When Med Students Get Medical Students’ Disease By BARRON H. LERNER, M.D

I was browsing through several medical student blogs and I came across this article from the “NY times blog” , here is a part from the article that I found fascinating and could totally relate to and thought it is definitely something to be shared.  

“Each year hundreds of medical students think they have contracted the exact diseases they are studying. But they haven’t.

“Medical students’ disease” refers to the phenomenon in which medical students notice something innocuous about their health and then attach to it exaggerated significance. It often corresponds to a disease they have recently learned about in lectures or encountered on the wards.

We are at the start of a new academic year and close to 20,000 students are beginning medical school in the United States. How did medical students’ disease get discovered? And does it really exist? It was around when I was in medical school, in the 1980’s. And in my own class, we experienced a surprising twist.

Medical students’ disease — which has also been called “nosophobia,” meaning “fear of disease” — first gained attention in the mid-1960’s after the publication of two articles from prominent psychiatric departments. Researchers at McGill University reviewed records from the student health service and reported that 70 percent of medical students complained of symptoms of various illnesses they had studied. Typical was a student who decided he had schizophrenia during his psychiatry rotation but later changed his diagnosis to Meniere’s disease, an inner ear disorder. He had neither condition.”

for more Read the original article here.


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