Combatting Neurophobia: Neurology Exposure in Preclinical Years and Residency Match Trends




undergraduate medical education, neurophobia, specialty selection


Purpose: We sought to investigate whether there are any factors that may affect student interest in neurology among medical students at Penn State College of Medicine (PSCOM), and how the neurology curriculum impacts this interest. Methods: Penn State College of Medicine students were surveyed to evaluate their perception and exposure to neurology in two surveys. Publicly available match data from PSCOM and the United States were compared to determine neurology match trends. Results: PSCOM pre-clinical students reported less than satisfactory neurology exposure on two surveys, with clinical students reporting satisfactory exposure. Furthermore, PSCOM showed a higher proportion of students matching into neurology during 2011-2020 compared to national data (4.05 ± 0.27%. versus 1.78 ± 0.086%; p < .00001). Conclusions: Career exploration programs such as Student Interest Group in Neurology, and early integration of clinical neurology can help combat neurophobia by increasing student exposure to neurology.