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Int J Med Educ. 2017 Oct 12;8:353-374. doi: 10.5116/ijme.59ba.2d47.

A review of antimicrobial stewardship training in medical education.

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Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
Department of Family and Community Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
Gerstein Science Information Centre, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
Centre for Faculty Development, Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto at St. Michael's Hospital, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.



We reviewed the published literature on antimicrobial stewardship training in undergraduate and postgraduate medical education to determine which interventions have been implemented, the extent to which they have been evaluated, and to understand which are most effective.


We searched Ovid MEDLINE and EMBASE from inception to December 2016. Four thousand three hundred eighty-five (4385) articles were identified and underwent title and abstract review. Only those articles that addressed antimicrobial stewardship interventions for medical trainees were included in the final review. We employed Kirkpatrick's four levels of evaluation (reaction, learning, behaviour, results) to categorize intervention evaluations.


Our review included 48 articles. The types of intervention varied widely amongst studies worldwide. Didactic teaching was used heavily in all settings, while student-specific feedback was used primarily in the postgraduate setting. The high-level evaluation was sparse, with 22.9% reporting a Kirkpatrick Level 3 evaluation; seventeen reported no evaluation. All but one article reported positive results from the intervention. No articles evaluated the impact of an intervention on undergraduate trainees' prescribing behaviour after graduation.


This study enhances our understanding of the extent of antimicrobial stewardship in the context of medical education. While our study demonstrates that medical schools are implementing antimicrobial stewardship interventions, rigorous evaluation of programs to determine whether such efforts are effective is lacking. We encourage more robust evaluation to establish effective, evidence-based approaches to training prescribers in light of the global challenge of antimicrobial resistance.


antibiotic prescribing; antimicrobial resistance; antimicrobial stewardship; postgraduate medical education; undergraduate medical education

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