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Teaching medical students clinical neurology: an old codger’s view
  1. Charles Warlow
  1. Professor of Medical Neurology, University of Edinburgh, Department of Clinical Neurosciences, Western General Hospital, Crewe Road, Edinburgh EH4 2XU; E-mail: charles.warlow{at}


I am frustrated: the modern clinical students seem to know so very little about neurology and how to sort out what is wrong with patients, and yet they know so much about how to be nice to them. What on earth has gone wrong?

Neurology has the reputation amongst students (and indeed doctors) for being difficult, although as a student I don’t think I found it as difficult as hearing a mitral diastolic murmur or recognizing a skin rash (Schon et al. 2002). And the students, when asked, generally want more of it (most UK medical schools teach clinical neurology for about 3 weeks in a block, although some no longer have a neurology block at all). I used to think the difficulty was because the students had had their heads stuffed with so much detail, and had became so daunted with anything beginning with ‘neuro’ during their pre-clinical years

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