It was a slow day in the emergency department. I was sitting across the bedside from my patient who came in for a left forearm infection checkup. She was a 73-year-old female with a history of diabetes. She was elegant and soft-spoken. Prior to examining her wound, which had been worsening, I asked her what her A1c number is. She wondered what an A1c number was, and I explained that ...

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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 with type 1 diabetes mellitus is evaluated for recent-onset glycemic fluctuations without symptomatic hypoglycemia. She was diagnosed with diabetes 7 years ago. Her HbA1c levels since diagnosis have ranged from 6.4% to 7.3%, with the most recent value at 7.3%. She reports eating a carbohydrate-consistent diet ...

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A few weeks ago, I saw a patient with shortness of breath during my Saturday clinic. He had been short of breath for a few weeks, and on a couple of occasions, he had also experienced mild chest pain. He has known aortic stenosis, moderate according to his last echocardiogram two years ago. My brain kicked into autopilot, and I asked: “Have you fainted or passed out recently?” It was 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 with a 15-year history of type 2 diabetes mellitus is evaluated for bilateral burning sensation in his feet for the last 6 to 12 months. The sensation worsens at night. His HbA1c levels have remained less than 7.0% for the last 2 years but were between ...

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Test your medicine knowledge with the MKSAP challenge, in partnership with the American College of Physicians. A 55-year-old woman is evaluated for a new-patient visit. Medical history is significant for an eating disorder. Although she has maintained a normal weight for the past 20 years, she notes that prior to that time her weight would fluctuate in a range correlating with BMIs of 17 to ...

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CMS is changing note requirements, among other changes.  Bob Doherty has a wonderful summary: "Medicare's historic proposal to change how it pays physicians." As always, we really will have a difficult time sorting out the unintended consequences of these changes, but they certainly seem like a move in the proper direction.  To me the most important change is a focus on notes: “Allowing medical decision making to be ...

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I loved my endocrinology block in medical school. It was one of my favorite units. One hormone acts on another gland, which either induces a positive feedback releasing its successor hormone or a negative feedback blocking its predecessor. It was step-by-step. It was straightforward. I loved the material so much that I reached out to an endocrinologist to shadow her. I wanted to see the power of what we were learning ...

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One day, I was full of moderate despair, overworked, befuddled by the EHR with a tinge of burnout, staring at my computer, I treated myself to something I’ve not done before. It was my 62nd birthday that day, and I gave myself a birthday present. Before rising from that swivel chair, I had written down on a sticky pad the day that would be my retirement date, exactly one year ...

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In mid-February, thousands flocked to the opening of Black Panther, a highly anticipated film for a multitude of reasons. The most salient of these is its depiction of an African king as Marvel’s and cinematic screen’s first culturally-affirming black superhero. In fact, Black Panther’s success is due to its emergence as a counter-narrative to painful and dysfunctional representations of black life. By normalizing the presence of black royals, diplomats, and ...

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Too often, residents want you to address something, so they don't have to — except for infectious problems where they putz around with antibiotics until lunchtime on Friday, then call ID. For me, one example seemed rather routine: a diabetic with another medical illness. It wasn't terribly well defined in the hospital records, but included atrial fibrillation and congestive failure at presentation. At day nine, with pressure from the DRG lady ...

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