Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences

Postgraduate - Unit

This unit entry is for students who completed this unit in 2013 only. For students planning to study the unit, please refer to the unit indexes in the the current edition of the Handbook. If you have any queries contact the managing faculty for your course or area of study.

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6 points, SCA Band 3, 0.125 EFTSL

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FacultyFaculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences
OfferedClayton First semester 2013 (Off-campus)
Clayton Second semester 2013 (Off-campus)
Coordinator(s)Dr Ian Chenoweth


In order to prescribe in the most appropriate manner, the general practitioner needs a broad perspective. Rational prescribing needs an understanding of: the pressures affecting a practitioner which may influence his or her prescribing patterns, the consumer and factors which impinge upon optimal use of medication, and of the subtle and not so subtle influences and constraints of manufacturers and government which determine the milieu within which practitioners prescribe. This unit aims to have such a perspective, covering topics from the practical philosophy of rational prescribing to the future of clinical pharmacology.


Upon completion of this unit students should be able to:

  1. Recognise the context of therapeutics today, with regard to its historical development and its relationship to government and industry.
  2. Recognise the psychosocial issues involved in the prescription of medication.
  3. Analyse and select the most appropriate therapy for any particular diagnostic situation, using specific criteria.
  4. Apply the principles of pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics to clinical situations.
  5. Discuss the factors involved in patient compliance.
  6. Critically appraise different forms of drug information, including promotional items.
  7. Conduct a patient medication review.
  8. Conduct an audit of prescribing.
  9. Implement changes in their practice based upon knowledge and skills gained in this unit.


Assignment 1 (25%)
Assignment 2 (25%)
Assignment 3 (20%)
Assignment 4 (30%)

Chief examiner(s)