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Abstract

INTERNS’ KNOWLEDGE OF CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY AND THERAPEUTICS: A RETROSPECTIVE VIEW IN LIGHT OF MEDICAL UNDERGRADUATE TRAINING

Bhandarkar AP, Sherkhane RM, Shenoy GK, Aniketana GV, Shetty MS and *Amuthan A

ABSTRACT

Background: Medical educationists claim that pharmacology is a crucial discipline that endows medical students with knowledge about rationality of prescribing a drug. For any teaching-learning program to be effective and updated, constant review and evaluation of curriculum through feedback from students and modification of the teaching methodologies accordingly, becomes very important. Objectives: The study was conducted with the intention to provide some light about the knowledge of CPT among interns in a tertiary care teaching institution so as to assess how adequately their medical undergraduate (UG) teaching in Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics (CPT) had prepared them for safe and rational prescribing. Materials and Methods: The study was conducted at a tertiary care teaching hospital, Karnataka in 81 randomly selected interns. A structured pre-validated questionnaire was used seeking information about their demographics, confidence to prescribe for common illnesses, experience of Adverse Drug Reactions (ADRs) since the start of their internship. The questionnaire also provided them an opportunity to suggest teaching methods which could be adopted to train undergraduates in the area of CPT. Results: 88% of interns attributed their knowledge of prescribing to their UG CPT training. Majority of them would confidently prescribe antihistaminics, antibiotics and NSAIDS without supervision. Only handful of them (9.6%) had reported ADRs to hospital authorities during internship. According to interns, exercises like prescription writing for commonly encountered illnesses, case/problem based learning sessions, hands-on training in ADR reporting, dose calculation needed to be implemented. Conclusion: By this study, we perceived a lack of emphasis on principles of clinical pharmacology in undergraduate medical teaching. Hence prompt implementation of necessary modification in the teaching methods is essential to impart adequate knowledge on rational prescribing.

Keywords: Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics (CPT), Adverse Drug Reaction (ADR), rational prescribing.


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