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How confident are the students and interns to prescribe ? - An assessment based on their views and suggestions

Afzal Khan, Mohammed Iliyas, Mirshad PV, Jeyam Xavier Ignatius.

Background: One of the main goals of the pharmacology curriculum in undergraduate medical education is to prepare medical students for the task of prescribing medications rationally with confidence.

Aim: To study the self-perceived confidence to prescribe of 3rd year medical students and fresh interns who are about to begin their internship. To examine their views on how well their undergraduate pharmacology training has prepared them to prescribe confidently and to know how they wanted the undergraduate pharmacology curriculum to be modified so as to improve the ability and confidence to prescribe.

Methods: Student and intern perceptions were obtained using a preformed questionnaire. Most of the questions were of yes/no type. Few close-ended questions were assessed using a 5-point likert scale. Qualitative data on participant views and suggestions was collected and analysed using simple descriptive statistics. Where relevant chi-square test was used to determine any significant difference and a p value of < 0.05 was considered as significant.

Results: 34(29%) interns and 42(36%) students feel that their undergraduate therapeutics training has not prepared them to prescribe safely and rationally. At the same time students were more confident in calculating the paediatric drug doses[ 54(46.5%) versus 29(24.7%) p

Key words: Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics; Prescription Writing; Undergraduate Pharmacology Teaching; Medical Education; Prescribing Confidence

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