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author:("bajszar, Jana")
1.  Curriculum to enhance pharmacotherapeutic knowledge in family medicine 
Canadian Family Physician  2013;59(11):e493-e498.
Problem addressed
Prescribing is an essential skill for physicians. Despite the fact that prescribing habits are still developing in residency, formal pharmacotherapy curricula are not commonplace in postgraduate programs.
Objective of program
To teach first-year and second-year family medicine residents a systematic prescribing process using a medication prescribing framework, which could be replicated and distributed.
Program description
A hybrid model of Web-based ( and in-class seminar learning was used. Web-based modules, consisting of foundational pharmacotherapeutic content, were each followed by an in-class session, which involved applying content to case studies. A physician and a pharmacist were coteachers and they used simulated cases to enhance application of pharmacotherapeutic content and modeled interprofessional collaboration.
This systematic approach to prescribing was well received by family medicine residents. It might be important to introduce the process in the undergraduate curriculum—when learners are building their therapeutic foundational knowledge. Incorporating formal pharmacotherapeutic curriculum into residency teaching is challenging and requires further study to identify potential effects on prescribing habits.
PMCID: PMC3828110  PMID: 24235207
2.  What do children know about medications? 
Canadian Family Physician  2011;57(3):291-295.
To guide physicians in their communications with children about medications.
Quality of evidence
PubMed, EMBASE, and the Cochrane Library were searched from 1980 up to August 2009 for qualitative and quantitative research that investigated children’s knowledge of and beliefs about medications (levels of evidence II and III). Findings presented relate to healthy children aged 6 to 12 years old unless stated otherwise.
Main message
In order to improve children’s use of medicine, experts suggest that physicians communicate directly with children about medications, instead of communicating only with parents or caregivers. Children as young as 6 years old form opinions about medications, and many of these opinions persist in the adult population. This article reviews what we know about how children identify medication; children’s fear of medication; how they believe medication works; and their understanding of the medication-related concepts of medication efficacy, side effects, and treatment compliance. This knowledge will help physicians communicate more effectively with children about their medications.
Family physicians can help children understand why they take medicine and how to use it appropriately starting at an early age. This early training might affect their medication-taking behaviour throughout their adult lives. Studies in Canada are needed to further understand children’s beliefs about medication and to see if these beliefs correlate with international data.
PMCID: PMC3056675  PMID: 21520667
3.  From pharmaco-therapy to pharmaco-prevention: trends in prescribing to older adults in Ontario, Canada, 1997-2006 
BMC Family Practice  2010;11:75.
The developed world is undergoing a demographic transition with greater numbers of older adults and higher rates of chronic disease. Most elder care is now provided by primary care physicians, who prescribe the majority of medications taken by these patients. Despite these significant trends, little is known about population-level prescribing patterns to primary care patients aged 65+.
We conducted a population-based retrospective cohort study to examine 10-year prescribing trends among family physicians providing care to patients aged 65+ in Ontario, Canada.
Both crude number of prescription claims and prescription rates (i.e., claims per person) increased dramatically over the 10-year study period. The greatest change was in prescribing patterns for females aged 85+. Dramatic increases were observed in the prescribing of preventive medications, such as those to prevent osteoporosis (+2,347%) and lipid-lowering agents (+697%). And lastly, the number of unique classes of medications prescribed to older persons has increased, with the proportion of older patients prescribed more than 10 classes of medications almost tripling during the study period.
Prescribing to older adults by family physicians increased substantially during the study period. This raises important concerns regarding quality of care, patient safety, and cost sustainability. It is evident that further research is urgently needed on the health outcomes (both beneficial and harmful) associated with these dramatic increases in prescribing rates.
PMCID: PMC2958963  PMID: 20929561
4.  Roles and Responsibilities of Pharmacists with Respect to Natural Health Products: Key Informant Interviews 
Although many pharmacies sell natural health products (NHPs), there is no clear definition as to the roles and responsibilities (if any) of pharmacists with respect to these products.
The purpose of this study was to explore pharmacy and stakeholder leaders’ perceptions of pharmacists’ professional NHP roles and responsibilities.
Semi-structured key informant interviews were conducted with pharmacy leaders (n= 17) and stakeholder (n=18) leaders representing consumers, complementary and alternative medicine practitioners, conventional healthcare practitioners, and industry across Canada.
Overwhelmingly all participants believed a main NHP responsibility for pharmacists was safety monitoring. One challenge identified in the interviews was pharmacists’ general lack of NHP knowledge. Stakeholder leaders did not expect pharmacists to be experts on NHPs, rather that pharmacists should have a basic level of knowledge about NHPs. Many pharmacy leaders appeared to be unfamiliar with current pharmacy policies and guidelines concerning NHPs.
Participants described pharmacists’ professional roles and responsibilities for NHPs as similar to those for over-the-counter drugs. More awareness of existing NHP-related pharmacy policies is needed. Pharmacy owners/managers should provide additional training to ensure front-line pharmacists have appropriate knowledge of NHPs sold in the pharmacy.
PMCID: PMC2923149  PMID: 20188329 CAMSID: cams1316
natural health products; pharmacists; professional roles and responsibilities
5.  Teaching pharmacotherapeutics to family medicine residents 
Canadian Family Physician  2008;54(4):549-549.e6.
Medication prescribing is becoming increasingly complex, and the need for formal curricula in pharmacotherapeutics and medication prescribing in accredited family medicine residency programs has been advocated.
The main objective of the pharmacotherapeutic curriculum is to support the development of family medicine residents’ pharmacotherapeutic knowledge and medication prescribing skills required for rational prescribing.
The curriculum has 4 main components: 1) a medication prescribing framework based on the main tasks and key decisions related to the prescribing of medications, 2) 12 pharmacotherapeutic topics identified in the needs assessment, 3) a 5-step process for session design used by the curriculum development team, and 4) a description of specific roles of facilitators involved in delivering the curriculum. Formative evaluation of the curriculum using resident focus groups has helped to inform the further development of its components.
A formalized curriculum was created to build knowledge of pharmacotherapeutics and effective medication prescribing skills, which are necessary for the current complex environment of patient care and medication management.
PMCID: PMC2294090  PMID: 18411383

Results 1-5 (5)