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Gregory Hughes, Priti Patel

Medical Resident Choices in Drug Information Resources

Gregory Hughes, Priti Patel, Christopher Mason, College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences, Clinical Pharmacy Practice


Many questions persist as to what extent medical residents receive training in drug information.  Following medical school, their choices of drug information resources when faced with common questions are also unknown.  We sought to determine more about their day-to-day use of drug information resources and how practices differ amongst post-graduate year medical residents.

An online survey including simulated drug information questions was administered to 146 medical residents in the Department of General Internal Medicine.  Residents were given a wide range of choices in drug information resources to answer these questions and were instructed to select what they would choose in actual practice.  A score was assigned to each resource corresponding to a “best,” “intermediate,” or “not good” choice.

Seventy-three respondents completed the survey and results were analyzed for statistical significance.  Fifty-seven percent of respondents reported receiving no formal training regarding drug information.  Statistical analyses revealed there were no significant differences in performance based on post-graduate year (p<0.4314) or extent of prior training (p<0.4496).  Individual question responses revealed a generally poor selection of “best” choices.  Less than 10% of the respondents chose the “best” answer for drug information questions related to drug-interactions, herbal supplements, adverse events, and medication identification.

Further training in drug information resource selection is warranted in the medical residency program.  Educational sessions and a pocket-guide are under development and an assessment of these interventions will take place in the future.