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Healthy Skepticism Library item: 6382

Warning: This library includes all items relevant to health product marketing that we are aware of regardless of quality. Often we do not agree with all or part of the contents.


Publication type: Journal Article

Tonkin AL, Taverner D, Latte J, Doecke C.
The Effect of an Interactive Tutorial on the Prescribing Performance of Senior Medical Students
Med Educ. 2006;


Objectives: To evaluate the effectiveness of small group tutorials in
teaching senior medical students the requirements of prescription writing.
Design: Random allocation to interactive tutorial or didactic lecture with
blinded evaluation.
Subjects: All 1999 6th year medical students, the University of Adelaide.
Results: The Tutorial Attenders (mean 13.3, SD 2.6) performed significantly
better than the Lecture Group (mean12.2, SD 3.0) p=0.041 and the
Non-attenders (mean10.7, SD 3.1) p=<0.001. The 13 individual OSCE items
formed four logical subgroups, and the Tutorial Attenders performed
significantly better in Prescription Writing in all comparisons.
Conclusion: A single, one-hour interactive tutorial is likely to be the
minimum amount of intervention that will be effective in improving
prescribing skills.


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As an advertising man, I can assure you that advertising which does not work does not continue to run. If experience did not show beyond doubt that the great majority of doctors are splendidly responsive to current [prescription drug] advertising, new techniques would be devised in short order. And if, indeed, candor, accuracy, scientific completeness, and a permanent ban on cartoons came to be essential for the successful promotion of [prescription] drugs, advertising would have no choice but to comply.
- Pierre R. Garai (advertising executive) 1963