University of Sussex
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Developing practical prescribing skills during the undergraduate medical course -views from 1023 medical students

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posted on 2023-06-09, 02:45 authored by Maria Kennedy, Inam Haq, Sian E Williams, Michael OkorieMichael Okorie
Background: Junior doctors are responsible for the majority of prescribing at NHS hospitals in the UK. Newly qualified junior doctors have expressed concerns over their lack of preparedness to undertake complex tasks such as prescribing. Summary of Work: Following ethical approval, an online questionnaire was sent to each UK medical school for dissemination to medical students in years 3, 4 and 5. Analysis, primarily descriptive statistics, was completed using SPSS and Microsoft Excel. Participation was voluntary. Summary of Results: 1023 medical students responded from 25 medical schools, including 41% in final year (n=420), 37% in fourth year (n=378), and 22% in third year (n=225). Only 36.4% of students believe that their medical degree prepares them sufficiently for practicalprescribing (n=372, 95% Confidence Interval [CI]=32-41%). Over half of the students believe that teaching of practical prescribing should commence in phase one (years 1 and 2) of the curriculum (52.6% n=538, CI = 48-57%). 73.7% of students opine that undergraduate teaching of practical prescribing should be standardised across all medical schools (n=754, CI=71-77%). The majority were aware that they may need to sit a Prescribing Safety Assessment [PSA] (86.5%, n=885), and there was a perception that preparing for this assessment improves practical prescribing skills (n=690, 67.4%). Discussion: This is a snapshot of the current situation in UK medical schools. Students recognise that current teaching and learning of practical prescribing in UK medical schools is suboptimal. There is a perception that the PSA positively impacts on practical prescribing skills. Conclusion: Introduction of practical prescribing teaching into Phase 1 of the curriculum, and utilisation of a standard approach across medical schools might be more beneficial according to students. Take Home Messages: With the palpable reality of full registration moving to the point of graduation, the exploration of a standard approach to the teaching and learning of practical prescribing is timely.


Brighton and Sussex Medical School


Publication status

  • Published

File Version

  • Accepted version

Presentation Type

  • lecture

Event name

AMEE 2016

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27-31 August 2016

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  • Division of Medical Education Publications

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  • Yes

Peer reviewed?

  • Yes

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