Junior doctors prescribing:enhancing their learning in practice

Rothwell, Charlotte and Burford, Bryan and Morrison, Jill and Morrow, Gill and Allen, Maggie and Davies, Carol and Baldauf, Beate and Spencer, John and Johnson, Neil and Peile, Ed and Illing, Jan (2012) Junior doctors prescribing:enhancing their learning in practice. British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology, 73 (2). pp. 194-202. ISSN 0306-5251

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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.

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Journal Article
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British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology
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19 Aug 2014 09:20
Last Modified:
15 Sep 2023 00:15