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"It's helpful to get the time and opportunity to discuss drug treatment; that's what I think is the most important thing."-A qualitative study on prescribing education in junior physicians

Journal article
Authors Johan Lönnbro
Susanna Maria Wallerstedt
Published in European Journal of Clinical Pharmacology
Volume 76
Pages 249–255
ISSN 0031-6970
Publication year 2020
Published at Institute of Neuroscience and Physiology, Department of Pharmacology
Pages 249–255
Language en
Keywords Education, Internship, Prescribing, Qualitative, Teaching, therapeutics education, clinical-pharmacology, medical-schools, performance, feedback, learners, outcomes, doctors, Pharmacology & Pharmacy
Subject categories Pharmacology and Toxicology


Background As prescribing skills are a prerequisite for rational use of medicines, and education and training are important in acquiring these skills, we aimed to explore what aspects junior physicians find important when being taught the art of prescribing. Methods Written feedback from 34 interns after participating in an educational session as part of a randomized controlled study at a university hospital formed the qualitative data in this study. Manifest content analysis was performed, guided by the research question "Educating junior physicians in the art of prescribing: what aspects do they find important?" Meaning units were extracted and categorized, and emergent themes were identified. Results Five themes emerged. The first, clinical relevance, was exemplified by the categories valuable for health care; perceived relevance for one's own work; and translating theory into practice while the second, applicable content, included categories such as clinical advice; practical tips on using the electronic medical record system; and tools that facilitate. The third and fourth themes, reality-based teaching and creative discussions, were exemplified by the categories patient cases and feedback; and discussion-based teaching; wide-ranging discussions and a permissive and open atmosphere, respectively. In the last theme, effective structure, we identified the categories clear structure; small group teaching; allocated time for discussion; well-organized administration; and home assignment for practice. Conclusion Creative discussions, effectively structured in small group sessions, with clinically relevant, reality-based content built on case studies and feedback, are aspects which junior physicians find important when educated in the art of prescribing.

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