Objective: To describe the methods by which a family medicine residency program implements a pharmacotherapy curriculum. The goal of the curriculum is to teach family medicine residents the principles of rational drug therapy.
Setting: A university-based family medicine residency program. TEACHING STRATEGIES: Specific learning objectives are discussed and the following teaching strategies are expanded upon: (1) monthly noon conferences; (2) a printed formulary and pharmacotherapy handbook; (3) a pharmacy and therapeutics committee; (4) policy statements for drug representatives and use of samples; (5) an on-site pharmacy; (6) quarterly newsletter; and (7) inpatient consultation coverage. PHARMACIST ROLE: The role and responsibilities of the pharmacy faculty and pharmacist(s) who implement this curriculum and the methods used to evaluate its effectiveness are also described. The availability and funding of the pharmacy faculty member can sometimes be arranged with local schools of pharmacy seeking clerkship sites. Interaction with pharmacy students also serves to enhance the educational experience of the family medicine residents.
Conclusions: The family medicine program implements a comprehensive curriculum designed to teach family medicine residents the principles of rational drug therapy. The curriculum may be expanded upon as necessary, or, if the entire program is not feasible, certain elements may be extracted and applied in other institutions.