Medication Aspects Your Doctor Should Be Discussing With You

You may notice as a pharmacy technician that patients have many questions when it comes to their medication; what the name of the medication is, what it is prescribed for, and possible side-effects are some of the questions you’ll encounter (always refer them to the pharmacist).  Some of these questions come from a lack of good communication by doctors covering the basics. According to a recent study discussed in the January issue of the Journal of Annals of Family Medicine conducted by UCLA researcher Dr. Derjung Tarn and her colleagues, doctors did not often discuss the cost of medications and drug adherence.  The study suggests that an intervention of sorts covering the following aspects of medication could help doctors improve their prescribing skills. The intervention of discussion would cover the following:

    1. Medication’s name.


    1. The drug’s purpose.


    1. Directions for usage.


    1. Duration of usage.


  1. Potential side-effects.

And it appears to have worked. The study noted that when doctors participated in intervention classes and intervention training there was significant improvement in how vital drug information was relayed to patients. Higher scores also were associated with more reports of communication about topics not directly included in the intervention,” the researchers write. “For example, the intervention encouraged physicians to discuss potential medication side effects with patients, but patients also reported better communication about the risk of experiencing side effects and what to do if side effects occurred.”

Does your doctor communicate these 5 aspects listed to you when you’re prescribed medication?

What other aspects do you think doctors could improve on when prescribing new medication’s to patients?


    1. Burns, Mia.  “Intervention key to helping docs communicate better while prescribing.”  MedAd News.  Web.  4 Feb 2013.


  1. Rivero, Enrique.  “Simple intervention helps doctors communicate better when prescribing medications.”  UCLA News.  UCLA Newsroom Press Release.  Web and print. 14 Jan 2013.
  2. O’Reilly, Jennifer.  “Intervention helps doctors communicate more efficiently when prescribing.”  NPTA News. Web. 8 Feb 2013.






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