSTRACT The irrational prescribing of drugs seems to be a general problem in medical practice, occasionally leading to serious consequences. In order to improve the drug prescribing performance of medical students, a compulsory context-learning pharmacotherapy module was implemented in 1998 in the medical curriculum of 2nd-4th-year medical students at theVU University Medical Center (VUmc), Amsterdam, The Netherlands. As part of this program, preclinical medical students are taught how to select, prescribe, and evaluate a drug regimen rationally. The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of this preclinical pharmacotherapy program on the quality of rational prescribing during the ensuing clinical clerkship of these students in internal medicine. The results of this study indicate that preclinical context-learning in pharmacotherapy leads to the use of more rational prescribing modalities by medical students during their ensuing clinical clerkship in internal medicine. This effect was obtained not only with respect to the clinical topics in which training had been given as part of the pharmacotherapy curriculum, but also for other disease situations that the students dealt with. This implies that students not only remember the specific information they have learned during the training, but are also able to apply the acquired skills in new situations (transfer effect).
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ABSTRACT: Prescribing is a characteristic role of a medical practitioner. On graduating from medical school, students are presumed to have acquired the necessary pharmacology knowledge underpinning the therapeutics and developed their personal skills and behaviors in order to write a safe and effective prescription (The Four Ps). However, there are reports of errors in medical prescribing and dissatisfied feedback from recent graduates, which evidence potential flaws in the current training in the practice of prescribing. We examine the Four Ps from a systems approach and offer scope for educators and curriculum designers to review and reflect on their current undergraduate teaching, learning, and assessment strategies in a similar manner. We also adopt a national framework of common competencies required of all prescribers to remain effective and safe in their area of practice as a more objective layer to the broader learning outcomes of the General Medical Council Tomorrow's Doctors 2009. This exercise demonstrates where standard, recognized competencies for safe prescribing can be accommodated pedagogically within existing medical curricula.04/2015; 2015(6):279-295. DOI:10.2147/AMEP.S56179
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ABSTRACT: Background Prescribing is a complex and challenging task that must be part of a logical deductive process based on accurate and objective information and not an automated action, without critical thinking or a response to commercial pressure. The objectives of this study were 1) develop and implement a discipline based on the WHO’s Guide to Good Prescribing; 2) evaluate the course acceptance by students; 3) assess the impact that the Rational Use of Medicines (RUM) knowledge had on the students habits of prescribing medication in the University Hospital. Methods In 2003, the RUM principal, based in the WHO's Guide to Good Prescribing, was included in the official curriculum of the Botucatu School of Medicine, Brazil, to be taught over a total of 24 hours to students in the 4th year. We analyzed the students' feedback forms about content and teaching methodology filled out immediately after the end of the discipline from 2003 to 2010. In 2010, the use of RUM by past students in their medical practice was assessed through a qualitative approach by a questionnaire with closed-ended rank scaling questions distributed at random and a single semistructured interview for content analysis. Results The discipline teaches future prescribers to use a logical deductive process, based on accurate and objective information, to adopt strict criteria (efficacy, safety, convenience and cost) on selecting drugs and to write a complete prescription. At the end of it, most students considered the discipline very good due to the opportunity to reflect on different actions involved in the prescribing process and liked the teaching methodology. However, former students report that although they are aware of the RUM concepts they cannot regularly use this knowledge in their daily practice because they are not stimulated or even allowed to do so by neither older residents nor senior medical staff. Conclusions This discipline is useful to teach RUM to medical students who become aware of the importance of this subject, but the assimilation of the RUM principles in the institution seems to be a long-term process which requires the involvement of a greater number of the academic members.BMC Medical Education 07/2012; 12(1):56. DOI:10.1186/1472-6920-12-56 · 1.41 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Although the importance of rational prescribing is generally accepted, the teaching of pharmacotherapy to undergraduate medical students is still unsatisfactory. Because clinical teachers are an important role model for medical students, it is of interest to know whether this extends to therapeutic decision-making. The aim of this study was to find out which factors contribute to the drug choices made by medical students and their teachers (general practitioners and clinical specialists). Final-year medical students (n = 32), and general practitioners (n = 29), lung specialists (n = 26), orthopaedic surgeons (n = 24), and internists (n = 24) serving as medical teachers from all eight medical schools in the Netherlands participated in the study. They were asked to prescribe treatment (drug or otherwise) for uncomplicated (A) and complicated (B) written patient cases and to indicate which factors influenced their choice of treatment, using a list of factors reported in the literature to influence drug prescribing. Final-year medical students primarily based their drug choice on the factors 'effectiveness of the drugs' and 'examples from medical teachers'. In contrast, clinical teachers primarily based their drug choice on the factors 'clinical experience', 'effectiveness of the drugs', 'side effects of the drugs', 'standard treatment guidelines', and 'scientific literature'. Medical teachers would appear to base their drug choice mainly on clinical experience and drug-related factors, whereas final-year medical students base their drug choice mainly on examples provided by their medical teachers. It is essential that medical teachers clearly explain to their students how they arrive at a specific choice of medication since medical students tend to copy the therapeutic drug choices from their teachers, mainly because of a lack of experience. Presenting students with clinical therapeutic problems early during undergraduate training will not only give them a chance to gain experience in solving medical problems but will also give meaning to what they are studying as opposed to merely reproducing what they learn or copying what they are told.European Journal of Clinical Pharmacology 11/2009; 66(4):407-12. DOI:10.1007/s00228-009-0743-3 · 2.70 Impact Factor