Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Medical Residents Score Poorly In Diagnosing And Managing Tuberculosis

Date:
August 3, 2007
Source:
Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions
Summary:
When quizzed about their knowledge in diagnosing tuberculosis and deciding on the best treatment, medical residents in Baltimore and Philadelphia get almost half the answers wrong, according to a survey by TB disease experts at Johns Hopkins and elsewhere.

When quizzed about their knowledge in diagnosing tuberculosis and deciding on the best treatment, medical residents in Baltimore and Philadelphia get almost half the answers wrong, according to a survey by TB disease experts at Johns Hopkins and elsewhere.

In the survey, published online Aug. 2 in the British journal BMC Infectious Diseases, 131 medical residents were asked to answer 20 basic questions about the contagious lung disease, recently made the subject of international concern when a traveler was believed to have its most severe form.

According to researchers, the overall median test score for the training physicians, with one-half scoring higher and the other half scoring lower, was just 55 percent.

Results showed that the recent medical school graduates got three-fifths of the answers wrong (with a median score of 40 percent) for recognizing and treating latent TB, the most common form of the infection. In latent TB, a person is infected with the tubercle bacterium but lacks symptoms and is not contagious, yet is still at risk for developing active disease later on.

Just over half of the questions about diagnosing active TB, when an infected person develops TB-related symptoms and is more likely to infect others, were answered correctly (with a median score of 57 percent). Symptoms of active TB include fever, cough, night sweats and weight loss.

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, an estimated 10 million to 15 million Americans have latent TB and are at risk of developing active disease.

On two-thirds of the questions about the toxicity of current drug regimens and about the link between TB and HIV infection, physicians gave the right answer (with a median score of 63 percent for both questions.)

"Despite the poor results for trainees, people cannot assume that lack of comprehensive knowledge about tuberculosis leads to poor patient care," says lead study author Petros Karakousis, M.D. "Medical residents may be quick to consult experts in infection control, infectious diseases, or in pulmonary medicine to assist in diagnosis, isolation and treatment."

According to Karakousis, an assistant professor at The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and its Tuberculosis Research Center, "Our results demonstrate that improved training is needed about how best to diagnose and care for people with latent and active TB because physicians training at urban medical centers are most likely to be the first point of contact for people with previously undiagnosed TB."

Karakousis says large metropolitan areas are prone to more cases of TB because of social factors, including high rates of homelessness, drug use, incarceration and immigration, as well as HIV infection.

He points out that the survey results were not all bad, with most medical residents understanding the main facts about how Mycobacterium tuberculosis is transmitted (with a median score of 95 percent).

"Most people with active TB develop symptoms over weeks, so what is needed is more training in the outpatient setting and in the community in addition to the hospital wards, to recognize and treat this infection early and before it spreads," Karakousis says.

The study, conducted in 2005 at separate teaching conferences at three different medical schools, was supported with funding from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, a member of the National Institutes of Health.

Besides Karakousis, other researchers involved in the study were from Hopkins and the University's School of Public Health, Frangiscos Sifakis, Ph.D.; Ruben Montes de Oca; Kathleen Page, M.D.; and Yukari Manabe, M.D.; from the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, Valerianna Amorosa; and from the University of Maryland School of Medicine, James Campbell.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions. "Medical Residents Score Poorly In Diagnosing And Managing Tuberculosis." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 3 August 2007. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/08/070801235140.htm>.
Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions. (2007, August 3). Medical Residents Score Poorly In Diagnosing And Managing Tuberculosis. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 23, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/08/070801235140.htm
Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions. "Medical Residents Score Poorly In Diagnosing And Managing Tuberculosis." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/08/070801235140.htm (accessed October 23, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Orthodontist Mom Jennifer Salzer on the Best Time for Braces

Orthodontist Mom Jennifer Salzer on the Best Time for Braces

Working Mother (Oct. 22, 2014) Is your child ready? Video provided by Working Mother
Powered by NewsLook.com
U.S. Issues Ebola Travel Restrictions, Are Visa Bans Next?

U.S. Issues Ebola Travel Restrictions, Are Visa Bans Next?

Newsy (Oct. 22, 2014) Now that the U.S. is restricting travel from West Africa, some are dropping questions about a travel ban and instead asking about visa bans. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
US to Track Everyone Coming from Ebola Nations

US to Track Everyone Coming from Ebola Nations

AP (Oct. 22, 2014) Stepping up their vigilance against Ebola, federal authorities said Wednesday that everyone traveling into the US from Ebola-stricken nations will be monitored for symptoms for 21 days. (Oct. 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Doctors Help Paralysed Man Walk Again, Patient in Disbelief

Doctors Help Paralysed Man Walk Again, Patient in Disbelief

AFP (Oct. 22, 2014) Polish doctors describe how they helped a paralysed man walk again, with the patient in disbelief at the return of sensation to his legs. Duration: 1:04 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins