Curricular representation of neurogastroenterology: A survey among medical students in Germany

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Background: Neurogastroenterological disorders (NGDs) are highly prevalent and substantially impact patients' quality of life. Effective treatment of NGDs depends on the competence and training of medical caregivers. Students' perceived competence in neurogastroenterology and its place in medical school curricula are assessed in this study. Methods: A multi-center digital survey among medical students was conducted at five universities. Self-ratings of competence regarding basic mechanisms, diagnosis, and treatment of six chronic medical conditions were assessed. These included irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), gastroesophageal reflux disease, and achalasia. Ulcerative colitis, hypertension, and migraine were included as references. Key Results: Of 231 participants, 38% remembered that neurogastroenterology was covered in their curriculum. Highest competence ratings were stated for hypertension and the lowest for IBS. These findings were identical for all institutions irrespective of their curricular model and demographic parameters. Students who remembered neurogastroenterology as a part of their curriculum reported higher competence ratings. According to 72% of students, NGDs should be highlighted more prominently in the curriculum. Conclusions & Inferences: Despite its epidemiological relevance, neurogastroenterology is only weakly represented in medical curricula. Students report low levels of subjective competence in handling NGDs. In general, assessing the learners' perspective on an empirical basis may enrichen the process of national standardization of medical school curricula.


Original languageEnglish
Article numbere14557
JournalNeurogastroenterology & Motility
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 9 Mar 2023

External IDs

Scopus 85150489221
Mendeley 72a75394-a02d-310f-90fa-bf13a0ad070d



  • neurogastroenterology, medical education, irritable bowel syndrome, medical students, curriculum