Academic activity aims to early expose medical students to best prescribing practices
Prescribing medications is a significant clinical responsibility for medical providers. However, fresh medical graduates often report a lack of confidence in prescribing medications and answering drug-related questions in clinical practice. We implemented a course at Sulaiman AlRajhi University medical school to enhance medical training for student physicians to engage in optimal practices in prescribing medications. We designed an elective pharmacology course to optimize student physicians’ skills in prescription practices while also introducing them to the pharmacy and the duties of pharmacists as healthcare providers. The course targeted second-year students as we desired early exposure. Furthermore, we identified objectives that were deemed essential to acquire during the course and assessment methods. We analyzed the data of 56 student physicians who participated in the elective pharmacology course during the academic years 2019–2020 and 2020–2021. Collectively, there was a negative shift in the performance of student physicians in the academic year 2020-2021 compared to the previous year 2019-2020, with 5.2% fewer students getting grades of A+ and 17.8% more students getting D grades or lower. The grades significantly differed between both years X2(8, N=56) = 27.61, p = .000). Our data reported high satisfaction and confidence in the prescription skills of the student physicians who underwent the course. However, to evaluate its full potential and assess its usefulness, we believe additional research and implementation of more prescribing skills exercises across all academic years is essential.
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