An assessment of physician knowledge of Tay Sachs disease

E. D. Rosenstein, L. Godmilow, K. Hirschhorn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


A study was undertaken to evaluate the knowledge of Tay Sachs disease in the Mount Sinai School of Medicine medical community and the degree of physician participation in and advocacy of Tay Sachs screening. The results of a questionnaire distributed to 234 medical students, house staff and attending physicians were analyzed. Physicians at Mount Sinai performed reasonably well, with pediatricians scoring substantially higher than the other specialists. The greatest deficiency of knowledge was noted in awareness of the carrier rate in the at risk population. This risk was significantly underestimated in our sample. This underestimation of risk is a possible explanation for physician's poor compliance with Tay Sachs screening when the physician himself was at risk as a carrier. This underestimation of risk is also offered as an explanation for the poor record of the physicians as advocates of screening for their at risk patients. In addition, and of particular interest, was the inadequate understanding of the mechanics of inheritance. A suggestion for the education of the medical community is offered.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-4
Number of pages4
JournalMount Sinai Journal of Medicine
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1980
Externally publishedYes


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