Evaluation of primary care residents' knowledge of pharmacotherapy

South Med J. 1999 Sep;92(9):882-5. doi: 10.1097/00007611-199909000-00006.


Background: The study objective was to determine primary care residents' knowledge of pharmacotherapy.

Methods: Eighty primary care residents at five Family Medicine residencies completed a pharmacotherapy survey used to assess their knowledge of drug interactions, adverse drug reactions, and new medications. Residents were asked whether they could benefit from more formal pharmacotherapy instruction.

Results: Seventy-seven residents (96%) completed the survey. Scores ranged from 11 to 43 (22% to 86%) out of a possible 50. Scores showed no significant difference on the basis of sex or residency. The only statistically significant difference was between first and third year residents' scores. Third year residents' mean score was 32.39 +/- 8.23 (64.8%). Ninety-one percent of residents believed they could benefit from more formal instruction in pharmacotherapy.

Conclusions: Results suggest that primary care residents' pharmacotherapy knowledge may need improvement. Residents affirmed the need for formal instruction. Therefore, comprehensive pharmacotherapy curricula in primary care residencies should be considered.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study

MeSH terms

  • Analysis of Variance
  • Clinical Competence*
  • Drug Therapy*
  • Educational Measurement
  • Family Practice / education*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Internship and Residency*
  • Male
  • United States