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How can postgraduate pharmacotherapy education be optimized?

Period: 2012-2019
Medication errors are a major international healthcare issue and lead to preventable harm to patients. Many interventions with different focus have been developed to improve the medication and prescribing process, but the effects of these interventions on actual patient harm are not established yet. Many researchers argue that education in prescribing is an important target for preventing medication errors. Prescribing habits begin to develop during clinical clerkships but are primarily formed during the first years after graduation and these habits are carried through a physician’s practice experience. However, junior doctors indicate that they don’t feel well prepared for their prescribing responsibilities and experience a deficit in training and feedback on their therapeutic reasoning process in the post graduate teaching situation. The aim of this thesis is to develop pharmacotherapy educational tools for the post graduate teaching of registrars internal medicine and general practice.

Promoting pharmacovigilance in our future healtcare professionals

Period: 2016-2019
Millions of patients experience adverse drug reactions (ADRs) from the use of medicinal drugs. These symptoms can range from a mild headache to hospital admissions and even death. With the increasing use of drugs the number and influence of ADRs seem to be increasing. Pharmacovigilance, the monitoring of ADRs after marketing approval, is essential for identifying these previously undetected, uncommon, or serious ADRs and for improving understanding of drug risk profiles and medication safety. Despite this essential task our healthcare professionals are mostly unaware of the extent of the problem and essential competences to adequately monitor ADRs are lacking. In this thesis/PhD project we will research the educational value of interventions that promote pharmacovigilance in predominantly undergraduate medical education. We hypothesize that context based learning (CBL) in pharmacovigilance education can substantially increase intrinsic motivation on medication safety, enhance ADR-reporting and drug monitoring responsibilities and ultimately lead to safer use of medicinal drugs in our future healthcare professionals.

Interprofessional education in pharmacotherapy

Period 2020-2024
Nowadays prescribing is done by different disciplines, not only by doctors but also by dentists, physician assistants, obstetricians, advanced nurse practitioners or even pharmacists. Even though many disciplines work on the same task, rational prescribing is complicated and many errors are still being made. This is especially worrying since the population is aging, the use of prescription drugs is increasing and the number of patients with polypharmacy is rising. These factors together make medication management increasingly difficult and warrant a better approach. A solution to achieve optimization of medication management might be interprofessional collaboration. However, this is not yet fully integrated in usual care and has many barriers. This is not surprising since healthcare professionals have been trained in mono-professional curricula. To achieve optimal interprofessional collaboration in the future, students need to be educated in an interprofessional setting, especially in the field of complex pharmacotherapy. Therefore, the aim of this thesis is to evaluate the effect of interprofessional education in pharmacotherapy, to identify which interventions are most effective in increasing interprofessional and pharmacotherapy competencies and to find out how to overcome the existing logistical barriers.
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