This is a story of a very special patient. A story that may change your outlook on life. When I first met her, there was an interesting aura that surrounded her. An aura of positivity and contentment. She was listening to her favorite band on her iPhone and humming along. Her carefree countenance was perfectly paired with the jovial tunes. I had admitted her to the hospital for an infected bedsore. She ...

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Test your medicine knowledge with the MKSAP challenge, in partnership with the American College of Physicians. A 30-year-old woman is evaluated for difficult-to-treat migraine. She has had severe headaches, usually on the first day of menses, since menarche. The pain is hemicranial, pulsatile, and associated with severe nausea and vomiting but no aura. She frequently awakens with the attack already in progress. Ibuprofen was helpful in controlling ...

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For the first couple of years of medical school, the constant stream of exams and the anxiety that came along with each one seemed never-ending. I told myself that it was worth sacrificing my personal health to better the lives of others. I put off addressing my own mental health needs to keep advancing to the next level of education. I let stress manifest itself in new ways that my body ...

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Spanking is an extremely common form of corporal punishment, generally used against a child in response to a perceived bad behavior. It is an old-fashioned form of punishment that has the potential to cause more harm than good. It is clear that spanking may be effective in causing immediate obedience, but this effect is short-lived. Corporal punishment has been associated with adverse effects in childhood, such as causing the child to ...

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When I was a little, I used to love puzzles. You could find me with pen in hand, sprawled out on my bedroom floor, nose buried deep in word searches or my Highlights magazine. I wanted to know how things worked. I loved building block sets and making up games with my older brother during summer vacations. Over the years, that curiosity eventually morphed into my current profession as a ...

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Test your medicine knowledge with the MKSAP challenge, in partnership with the American College of Physicians. A 57-year-old man is evaluated for a diagnosis of acute kidney injury. He was diagnosed with gastroesophageal reflux disease 3 weeks ago and was prescribed omeprazole. Several days ago he noticed lower extremity swelling and decreased frequency of urination. Laboratory evaluation showed a serum creatinine level of 2.2 mg/dL (194.5 µmol/L). ...

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When it comes to our health and our health care, we love the numbers. Sometimes, we even fall in love with the numbers, assuming that the numbers tell us the whole story when, in fact, that may not be the case. Cholesterol numbers, blood pressure numbers, body mass index, whatever. As patients and consumers, we are frequently defined by our numbers. But what happens when those numbers and other medical tests, ...

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Vaginal yeast infections are common, up to 75 percent of women will have at least one and 5 percent of women suffer from chronic yeast infections (meaning four or more a year). Many women out of frustration with allopathic medicine (preventing recurrent yeast infections can be challenging) or because of their beliefs turn to alternative medicine options. More and more I am hearing about vaginal garlic. The problem with many alternative ...

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How many calories are in a pound? This seemingly simple question stumped me on my family medicine board recertification exam seven years ago — twice. (I think they asked the question in two different ways. I hoped they were experimental questions that didn’t count.) Later that day, I found the answer: 3,500 calories equals one pound. I don’t remember which multiple-choice answer I chose, but I do remember choosing the same answer ...

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Test your medicine knowledge with the MKSAP challenge, in partnership with the American College of Physicians. A 25-year-old woman e-mails her internist from Mexico with a report of diarrhea for 2 days. She is traveling and reports three to four loose bowel movements per day. She has been dining in the hotel restaurants but has also consumed foods and bottled soft drinks served with ice from local ...

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