What knowledge and skills are essential for specialists in Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics? Results of a Delphi study

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Abstract

Aims

To identify the knowledge and skills that should be considered essential for specialists in Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics (CPT) with a commitment to the National Health Service (NHS).

Methods

A Delphi study using a sample of current specialists.

Results

Members of the expert panel (20 in all, representative of the Clinical Section membership) identified 78 statements for consideration, in four domains (core of knowledge, therapeutic skills, educative skills, and investigative skills), of which 58 (74.4%) were accepted by more than two-thirds of respondents. Of these, 35 were knowledge items, whereas 23 were skills (11 therapeutic, 4 educative and 8 investigative). The large majority (79.3%) of these statements were endorsed by at least four out of five panel members.

Conclusions

Despite the varied work patterns and responsibilities of specialists in CPT, it is possible to identify a core of knowledge and skill that most consider essential for the delivery of their commitment to the NHS. The findings will provide NHS Trusts with a clear idea of what they can expect from these specialists, and will act as a checklist for specialists themselves to direct their Continuing Professional Development within the consultant appraisal process. The results also describe a curriculum for continuing education in CPT, which the BPS Clinical Section can use to develop information resources and training opportunities.

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