Test your medicine knowledge with the MKSAP challenge, in partnership with the American College of Physicians. A 32-year-old man is evaluated for a 2-week history of a rash on his face and midchest. He describes the rash as consisting of small, reddish “lumps” that are intensely itchy; they develop and begin to resolve with development of new lesions. He otherwise feels well. Medical ...

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Test your medicine knowledge with the MKSAP challenge, in partnership with the American College of Physicians. A 35-year-old man is evaluated for a 2-month history of upper abdominal discomfort after eating. He has recently returned from working in a rural area of a developing country. He takes no medications. There is no family history of esophageal or gastric cancer. On physical examination, vital signs ...

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Diverticulitis is a common and sometimes serious problem that affects several hundred thousand people each year. Diverticulitis is the condition where small outpouchings or “pockets” in the wall of the large intestine called diverticula become inflamed and infected, and typically presents as a constant lower abdominal pain, associated with fever or chills, and often bloating or constipation symptoms. Despite becoming even more common in recent years, not much is understood ...

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If any reader has heard of C. difficile, affectionately known as C. diff, then I presume you have had closer contact with this germ than you would have liked.  It’s an infection of the colon that can be serious, or even fatal.  There isn’t a hospital in the country that isn’t battling against the infection. We are not winning the war against this crafty and cunning adversary. While the infection is not ...

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Flu vaccines are available, and so that means that the anti-vaccine brigade is out in force. The Daily Mail published an anti-vaccine op-ed by a former reality TV contestant named Katie Hopkins. It was followed by a shorter counter argument by a doctor, but when you are given less than half the word count and are at the bottom of the page it is hard to mount an effective response. Hopefully ...

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One cold winter night many years ago, someone dropped off a calico cat and her two kittens in our snowy driveway, and we went from a two cat family to a five cat household. I learned a few things from that. When I was a resident, two thirtysomething family docs had an office upstairs from the residency program. Ned and Peter precepted us, and they sometimes ran downstairs to ask the ...

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The day drags on; you hang in there until the job is finally complete. You are exhausted, tired, and sure something is clearly wrong. Arriving in the emergency department is never one of those moments you expect. Staff greetings are quickly followed by people taking your vital signs, pressure on various parts of your body, and placing you under X-ray machines. Symptoms come and go, and verdicts are read. Good ...

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Angela Cooper arrived home from work to discover her daughter’s temperature had spiked to 102 degrees — a sign that the teenager, who has cancer, had a potentially deadly bloodstream infection. As Cooper rushed her daughter to the hospital, her mind raced: Had she done something to cause the infection? Cooper, who works at a Chevy dealership in Iowa, has no medical background. She is one of thousands of parents who ...

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He was approximately 75 pounds and appeared to be wasting away. Although he was only 43 years old, he had end-stage AIDS. Even in this cachectic state, he continued to refuse to eat the hospital food because he didn’t like it. After speaking at length with him, he said that he only wanted porridge with meat or “fat cakes,” both of which we did not serve in the hospital. He ...

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Most of us do not know the basics of economics, although we should. It impacts every one of us every day that we are alive. Yet, for most of us, once we get beyond the law of supply and demand, our knowledge of the subject starts to vaporize. I can't explain fiscal or monetary policy. While I regard economics as a science, it seems that experts routinely interpret data differently, ...

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