- Top of page
- What is Already Known on this Subject
- What This Study Adds
- Competing Interests
Prescribing errors are common and inadequate preparation of prescribers appears to contribute. A junior doctor-led prescribing tutorial programme has been developed for Edinburgh final year medical students to increase exposure to common prescribing tasks. The aim of this study was to assess the impact of these tutorials on students and tutors.
One hundred and ninety-six tutorials were delivered to 183 students during 2010–2011. Each student completed a questionnaire after tutorial attendance which explored their previous prescribing experiences and the perceived benefits of tutorial attendance. Tutors completed a questionnaire which evaluated their teaching experiences and the impact on their prescribing practice. Student tutorial attendance was compared with end-of-year examination performance using linear regression analysis.
The students reported increased confidence in their prescribing knowledge and skills after attending tutorials. Students who attended more tutorials also tended to perform better in end-of-year examinations (Drug prescribing: r = 0.16, P = 0.015; Fluid prescribing: r = 0.18, P = 0.007). Tutors considered that participation enhanced their own prescribing knowledge and skills. Although they were occasionally unable to address student uncertainties, 80% of tutors reported frequently correcting misconceptions and deficits in student knowledge. Ninety-five percent of students expressed a preference for prescribing training delivered by junior doctors over more senior doctors.
A ‘near-peer’ junior doctor-led approach to delivering prescribing training to medical students was highly valued by both students and tutors. Although junior doctors have relatively less clinical experience of prescribing, we believe that this can be addressed by training and academic supervision and is outweighed by the benefits of these tutorials.