University of Sussex

File(s) not publicly available

The role of undergraduate teaching, learning and a national prescribing safety assessment in preparation for practical prescribing: UK medical students' perspective.

journal contribution
posted on 2023-06-09, 18:27 authored by Maria B Kennedy, Inam Haq, Gordon FernsGordon Ferns, Sian E Williams, Michael OkorieMichael Okorie
AIM: To investigate medical students' perspectives on the influence of their undergraduate course and the UK Prescribing Safety Assessment (PSA) on the acquisition of practical prescribing skills. METHODS: An online questionnaire comprising multiple choice and open-ended questions was available to UK medical students in years 3, 4 and 5. Descriptive statistics and thematic analysis were completed. RESULTS: 1023 medical students from 25 UK medical schools responded: 22% (third year), 37% (fourth year) and 41% (final year). A minority of medical students believed that their medical course prepared them sufficiently for practical prescribing (36.4%, n=372, CI=32-41%), 52.6%, of students thought that practical prescribing should be introduced into the curriculum earlier (n=538, CI=48-57%), and 73.7% reported that a more consistent approach to the teaching and learning of practical prescribing might be beneficial (n=754, CI=71-77%). An awareness of the national PSA was high (86.5%, n=885), particularly amongst final year students (98.3%, n=413, CI=97-100%); 67.4% of all students (n=690, CI=64-71%) and 72.1% (n=303) of final year students perceived that the PSA will or had improved their practical prescribing skills. CONCLUSIONS: The majority of medical students perceive that their undergraduate course does not adequately prepare them for practical prescribing. Many believe that there is some merit in introducing practical prescribing teaching earlier in the curriculum and medical schools adopting a more consistent approach. Among medical students, the PSA is thought to have a positive influence on prescribing skills learning. These data might be useful in developing a programme of study dedicated to practical prescribing.


Publication status

  • Published


British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology





Department affiliated with

  • Division of Medical Education Publications

Full text available

  • No

Peer reviewed?

  • Yes

Legacy Posted Date


Usage metrics

    University of Sussex (Publications)



    Ref. manager