By Kate Kelly / Staff reporterGillespie and his colleagues, along with colleagues from the University of California, San Francisco and Columbia University, have created a database to track the trustworthiness of physicians.
In a paper published in the journal Neurology, the researchers detail the data.
In their words, “our data reveal that neurologists who are most credible are generally those who are well-versed in the neurologic system and are highly skilled in managing complex disorders.”
“When neurologists face a challenge that involves a complex neuro-system, they are more likely to be confident that they are capable of understanding the underlying underlying cause and how to manage it,” the authors wrote.
“When they face challenges in a specific area of neurology, such as stroke, they become more likely than neurologists without stroke experience to be more confident that the current diagnostic criteria are appropriate.”
The researchers also noted that neurologist-to-patient ratios, or how many physicians are in a given population, were also significantly correlated with trustworthiness.
For instance, the authors found that when it comes to treating stroke, a neurologist’s trustworthiness was significantly lower if he or she was not in the same specialty as a patient.
The researchers used data from the American Brain Tissue Atlas to measure trustworthiness and found that physicians with the highest trustworthiness scores were more than twice as likely to prescribe medications and administer tests as those with the lowest trustworthiness, and two to three times as likely as neurologists with the same trustworthiness as those without.
When they compared trustworthiness for neurologists versus neurologists not in neurology who were not neurologists, the trust scores were about four times higher for neurologist than for neurologistic specialists.
The trust score also rose to nearly two times higher among neurosurgeons than it was for other medical professionals, according to the researchers.
They also found that neurologic neurologists were more likely and more reliable to identify stroke patients who had been diagnosed with stroke than neurologist neurosurgery specialists.
They were also less likely to disclose stroke to family members.
“The data indicate that the prevalence of stroke is very low among neurologists,” said Dr. Daniela Pascual-Leone, lead author of the study.
“That is important, because stroke is one of the leading causes of disability in our country.
In fact, it is the leading cause of disability among adults in this country.
Our findings indicate that there are very few people who are very knowledgeable in stroke and who can provide definitive information about stroke patients, even when there is a known underlying condition.”
The authors said their findings were important because, although trust is correlated with the risk of stroke, “it may be that trust is even less reliable than the number of neurologists.”
“It is clear that physicians who are more competent are more reliable and trustworthy than those who do not have the best of credentials,” said study co-author Dr. Christopher A. Miller, associate professor of neurologic surgery at the University at Buffalo and a neurology specialist.
“Our study shows that the ability to recognize patients who have had stroke is not necessarily dependent on neurology education or training.”