The use of patient-videos in parmacology teaching

22 February 2024

Educational project

The use of patient-videos in parmacology teaching

Prescribing medications is one of the core tasks of most physicians. The medical curriculum covers this, however, education as of now seems to fail to show the patient’s perspective besides the textbook knowledge. Nowadays, patients show signs of feeling unheard by their doctors, suggesting a change of education to make students aware of the patient’s view. The goal of this project is to evaluate whether videos could be an effective tool in teaching pharmacotherapy to a large cohort of medical students where the patient’s perspective as well as the medical content are addressed.

Background information

Within the UMCU Pharmacotherapy is taught in large groups (60-300 students) using text-based case-studies. Although this instructional method has been effectively used for knowledge dissemination, teaching pharmacology by focusing solely on the medical aspects of a disease often fails to take into account the patient’s perspective. Unfortunately, for this reason, many patients feel themselves unheard by their doctors when prescribing drugs. This could lead to treatment non-adherence and ultimately therapy failure. Although direct contact with patients is the best way to facilitate experiential learning, to do this in a controlled way for a large cohort (300+ students) is however challenging. Therefore to integrate the patient’s perspective into pharmacology education, patient video’s will be used during pharmacology lessons. Videos provide an authentic stimulus through a holistic depiction of the patient and their immediate surroundings and students feel that videos might help in retention in memory (1). The impact videos have on pharmacology teaching and learning about prescribing drugs have however not been investigated.

Aim and research question

The goal of the current study is to evaluate whether videos could be an effective tool in teaching pharmacotherapy to a large cohort of medical students where the patient’s perspective as well as the medical content are addressed.

Project description

Two to three teaching moments in pharmacology will be chosen to include patient videos within the bachelors curriculum. Students will be shown interviews with patient’s sharing their experience with medications in their own home setting, following which students will answer questions related to appropriate the choice of medications based on the patient’s clinical condition but also their preferences. Following the video-based case-study students will be asked to fill up a short questionnaire using Wooclap. Participation will be voluntary and anonymous. The questionnaire students would be asked about 1) their experience of using video’s as a teaching tool, 2) Understanding how videos could video’s help in disseminating knowledge on Pharmacology and 3) gaining insight into the importance of patient’s perspective while prescribing medications.

Results and conclusion

Videos have been used in pharmacology teaching, but no detailed survey on student experience were conducted. A single pilot study showed that students were enthusiastic about videos as a teaching tool. The detailed study outlined above will be conducted in the latter part of the academic year 2022-2023.

The process of filming and developing of videos as effective teaching tools is timeconsuming. The benefit is that videos, once made, could not only be re-used but could also be implemented for teaching other subjects besides pharmacology. However, how students process videos and use videos for their learning is a crucial factor which will guide its broader application. The results of this study will shed more light into the suitability of video’s as a teaching tool for pharmacology.


(1) De Leng, Bas, Dolmans, Dhjm, Wiel, Mwj, Muijtjens, Amm, Van der Vleuten, C. How video cases should be used as authentic stimuli in problem-based medical education. Med. Educ. 41, 181–88 (2007).


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