Study shows deficits in the coverage of irritable bowel syndrome in German medical curricula

Medical curricula in Germany largely neglect neurogastroenterology leading to medical students feeling highly insecure when dealing with the widespread irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), as shown by a survey initiated by the German Society for Neurogastroenterology & Motility (DGNM). Medical students at five faculties in Germany were surveyed shortly before the end of their studies and asked to indicate their self-confidence in pathophysiology, diagnosis, and treatment of various chronic diseases. At all universities, not only a lack of personal competence was reported, but also a striking underrepresentation of IBS in teaching. In contrast, the students felt well prepared concerning patients with comparably prevalent disorders, such as high blood pressure and reflux disease, or even the relatively rare, yet complex ulcerative colitis. A large proportion of prospective doctors stated that they did not encounter any courses on neurogastroenterology or the irritable bowel syndrome during their studies.

The study is published in Neurogastroenterology and Motility, and is illustrated by the DGNM on the cover of the current issue of the journal.

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