Clinical Neuroscience

[Neurophobia]

SZIRMAI Imre

JULY 30, 2012

Clinical Neuroscience - 2012;65(07-08)

[Neurophobia is the fear of neurological diseases. Its main symptom is that medical students and young doctors are not able to utilize their basic neurological knowledge at the bedside. According to statistics, every second student suffers from neurophobia. This attitude could explain why in the last two decades less and less young doctors wanted to become neurologist. Medical students complain that they receive no instructions, and are afraid of loosing their interest and of facing the failure of their competency. The hardship of neurology was explained by the insufficient knowledge of anatomy and the infrequent encounter with patients. Even general practitioners have anxiety about neurological patients. The loss of interest in neurosciences seems to associate with insensitivity of human-centered culture and corruption of empathic thinking. The burnout syndrome of medical doctors and students can be explained by stress, loss of respect, permanent competition, independency that interferes with responsibility, stiff hierarchy of medical society, fear of diagnostic failures and of economical difficulties. The scores of depression in female students were higher than in male. The idea of the “good neurologist” has been changed. The business oriented care, the shortage of time, and the financial restrictions corroded the conventional practice and ceased the vocational idealism. At present, personal teaching is going to transform into impersonal multimedia learning. Because of the drastic change of values, the age of inner-oriented professionals has terminated also in the medicine. Medical doctors follow even less the traditional troll of professional behavior, but according the social demands, they choose their specialization for subsistence. The highly esteemed social status of neurologists and psychiatrists is going to sink in Europe. To reduce neurophobia it would be desirable 1. to introduce neurology training in the early years of medical school; 2. to teach neurology in all semesters, 3. to assure the effective teaching of neuro-anatomy and physiology, 4. to organize more one-to-one teacher-student communication. In the United States, residents participate in teaching during their residency training. To master neurology dedicated teachers are necessary whom neurology residents ought to meet personally with optimal frequency. However, these requirements seem to fail because of the chiefly technical characters of the actual reforms.]

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