Tuberculosis in physicians: A continuing problem

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

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


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


Dive into the research topics of 'Tuberculosis in physicians: A continuing problem'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this