Call for medical students to get more prescribing training

Medical students should be given greater opportunities to practice their prescribing skills and be taught more about drug interactions, in a bid to curb the rise in prescribing errors.

The report suggests that junior doctors are not well prepared to prescribe drugs

The call comes from the British Pharmacological Society (BPS) and follows a report, commissioned by the GMC, which found that junior doctors make mistakes in 8% of prescriptions that they write.

The majority of prescribing errors are dosage errors of common drugs such as painkillers, bronchodilators and corticosteroids.

Dr Jeff Aronson, president of the BPS, said: ‘Medical students are ill prepared to prescribe. The evidence for this has been piling up over the last three years. We urgently need to tackle this.'

Professor Simon Maxwell, chairman of the BPS prescribing committee, said: ‘We are developing eLearning projects with the DoH and the medical schools to help educate prescribers. There will be an online simulator with a virtual patient presenting with typical scenarios and online assessments.'

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