Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


Medical residents score poorly in diagnosing and managing tuberculosis

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.

David March | EurekAlert!
Further information:

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Resolving the mystery of preeclampsia
21.10.2016 | Universitätsklinikum Magdeburg

nachricht New potential cancer treatment using microwaves to target deep tumors
12.10.2016 | University of Texas at Arlington

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: New 3-D wiring technique brings scalable quantum computers closer to reality

Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.

"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...

Im Focus: Scientists develop a semiconductor nanocomposite material that moves in response to light

In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.

A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...

Im Focus: Diamonds aren't forever: Sandia, Harvard team create first quantum computer bridge

By forcefully embedding two silicon atoms in a diamond matrix, Sandia researchers have demonstrated for the first time on a single chip all the components needed to create a quantum bridge to link quantum computers together.

"People have already built small quantum computers," says Sandia researcher Ryan Camacho. "Maybe the first useful one won't be a single giant quantum computer...

Im Focus: New Products - Highlights of COMPAMED 2016

COMPAMED has become the leading international marketplace for suppliers of medical manufacturing. The trade fair, which takes place every November and is co-located to MEDICA in Dusseldorf, has been steadily growing over the past years and shows that medical technology remains a rapidly growing market.

In 2016, the joint pavilion by the IVAM Microtechnology Network, the Product Market “High-tech for Medical Devices”, will be located in Hall 8a again and will...

Im Focus: Ultra-thin ferroelectric material for next-generation electronics

'Ferroelectric' materials can switch between different states of electrical polarization in response to an external electric field. This flexibility means they show promise for many applications, for example in electronic devices and computer memory. Current ferroelectric materials are highly valued for their thermal and chemical stability and rapid electro-mechanical responses, but creating a material that is scalable down to the tiny sizes needed for technologies like silicon-based semiconductors (Si-based CMOS) has proven challenging.

Now, Hiroshi Funakubo and co-workers at the Tokyo Institute of Technology, in collaboration with researchers across Japan, have conducted experiments to...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

Agricultural Trade Developments and Potentials in Central Asia and the South Caucasus

14.10.2016 | Event News

World Health Summit – Day Three: A Call to Action

12.10.2016 | Event News

Latest News

Resolving the mystery of preeclampsia

21.10.2016 | Health and Medicine

Stanford researchers create new special-purpose computer that may someday save us billions

21.10.2016 | Information Technology

From ancient fossils to future cars

21.10.2016 | Materials Sciences

More VideoLinks >>>