Teaching medication reconciliation through simulation: a patient safety initiative for second year medical students

J Gen Intern Med. 2008 Jul;23(7):998-1001. doi: 10.1007/s11606-008-0567-3.


Introduction: Errors in medication reconciliation constitute a large area of potential injury to patients. Medication reconciliation is rarely incorporated into medical school curriculums so students learn primarily from observing clinical care.

Aim: To design and implement an interactive learning exercise to teach second year medical students about medication reconciliation

Setting: Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, Chicago, IL PROGRAM DESCRIPTION: The Medication Reconciliation Simulation teaches medical students how to elicit information from active real-world sources to reconcile a medication history.

Program evaluation: At the conclusion of the session, students completed a Likert scale survey rating the level of improvement in their knowledge and comfort in obtaining medication histories. Students rated their knowledge level as having increased by 27% and their comfort level as having increased by 20%. A full 91% of the 158 students felt that it should be performed again for the following medical student class.

Discussion: The Medication Reconciliation Simulation is the first to specifically target medication reconciliation as a curriculum topic for medical students. Students praised the entertaining simulation and felt it provided a very meaningful experience on the patient safety topic. This simulation is generalizable to other institutions interested in teaching medication reconciliation and improving medication safety.

MeSH terms

  • Curriculum
  • Drug Interactions
  • Drug Therapy*
  • Drug-Related Side Effects and Adverse Reactions
  • Education, Medical, Undergraduate*
  • Humans
  • Medical History Taking*
  • Medication Errors / prevention & control
  • Patient Simulation*
  • Physician-Patient Relations