Neurology is often the dreaded specialty of medical students and junior doctors, especially when it comes to the clinical examinations. It shouldnt be that way says Matthew Menken (see the other articles on neurodegeneration elsewhere in this issue)
Muhammad Ali, Dudley Moore, Ronald Reagan, and Christopher Reeve have in common that they suffered from degenerative and traumatic disorders of the nervous system, the prevalence of which will increase greatly during the next 20 years.1 Although neurological and psychiatric disorders account for only 1.4% of all deaths, they account for a remarkable 28% of all years of life lived with a disability. Thus all doctors must be prepared to meet the needs of patients with such disorders and refer appropriately for specialised care and investigations, bearing in mind that neurologists often function as consultants for other physicians. Yet do medical students and house officers believe they are being adequately prepared for independent practice, and do general doctors have confidence in their ability to diagnose and treat patients with disorders of the nervous system?
Apparently not. Schon et al recently surveyed medical students, senior house officers, and general practitioners about