Many Med Students Ignorant on Hand-Washing 2 of 3 rising doctors don't know when to clean hands: Study By Dustin Lushing, Newser Staff Posted Dec 2, 2011 5:25 PM CST 16 comments Comments Make sure your doctor is doing this a lot. (Shutterstock.com) (Newser) – Doctors are expected to be seasoned experts in all things health, but a new study suggests that medical students aren't always sure when they're supposed to wash their hands, reports Time's Healthland blog. Researchers quizzed 85 German medical students on different scenarios and found that only one in three correctly identified all of those that required hand-washing. Most of the soon-to-be doctors knew they had to wash their hands before making contact with a patient, after touching a patient's bed, and (thankfully) coming into contact with vomit. Two that tripped them up: They're also supposed to wash up before preparing IV fluids and removing gloves. The latter is important because germs can travel through latex, notes Time.