Officers and Councilors
Knowledge Objectives in Medical
Pharmacology - 2005
Chaired and Edited by Richard Eisenberg, Ph.D. and Gary Rosenfeld, Ph.D.
The Knowledge Objectives in Medical Pharmacology was originally the
product of the effort and vision of Dr. James Fisher and other senior
Pharmacologists in 1985. The 2002, third edition, is intended to
describe the minimum essential knowledge in Pharmacology which should be
taught to and mastered by students. In a sense, it is a description of
the competencies in Pharmacology that should be obtained by students
completing their basic medical education. The Knowledge Objectives is
broken down into major areas of Pharmacology in which specific and
detailed knowledge points are described. At the end of each section,
there is a drug list showing the primary and secondary drugs to which
the students should be exposed for name recognition. What appears in
this document is the consensus of more than 80 Chairs/Course
Directors/Faculty who are specialists in their particular areas.
Pharmacology is accepted as an integrated science. It bridges the gap
between the introductory disciplines, such as Physiology and
Biochemistry, with Clinical Medicine. Therapeutics serves as the
cornerstone in the practice of Clinical Medicine. For this reason,
Pharmacology has significant emphasis in the licensure examinations
suggesting that mastery is essential. Thus, it behooves us as educators
to make certain that Pharmacology remains a primary portion of every
medical school curriculum. Today, we see more diverse methods of
information delivery and more competition for time in the medical school
curriculum. Thus, we hope, that the Knowledge Objectives will serve as a
guide to curriculum committees for them to include the essential
material described. This is particularly important where a curriculum
involves more self-study and independent learning.
The 2002 edition of the Knowledge Objectives has had significant change
because of our changing knowledge base. Increased emphasis on
transducing systems effected by receptor activation has been included in
each of the drug categories. The profound influence of genomics in
altering therapeutic application is cited where applicable. The
increased use of herbal medications has resulted in a new section being
added. Finally, the section on laboratory material has been eliminated
because relatively few of our institutions have sufficient time for this
experience. In other documents and web sites, an attempt has been made
by ASPET to compile a list of electronic educational resources that can
provide some experiences in this area.
This document is being made available through the AMSPC web site and is
intended to be a dynamic instrument. Users are urged to make suggestions
for change and/or enhancements to the Chair of the selected subcommittee
(the email address is provided). Following approval, we will update that
section of the Knowledge Objectives.
The Editors are grateful to all of the members of the Association for
Medical School Pharmacology and their faculties who participated in
revising the Knowledge Objectives.