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18. Are doctors aware of the risks of HBV?

Now what is discomforting is the doctors we are training now in our medical schools, many of them are not aware of the prevalence of hepatitis B and liver cancer in our community. This is a survey of the incoming house staff to Stanford Medical Center in 2003 and these are people who graduated from some of the best medical schools in the country and we found that only half of them knew Asian Americans had the highest incidence of hepatitis B. Only a quarter of them knew that there is a one-in-four risk of dying from liver cancer or cirrhosis. Only forty percent recognized that mother to child transmission is the most common transmission in Asians and this is a problem – only a quarter of them said they routinely do a screening, a hepatitis B test for Asians. And this is replicated in all the surveys we conducted. We did a survey when we had this program with the San Francisco health department. Of the 1,000 people who came for screening, only seventeen percent of them said that their doctors told them to get a hepatitis B test and many of these doctors are Asian physicians. It is not just Caucasian physicians.