Conception of pharmacological knowledge and needs amongst Nigerian medical students at Lagos State university college of medicine: implication for future biomedical science in Africa

  • Luther Agbonyegbeni Agaga
  • Theresa Adebola John
Keywords: pharmacology, medical students, biomedical science, education, Nigeria


In Nigeria, medical students are trained in more didactic environments than their counterparts in research-intensive academic medical centers. Their conception of pharmacology was thus sought. Students who are taking/have taken the medical pharmacology course completed an 18-question survey within 10min by marking one/more choices from alternatives. Instructions were: “Dear Participant, Please treat as confidential, give your true view, avoid influences, avoid crosstalk, return survey promptly.” Out of 301 students, 188 (62.46%) participated. Simple statistics showed: 61.3% respondents associated pharmacology with medicine, 24.9% with science, 16.8 % with industry, and 11.1% with government; 32.8% want to know clinical pharmacology, 7.1% basic pharmacology, 6.7% pharmacotherapy, and 34.2% want a blend of all three; 57.8% want to know clinical uses of drugs, 44.8% mechanisms of action, 44.4% side effects, and 31.1% different drugs in a group; 45.8% prefer to study lecturers’ notes, 26.7% textbooks, 9.8% the Internet, and 2.7% journals; 46.7% use standard textbooks, 11.5% revision texts, 2.66% advanced texts, and 8.4% no textbook; 40.4% study pharmacology to be able to treat patients, 39.1% to complete the requirements for MBBS degree, 8.9% to know this interesting subject, and 3.1% to make money. Respondents preferring aspects of pharmacology were: 42.7, 16, 16, and 10 (%) respectively for mechanisms of action, pharmacokinetics, side effects, and drug lists. Medical students’ conception and need for pharmacology were based on MBBS degree requirements; they lacked knowledge/interest in pharmacology as a science and may not be the potential trusts for Africa’s future pharmacology.

Keywords: pharmacology, medical students, biomedical science, education, Nigeria


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eISSN: 0794-859X