Teaching Matters

Presentation 6 FR1

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Teaching Matters 2018 | Presentation Details | 2018


Going beyond the receptor site: A pharmacotherapeutics teaching approach for future prescribers


Sarah Herd, Launceston Clinical School
Andrew Hodson, Launceston Clinical School
Kim Rooney, Launceston Clinical School


Excellent teaching happens by design

Presentation Type



Flexible Learning Space 1




Prescribing and medication safety are universal health priorities. Intern preparedness surveys have consistently identified prescribing as a major challenge for new graduates transitioning to the workplace (AMC/MBA, 2017). Traditional teaching has been by ‘pure’ pharmacology pre-clinically with application considered during clinical rotations. This separation and fragmentation no longer suits. Increasing number and complexity of drugs, multiple sources of drug information of variable quality and reduced access to bedside teaching further drive a need for a better teaching method.

For two years a program developed and co-facilitated by a Clinical Pharmacist and General Practitioner has been trialled at Launceston Clinical School. Year Four students have weekly teaching encounters using flipped classroom methodology whilst year five have six sessions overall. The aim is to develop safe, patient focused, referenced and contemplative (non)prescribing with a focus on clinical reasoning and prescription writing skills. These core skills are reinforced as each individual illness complex is considered. Illness choice reflects curriculum demands.

We are part of the Prescribing Skills Assessment (PSA) model developed in the UK and being adapted to Australasia. The assessment addresses eight areas of prescribing. This engagement provides a platform for benchmarking and collaboration. Continued partnership with the PSA and the Australian Medical Council will enhance our goal of graduating work ready, safe prescribers. Review of the cohort performance in each area of the PSA will inform areas for future teaching focus whilst collaboration with partners may facilitate solutions.


Australian Medical Council/Medical Board of Australia. (2017). Preparedness for Internship Survey 2017

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