What makes a model prescriber? A documentary analysis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


INTRODUCTION: In recent years, the authority to prescribe medications in healthcare has expanded to include pharmacists, nurses and Allied Healthcare Professionals. Subsequently, the quantity of guidelines describing appropriate prescribing practice has increased. Despite this, the literature notes a lack of consensus regarding the overall qualities of a good prescriber. The aim of this study was to attempt to define what makes a model prescriber in practice, regardless of professional background.

METHODS: A documentary analysis of UK-based and international prescribing practice guidelines was performed. Data analysis was conducted through a constructivist grounded theory approach to enable concepts to be identified from the data itself without the use of pre-defined categories.

RESULTS: A total of 13 guideline documents were analysed. Overall, four core categories of a model prescriber in practice were identified: Knowledgeable: including that of disease and drug properties; Safe: relating to appropriate drug quantities and treatment-monitoring; Good Communicators: with both patients and colleagues; Contemporary: through enhancing knowledge and skills.

CONCLUSIONS: These four categories can serve as a definition of a high-level prescriber and as an additional tool for prescribing educators to evaluate the extent their curriculum develops and assesses the core qualities needed by their students to be high-level prescribers in practice.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)198-207
Number of pages10
JournalMedical Teacher
Issue number2
Early online date8 Nov 2020
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2021


  • Curriculum
  • Delivery of Health Care
  • Drug Prescriptions
  • Humans
  • Pharmacists

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