Promoting Appropriate Antibiotic Use
Teaching Doctors, Teaching Patients
Antibiotic resistance is a major public health threat that requires an organized, comprehensive approach to overcome. Many studies have shown that integrating education programs for clinicians, medical office staff, patients, and targeted audiences such as day care providers make the biggest difference in community-wide antibiotic use. We describe such an integrated approach between our state’s public health programs and our developing curriculum for primary care residents based at the academic health center. Patients receive education directly from both the state programs and their clinicians during office visits for upper respiratory infections. Physicians learn principles of appropriate antibiotic use, how best to educate patients about this important health topic, and how to address patients’ concerns about their illnesses.