Although studies have reported that adverse drug reactions may cause more than 100,000 deaths annually in the United States, only a small percentage of the curriculum at many medical schools is dedicated to recognizing and reporting adverse drug reactions, according to a study conducted at Georgetown University Medical Center and published in the current issue of Clinical Pharmacology & Therapeutics. The study also found that residentsnewly minted physicians in specialty trainingreceive only a modest amount of education in this area. The lack of time dedicated to clinical pharmacology and adverse drug reactions curriculum seems out of proportion to their importance to society and health care, the study noted.
The Georgetown researchers surveyed 105 directors of third-year internal medicine clerkships (programs for medical students), and the directors of 420 internal medicine residency programs (post-MD degree training), choosing internal medicine programs because internal medicine programs train future physicians to care for patients with complex medical problems usually necessitating use of multiple medications, they reported. This type of patient would be prone to experiencing an adverse drug reaction.
Each program director completed a two-page survey that asked questions about the percentage of their institutions curriculum dedicated to adverse drug reactions or interactions. They were also asked whether they felt that these topics should be added to the curriculum if not already included; and about their familiarity with a widely publicized Institute of Medicine report on medical errors.
The Georgetown study found that 53% of the medical schools did not offer training in clinical pharmacology or adverse drug reactions to third- and fourth-year medical students, and of those schools at which such training was available, only 8% of these rotations were mandatory. While more than 60% of residency programs offered lectures in adverse drug reaPage: 1 2 Related medicine news :1
Contact: Beth Porter
Georgetown University Medical Center
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