Skills of medical students and house officers in prescribing narcotic medications

Stuart A. Grossman, Vivian R. Sheidler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

44 Scopus citations


Eighty-eight medical students and house officers were given patient management questions to assess their ability to convert from one narcotic regimen to an approximately equal analgesic dose of a second regimen. Only 8 percent of their answers were within the correct range, even though commonly used reference material was supplied to assist them in answering the questions. There were no significant differences in the responses of house officers from different medical specialties or among all the individuals at different educational levels. Correct answers to the patient management questions markedly increased after instruction on the use of a narcotic equivalency table. More emphasis on the importance of adequate pain control, better teaching of the pharmacology of narcotic analgesic drugs, and additional instruction on the use of narcotic equivalency tables are needed in medical school and house staff training programs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)552-557
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Medical Education
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 1985

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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