Medical Student Perceptions of their Knowledge and Skills in Pharmacology in their First and Final Clinical Years

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstractpeer-review


Pharmacology is an important area of study for doctors because it provides the scientific foundation for safe and rational prescribing of medications. This component of medical courses has long been perceived by students and new graduates to be difficult and they feel unprepared for their impending prescribing role.

Summary of Work:
This study investigates perceptions of students in their first and final clinical years, with respect to their knowledge and skills in pharmacology and therapeutics.

Summary of Results:
Students rated drug action knowledge as good. Fewer students rated their adverse drug reactions, drug interactions and pharmacokinetics knowledge highly. The confidence of final year students with selected medications is not equivalent. Students were confident regarding antibiotics and antihypertensive agents, less so for disease modifying anti-rheumatic drugs, heparin and anticonvulsants.

Medical students highly valued their pharmacology education. First year clinical students wanted to know more about were the adverse effects, interactions and choice and dosage of antibiotics. Final year students desire more prescribing practice and they were particularly concerned about correct dosage and drug interactions.

Perceived gaps and strengths of the knowledge and skills in pharmacology in the first and final clinical years were provided. Students have indicated that they feel unprepared for prescribing medications upon entering their intern year. More formal teaching of pharmacology and therapeutics in the clinical years was desired.

Take-home Messages:
The issues that have been identified by the clinical students as important components of medication management and patient safety, are given due consideration in curriculum review with respect to timing of delivery and content.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages2
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2018
EventOttawa ICME 2018: International Conference on Medical Education - Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
Duration: 10 Mar 201814 Mar 2018


ConferenceOttawa ICME 2018
Abbreviated titleICME 2018
Country/TerritoryUnited Arab Emirates
CityAbu Dhabi
Internet address


  • curriculum implementation
  • Patient safety
  • Learning environments

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