Tuberculosis in physicians: A continuing problem

P. J. Geiseler, K. E. Nelson, R. G. Crispen, V. K. Moses

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

34 Scopus citations


We evaluated the occurrence of active tuberculosis in 4,575 physicians who graduated between 1938 and 1981 from the same medical school. There were 66 cases. Fifteen (23%) cases were detected after 1970 including 4 diagnosed in 1981. For most years, the incidence of tuberculosis was higher in physicians than in the general population. Forty-eight (73%) patients were between 25 and 34 yr of age at the time of diagnosis. Two thirds of all cases occurred within 6 yr of graduation, even in graduates since 1970. The risk of tuberculosis was 140 per 100,000 persons-years within 6 yr of graduation. Sixty-three percent of initially tuberculin-negative medical students who subsequently had active tuberculosis converted their tuberculin reaction during medical school or clinical training. Recipients of BCG vaccine had 40% less tuberculosis than unimmunized, initially tuberculin-negative, physicians. Health authorities should be cognizant of the continuing risk of tuberculosis in medical students and physicians.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)773-778
Number of pages6
JournalAmerican Review of Respiratory Disease
Issue number5
StatePublished - Jan 1 1986
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine


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