Pharmacology and Therapeutics Education in the European Union Needs Harmonization and Modernization: A Cross-sectional Survey Among 185 Medical Schools in 27 Countries

Clin Pharmacol Ther. 2017 Nov;102(5):815-822. doi: 10.1002/cpt.682. Epub 2017 May 30.


Effective teaching in pharmacology and clinical pharmacology and therapeutics (CPT) is necessary to make medical students competent prescribers. However, the current structure, delivery, and assessment of CPT education in the European Union (EU) is unknown. We sent an online questionnaire to teachers with overall responsibility for CPT education in EU medical schools. Questions focused on undergraduate teaching and assessment of CPT, and students' preparedness for prescribing. In all, 185 medical schools (64%) from 27 EU countries responded. Traditional learning methods were mainly used. The majority of respondents did not provide students with the opportunity to practice real-life prescribing and believed that their students were not well prepared for prescribing. There is a marked difference in the quality and quantity of CPT education within and between EU countries, suggesting that there is considerable scope for improvement. A collaborative approach should be adopted to harmonize and modernize the undergraduate CPT education across the EU.

MeSH terms

  • Clinical Competence* / standards
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Education, Medical, Undergraduate / standards
  • Education, Medical, Undergraduate / trends*
  • European Union*
  • Humans
  • Pharmacology, Clinical / education*
  • Pharmacology, Clinical / standards
  • Pharmacology, Clinical / trends*
  • Schools, Medical / standards
  • Schools, Medical / trends*
  • Students, Medical*