Suggested guidelines for pharmacotherapy curricula in family medicine residency training: recommendations from the Society of Teachers of Family Medicine Group on Pharmacotherapy

Oralia Bazaldua, Adrienne Z Ables, Lori M Dickerson, Laura Hansen, Ila Harris, James Hoehns, Eric Jackson, Connie Kraus, Heidi Mayville, Joseph J Saseen et al.
Family Medicine 2005, 37 (2): 99-104
Rational drug use has increasingly received public policy attention in efforts to maintain quality health care at lower costs. Prescribing habits are developed during residency training, and education regarding rational drug use should be an integral part of the residency curricula. Considering that many medical errors in family medicine are related to incorrect medication management, there is need for a focused education in pharmacotherapy. This paper outlines suggested guidelines for pharmacotherapy curricula in family medicine residency training, as recommended by the Society of Teachers of Family Medicine Group on Pharmacotherapy. A pharmacotherapy curriculum should include common conditions managed in family medicine, as well as general principles of pharmacotherapy. This should allow for repeated exposure to core topics over a 3-year cycle and be delivered in various settings (didactic teaching, longitudinal active learning, point-of-care education, and rotations). The curriculum should apply and evaluate pharmacotherapy education according to the six core competencies of the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME). Although physician faculty can be responsible for pharmacotherapy education, a clinical pharmacist is uniquely qualified to provide this service. Overall, family medicine residents need comprehensive instruction in pharmacotherapy to develop rational prescribing habits. A structured pharmacotherapy curriculum may assist in achieving this goal and in meeting the ACGME core competencies for residency training.

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