A questionnaire about three commonly prescribed psychotropic drugs was
administered to physicians and trainees in two specialties and to medical
students. Psychiatrists and psychiatric residents had very low levels of
knowledge about the physiology, pharmacology, and side effects of diazepam;
their scores did not exceed those of medical residents or students.
Trainees in internal medicine scored poorly regarding the diagnosis of
depressive syndromes and the physiology and pharmacology of imipramine and
amitriptyline, whereas psychiatrists performed well. The results of this
preliminary study can provide guidelines for improving the teaching of
psychopharmacology in general and the psychopharmacological treatment of
the medically ill in particular.