The aim of this project is to develop, test and implement a standardised assessment on safe prescribing during the undergraduate medical curriculum in the European Union (EU). This is necessary because current junior doctors make many prescribing errors with potential consequences for patient safety. Studies have shown that these errors are partially caused by a lack of prescribing knowledge and skills among medical graduates which is due to inadequate clinical pharmacology and therapeutics (CPT) education during the undergraduate medical curriculum. Introducing a cross-border assessment might help to improve prescribing knowledge and skills of medical graduates and harmonise the CPT education during the undergraduate medical curriculum in the EU.
During this project, we will develop, test and implement an online assessment tool and question bank (‘European Prescribing Exam’). The European Prescribing Exam (EuroPE+) focuses on knowledge and skills that every EU medical graduate should have acquired in order to prescribe safely in clinical practice. An Expert Board consisting of clinical pharmacologists from each EU country will be established who are involved in item development and review. Additionally, representatives of partners universities will form an Assessment Board which oversees that items entered into question bank are fit for the intended purpose
By introducing the EuroPE+, we expect that the prescribing knowledge and skills of medical graduates of the participating EU medical schools will improve. Additionally, we expect that the quality and quantity of CPT education in the participating medical schools will be improved and harmonized in order to prepare students for the EuroPE+. After this project, the EuroPE+ will be coordinated by the Education Working Group of the EACPT. Additionally, the EuroPE+ will be freely available to all medical schools in the EU, so the number of participating medical students will eventually be much higher. By increasing the prescribing knowledge and skills of medical graduates, we expect that future medical doctors in the EU will make less prescribing errors which will contribute to improvements in the quality and safety of patient care.