Introduction to pharmaceuticology
It's a course we should all take seriously, argues Anthony N Fleg
Medical students learn much about the art of medicine in their clinical years, honing diagnostic and therapeutic skills. What you may not realise is the added, non-credit course that you take in the middle of your rotations-introduction to pharmaceuticology. Differing from pharmacology, the study of therapeutic agents and their effects on the body, pharmaceuticology involves the interaction between doctors and the industry that manufactures and promotes these agents. Medical schools do not prepare their students for the onslaught of drug company salespeople and advertisements that immediately vie for our loyalty. Gone are the days of the preclinical years, when drugs were known by their hard to pronounce generic names and complicated mechanism of action. Now the medical student is expected to speak in the language of brand names, pill colours, and catchy drug slogans.
Introduction to pharmaceuticology is a reality of our clinical training, and confronts us with the larger