House calls: The case of the entertaining caseBMJ 2009; 339 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.b5256 (Published 16 December 2009) Cite this as: BMJ 2009;339:b5256
- Rhys H Thomas, specialty registrar and clinical research fellow12,
- Naomi J P Thomas, specialty registrar3
- 1Wales Epilepsy Unit, University of Wales, Heath Park, Cardiff CF14 4XW
- 2Wales Epilepsy Research Network, Institute of Life Sciences, Swansea University, Swansea SA2 8PP
- 3Prince Charles Hospital, Merthyr Tydfil
- Correspondence to: R H Thomas
Neurophobia—the fear of neurology1—is well described in medical students and is postulated as the reason for an apparent bias favouring neurology in case studies. Neurological cases represent more than a quarter of all Lancet case reports: 29% of 523 cases during 1996-20022 and 26% of 360 cases during 2003-8.3 Coles et al attributed this to “the trepidation and interest that neurological syndromes generate among physicians.”2 They considered this stigmatisation of a core medical specialty to represent our continued inability to demystify the subject.
However, the literature does not tell us whether neurological cases are genuinely over-represented or merely appropriately common. We set out to determine this by comparing the pattern of cases from a UK publisher (BMJ Case Reports) with the UK burden of disability. We also hypothesise that a more eloquent explanation for …
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