Exploring the coverage of antimicrobial stewardship across UK clinical postgraduate training curricula

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Abstract

Objectives

Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is a global political and patient safety issue. With ongoing strategic interventions to improve the shape of UK postgraduate clinical training, ensuring that all clinicians have appropriate knowledge and practical skills in the area of AMR is essential. To assess this, a cross-sectional analysis was undertaken of the coverage and quality of antimicrobial stewardship (AMS)/AMR within UK postgraduate clinical training curricula.

Methods

UK clinical specialty training curricula were identified. Topics and individual learning points relating to AMS or AMR were extracted for each specialty. Learning points were quality assessed against the expected level of clinical competence. Inter-specialty analysis was performed.

Results

Overall 37 specialties were assessed, equating to 2318 topics and 42 527 learning points. Of these, 8/2318 (0.3%) topics and 184/42 527 (0.4%) learning points were related to AMS/AMR. Infectious diseases represented all eight topics and 43/184 (23%) of the learning points. In contrast, primary care, which is responsible for the highest proportion of antimicrobial usage, had no topics and only 2/1368 (0.15%) of the AMS/AMR learning points. This paucity of representation was reflected across most of the remaining specialties. On quality assessment, the majority of learning points (111/184; 60%) required knowledge only, with no demonstration of behaviour in clinical practice required.

Conclusions

Coverage of AMS/AMR is poor across the majority of UK postgraduate clinical training curricula, with little depth of learning required. Given the threat of AMR, and evolving changes in clinical training pathways, we call for cross-specialty action to address this current lack of engagement.

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