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April 1994

Neurophobia: The Fear of Neurology Among Medical Students

Author Affiliations

Department of Neurology University of Rochester 601 Elmwood Ave, Box 673 Rochester, NY 14642

Arch Neurol. 1994;51(4):328-329. doi:10.1001/archneur.1994.00540160018003

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A major problem in medical education today is the lack of integration of basic science and clinical information into a cohesive whole. If either of these is taught in a vacuum, the medical student frequently is unable to reason through clinical problems, and this can result in anxiety, dislike, and eventual disinterest in the subject material. These negative sentiments are applicable to the study of neurology in medical school. Students perceive that the neural sciences and clinical neurology are overly complex, and many of these students develop a syndrome that I shall call "neurophobia."

Neurophobia can be defined as a fear of the neural sciences and clinical neurology that is due to the students' inability to apply their knowledge of basic sciences to clinical situations.

The incidence of neurophobia is approximately 1:2, with about half of the medical students experiencing this disorder at one point during their training. Although it

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