Six months ago, I had severe right flank pain. In the ER, I had an ultrasound showing a possible kidney stone. I deferred a CT scan and went home with medication. I fit the textbook picture: I had abnormal imaging, and I was given a treatment and discharged. I was advised to return if the pain worsened or failed to resolve. I briefly improved, but then the pain returned much ...

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Test your medicine knowledge with the MKSAP challenge, in partnership with the American College of Physicians. A 28-year-old man is evaluated for a 2-month history of progressive lower-extremity edema, weight loss, and fatigue. Medical history is significant for recreational use of inhaled cocaine; he denies injection drug use. He has no other known medical issues and takes no medications. On physical examination, temperature is 37.2 °C ...

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In recent years, there has been a push across medical schools to change the grading scale towards that of a pass-fail system. The appeals of a pass-fail system to me were obvious. Instead of worrying about my grades as I had in college to maintain an adequate enough GPA to get into medical school, I believed that merely passing would lessen much of the pressures I faced as an undergrad. Those ...

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I always warn my medical students to be careful what they say in front of patients, or patients' families or friends. "You never know who's listening!" I add. They may think that I'm exaggerating — but I have my reasons. Early in my career as an internist/nephrologist, if I had a free moment, I'd head for the emergency room. I might get a referral, and the coffee and conversation were usually ...

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A 60-year-old lady came for follow-up after a recent stay in the hospital. She was diabetic — horribly uncontrolled — the result of which was that she had already been on dialysis for four years. She ended up in the emergency room with chest pain. Diabetic patients are at higher risk than the general population of having heart attacks. She underwent studies to evaluate for blockages in her heart. The cardiologist ...

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“Any recent antibiotics? Steroids?” I asked my last patient of the day, a healthy looking young woman with what she described as a yeast infection that was driving her crazy. She’d had many of them, and they were always coming back, but she had only used over the counter topicals. I knew she needed oral medication, but I asked one more question: “Any trouble with high blood sugars?” Her answer eliminated any ...

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Test your medicine knowledge with the MKSAP challenge, in partnership with the American College of Physicians. A 65-year-old man is evaluated during a follow-up visit for stage G3b/A3 chronic kidney disease due to diabetic nephropathy. He reports doing well with good baseline exercise tolerance and no shortness of breath. Medical history is also significant for type 2 diabetes mellitus and hypertension. Medications are basal bolus insulin and ...

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Test your medicine knowledge with the MKSAP challenge, in partnership with the American College of Physicians. A 45-year-old man is evaluated during an annual routine health maintenance visit. History is notable for type 2 diabetes mellitus (diet controlled) diagnosed 3 months ago. Family history is significant for his father who developed end-stage kidney disease due to diabetes at age 68 years. He reports ...

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When asked to describe my career, I consider myself primarily a clinician educator.  Recently I have reflected on the influences that allowed me to have a successful career doing what I love.  This post is not meant to mention all those influencers, but just some that I recall often.  As I have thought about this post, I quickly realized that all the “heroes” that I recall focused on clinical education. ...

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I enter the corridor of my new workplace. I’m welcomed and introduced all around. For some reason, best known to her, the human resource lady took so much of my time that I am already pissed and looking angry. I don’t feel comfortable in this different setup, and I miss my old workplace. Every single thing about it, which previously used to get on my nerves, I miss. However, I succumb ...

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