Your Society: PSA Prep and Clinical Pharmacology Week

Published: 25 Oct 2021
Category: Your Society


Many of our members will be aware of the UK Prescribing Safety Assessment (PSA) – some of those reading may even have personal experience of sitting the exam. For those who are unfamiliar, the PSA is an exam of prescribing competency, that all UK medical students take to ensure they can safely and effectively prescribe medicines. It is a collaboration between the Medical Schools Council and the British Pharmacological Society and is an initiative of which we are enormously proud. The PSA increases competence among UK doctors - who are facing increasingly complex clinical cases - contributes to reducing prescribing errors made across the NHS, and ultimately improves patient safety outcomes.

We all know that exams can be daunting, which is why BPS Assessment, our assessment and learning branch of the British Pharmacological Society, has been carefully considering how to support UK medical students as they prepare to take the PSA, ensuring that they have the tools to make the most of the learning experience. To do just this, we recently launched a collection of free eLearning resources, hosted on the BPS Assessment platform, known as PSA Prep.

We have taken on board feedback about which aspects of the exam are most challenging – the calculations, the format, and extracting the essential information from the clinical scenarios in a time pressured environment. The PSA Prep resources focus on preparing candidates to tackle these areas confidently and effectively when sitting the exam. If you are a medical student or educator and haven’t already looked – you can access PSA Prep for free via our website.

The PSA Prep launch coincided with our 2021 annual campaign to highlight the discipline of clinical pharmacology, #ClinPharmWeek, which took place from 10-16 October. Clinical Pharmacology Week takes place each October and is all about safe and effective medicines, raising awareness of the discipline of clinical pharmacology, and celebrating inspirational work happening in the field.

We ran three webinars, attended by more than 400 people, over the course of the week. The topics ranged from how to prescribe safely, to how to deliver agile and informative clinical trial studies, to a discussion of how the principles of pharmacogenomics can be integrated into the NHS. The wide range of topics and expert speakers demonstrated brilliantly how varied and exciting clinical pharmacology careers can be. You can read our recently published blog about our #ClinPharmWeek webinars for more information. If you’re considering a career in clinical pharmacology, I’d strongly recommend visiting our careers pages for lots of excellent information and advice. 

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