Incorporating a Drug Information Consult into a Pharmacy Practice Course to Build Literature Search and Evaluation Skills Through a 3-Stage Model

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Pharmacy students need to be equipped with skills to research and evaluate literature to effectively apply evidence-based medicine (EBM) in practice. To prepare them, a 3-stage approach to writing a drug information consult (3sDIC) was incorporated into a pharmacy course. The primary objective was to assess students’ abilities to retrieve and analyze literature pursuant to a drug information consult. Secondary objectives were to examine feasibility of faculty participation and continuation of the assignment.


Ninety students were given a clinical scenario about a patient. The assignment consisted of 3 stages incorporating use of the Population, Intervention, Comparison intervention, Outcome (PICO) method and modified systematic approach (MSA) for stage 1, evaluation of primary literature to write a draft for stage 2, and stage 3, the final consult. All 3 stages were reviewed and graded by faculty.


All students completed the 3sDIC, with no grade failures. The rubric employed by faculty was effective, providing students the opportunity to improve the consult. The 3sDIC was found to be feasible with adequate faculty support.


The 3sDIC, although not a substitute for a complete drug information course, demonstrated a streamlined approach for Pharmacy year 2 (P2) students to acquire and develop drug information skills.

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