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New Study: Doctors Need Training in Pediatrics Prescribing

According to a new study, published in the journal Archives of Disease in Childhood new doctors are not enough trained in calculating medicine prescribing amd not specifically trained in calculating the right dosage of medicines for kids and children.

In fact, Sharon Conroy, from the Derbyshire Children’s Hospital of the University of Nottingham, and colleagues, clearly stated in their study that few medical programs has taught new doctors how to properly calculate the dosage of commonly prescribed drugs for kids. Also, the majority of the medical curricula do not include training on common mistakes made by doctors and how to avoid them.

According to the new study it was found that United States graduating medical doctors obtained less than 70% when tested on prescribing drugs foe children and that these new doctors were deficient on the mathematical skills needed for proper dosage calculations. In the United Kingdom the situation is worse (according to the study) since only 30% of the new junior doctors calculated correctly dosages for children even when calculators were handed.

Sharon Conroy and colleagues prepared questionnaires to find out how medical schools prepared its student in this area of expertise. These questionnaires were sent to different schools through the Royal College of Pediatrics and Child Health, the Neonatal and Pediatric Pharmacists Group, and pediatric researchers in the United States. Also, an extensive literature review was performed on the issue.

The literature review only found two papers that examined the educational experiences in reducing prescribing mistakes. One of them explained how dosage ought to be calculated and the other showed an educational training program conducted by a pharmacist.

Of the questionnaires sent only 319 were returned. The answer to these surveys revealed that training in this area is scarce and that usually training is conducted by a pharmacist or a pediatrician but time spent on this issue is too little. Usually a 30 minute presentation is the training that new graduating doctors get in this area. Sometimes workbooks, questions and answer sessions, tests, or, a computer program is used for training.

Researchers who participated in this study acknowledged that their study is not complete since they only received detailed information of training techniques on medical prescribing from UK medical schools. Answers from non UK centers were not as detailed as that from the UK making it difficult to evaluate the issue outside the United Kingdom.

Since this is an important issue, I hope that this type of study may help medical practitioners to revise their training is this critical area and for medical schools to review and improve training in this area of study. Medical professionals should also be trained in marketing. Today, marketing plays a vital role in the medical field. Marketing is no longer an optional undertaking for physician practices. It is now a necessity.

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David Robson

David Robson is the founder of Complus Alliance. He has been writing about different topics for almost 10 years. He’s main focus is delivering quality insights to a wide array of audience.