While genetics constitutes an important part of medical education, one can observe a lack of knowledge about rare diseases (RD) among medical students and healthcare professionals. Meanwhile, many RD are life threatening and chronically debilitating conditions that significantly reduce patients’ quality of life. Most RD patients experience various psychiatric symptoms, behavioral changes and mental retardation. Consequently, physicians should be educated on RD. Thus, the aim of this paper is to assess the knowledge about RD among future physicians. The study was conducted among 346 medical students of Poznan University of Medical Sciences. It showed that while 99.4% of respondents had heard the term ‘rare disease’ and 90.5% knew its main cause, only 11.5% correctly estimated the prevalence of RD. Moreover, only 35.3% knew what percentage of RD is of genetic character and 24.9% that RD are most common among children. Additionally, very few students knew the number of RD patients in Poland (5.2%). For more information click here.
The first atlas of rare diseases mortality