Demonstrating prescribing competence: a successful pilot of a prescription competency curriculum for family medicine residents

Fam Med. Nov-Dec 2007;39(10):703-5.


Background: Poor medication prescribing skills among residents have been widely reported.

Methods: We implemented a three-stage prescribing curriculum with eight interns in an urban family medicine residency. Clinical pharmacy faculty delivered two lectures, attended hospital rounds, and coprecepted in clinic. Evaluations were done by a written exam and clinical assessment.

Results: All eight interns made at least one prescribing error on the exam. One error was considered potentially fatal. All interns passed on the second attempt and gained prescribing privileges after 6 months.

Conclusions: Our prescribing curriculum was practical and feasible. Further studies will determine whether the intervention improved prescribing habits and reduced clinical errors.

MeSH terms

  • Clinical Competence*
  • Cohort Studies
  • Competency-Based Education / organization & administration*
  • Drug Prescriptions*
  • Family Practice / education*
  • Humans
  • Internship and Residency*
  • Pilot Projects
  • Program Development