Prescription Drug Use and Self-prescription Among Resident Physicians

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Self-prescription is common among practicing physicians, but little is known about the practice among resident physicians.


To determine prescription drug use and self-prescription among US resident physicians.

Main Outcome Measures

Self-reported use of health care services and prescription medications and how they were obtained.


A total of 316 (83%) of 381 residents responded; 244 residents (78%) reported using at least 1 prescription medicine and 162 residents (52%) reported self-prescribing medications. Twenty-five percent of all medications and 42% of self-prescribed medications were obtained from a sample cabinet; 7% of all medications and 11% of self-prescribed medications were obtained directly from a pharmaceutical company representative.


Self-prescription is common among resident physicians. Although self-prescription is difficult to evaluate, the source of these medications and the lack of oversight of medication use raise questions about the practice.

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