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Junior doctors prescribing: enhancing their learning in practice

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Bryan Burford, Dr Gillian Morrow, Emeritus Professor John Spencer, Neil Johnson

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Abstract

AIM This aim of this paper was to explore new doctors' preparedness for prescribing. METHODS This was a multiple methods study including face-to-face and telephone interviews, questionnaires and secondary data from a safe prescribing assessment (n = 284). Three medical schools with differing curricula and cohorts were included: Newcastle (systems-based, integrated curriculum); Warwick (graduate entry) and Glasgow [problem-based learning (PBL)], with graduates entering F1 in their local deanery. The primary sample consisted of final year medical students, stratified by academic quartile (n = 65) from each of the three UK medical schools. In addition an anonymous cohort questionnaire was distributed at each site (n = 480), triangulating interviews were conducted with 92 clinicians and questionnaire data were collected from 80 clinicians who had worked with F1s. RESULTS Data from the primary sample and cohort data highlighted that graduates entering F1 felt under-prepared for prescribing. However there was improvement over the F1 year through practical experience and support. Triangulating data reinforced the primary sample findings. Participants reported that learning in an applied setting would be helpful and increase confidence in prescribing. No clear differences were found in preparedness to prescribe between graduates of the three medical schools. CONCLUSION The results form part of a larger study 'Are medical graduates fully prepared for practice?'. Prescribing was found to be the weakest area of practice in all sources of data. There is a need for more applied learning to develop skill-based, applied aspects of prescribing which would help to improve preparedness for prescribing.


Publication metadata

Author(s): Rothwell C, Burford B, Morrison J, Morrow G, Allen M, Davies C, Baldauf B, Spencer J, Johnson N, Peile E, Illing J

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology

Year: 2012

Volume: 73

Issue: 2

Pages: 194-202

Print publication date: 06/01/2012

ISSN (print): 0306-5251

ISSN (electronic): 1365-2125

Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-2125.2011.04061.x

DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-2125.2011.04061.x


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