I guess there are lots of reasons for this, but a lot of it boils down to teaching. At my medical school we're lucky to have some formal teaching, although not much. When learning it on the wards, it's all too easy to pick up bad habits of older colleagues, without even realising it's not good practice.
On the weekend I was told that in one Foundation School over 40% of Foundation Doctors are on remedial supervision due to prescribing errors. I'm not sure how accurate that is as it seems like a pretty high number, but it's scary. The GMC published information that said when they investigated, prescription errors were at around 10% in junior doctors, luckily most of these were intercepted by pharmacists.
It's also really confusing that prescription charts vary from trust to trust. My favourite ones so far had a really nice special prescription sheet for infusions, allowing you to write any extra special instructions.
I've also heard the rumour that a national prescribing exam could be appearing soon. Even though it's an extra hoop to jump through surely it can only be a good thing.
Anyway, today I'm frantically revising for my mock OSCE. There are prescribing stations in our OSCEs. We have 7 minutes and we're given a BNF, but there's not really enough time to look things up, so instead I'm memorising treatment regimes for common things. I'm pretty good at knowing which drugs to give, but I've never really paid that much attention to all the doses... I've always taken it for granted that I can look it up in the BNF. Tomorrow however, I am going to be a walking BNF.
Looking forward to having a week off for Easter next week. Granted I'll be revising and stuff, but it'll be nice to not have the hospital looming over me. Fingers crossed the weather will perk up again so that I can spend the week revising in the sunshine and eating ice creams... Mmmmm!