Neurophobia: How do Nigerian Medical Students Perceive Neurology?
Asian Journal of Research and Reports in Neurology, Volume 6, Issue 1,
Background: The fear of Neurology among medical students has become a common phenomenon. This has significant implications for the availability of Neurological specialists in developing countries like Nigeria. With the increasing burden of neurological diseases and few neurologists, more homegrown neurologists are needed. However, this may not be achievable without interest in neurology by medical students. This study evaluated this issue among Nigerian medical students.
Methodology: The study was a cross-sectional study among 128 medical students using an online questionnaire. The responses were analyzed using Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS) version 25.
Results: The majority (68.8%) of respondents have limited knowledge of Neurology and low interest. Of the total respondents, 69.5% perceived Neurology as a difficult speciality, and 86.7% attributed their lack of interest to poor teaching. 78.9% attributed the difficulty to poor knowledge of neuroanatomy, 66.4% agreed that limited exposure to neurological patients reduced their interest in the speciality, and 61.7% believe neurological diseases are difficult to diagnose. Most participants inclined that improved neuroanatomy teaching, more patient exposure, and bedside teaching are the most important strategies to improve Neurology interest and competence.
Conclusion: Neurology was the most challenging course in our study. In order to ensure that students have a better understanding of the subject and to produce medical doctors who are qualified to handle neurological complaints, we, therefore, encourage medical schools in Nigeria to take action in this regard, such as adopting new teaching techniques that are linked to students' needs and assessment feedbacks.
- medical student
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