Prevention of medication errors: teaching and training

Robert Likic, Simon R. J. Maxwell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


2. The challenge of being a prescriber is probably greater now than ever before. Medical education has changed radically in the last 20 years, reflecting concerns about an overburdened curriculum and lack of focus on social sciences. In the UK, these changes have resulted in less teaching in clinical pharmacology and practical prescribing as guaranteed features of undergraduate training and assessment. There has been growing concern, not least from students, that medical school training is not sufficient to prepare them for the pressures of becoming prescribers. Similar concerns are being expressed in other countries. While irrefutable evidence that these changes are related to medication errors identified in practice, there is circumstantial evidence that this is so.

3. Systems analysis of errors suggests that knowledge and training are relevant factors in causation and that focused education improves prescribing performance. We believe that there is already sufficient evidence to support a careful review of how students are trained to become prescribers and how these skills are fostered in the postgraduate years. We provide a list of guiding principles on which training might be based.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)656-661
Number of pages6
JournalBritish Journal of Clinical Pharmacology
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2009


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