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Prescribing skills are an essential aspect of doctors’ good medical practice1 and undergraduate medical training.2 Around 1.5% of prescriptions in UK hospitals are estimated to contain serious mistakes.3 We describe our observations of trainees’ prescribing skills, derived from an interview process for paediatric training posts in our area of the United Kingdom.
Applicants to ST1, 2, 3 and 4 training posts in paediatrics (approximately 3, 4, 5 and 6 years, respectively, after graduation) completed a drug chart as a part of the selection process. The clinical scenarios differed for each grade of applicant to reflect experience. Scenarios given to ST1 and ST3 applicants involved a previous adverse drug reaction clearly documented on the drug charts. Prescription charts …