If you search for “how to pass a urine drug test” on the internet, you will get several million results. As physicians, we see and manage the national opioid crisis every day. We see the impacts of this in our practices and our lives. The crisis frankly shows no signs of abating or becoming a less critical issue. Unfortunately, one major reason for our inability to control this issue might ...

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Test your medicine knowledge with the MKSAP challenge, in partnership with the American College of Physicians. A 25-year-old man is evaluated for dark-colored urine for 2 days, swelling of the face and hands for 1 day, and severe headaches this morning. He reports having an upper respiratory tract infection 1 week ago with fever, sore throat, and swollen glands, but had otherwise felt well. Medical ...

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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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Test your medicine knowledge with the MKSAP challenge, in partnership with the American College of Physicians. A 57-year-old woman is evaluated in the emergency department for an episode of hematemesis that occurred 1 hour ago. She had previously felt well except for a recent knee injury, for which she has been taking ibuprofen. She currently is experiencing lightheadedness and weakness. Medical history is ...

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“Apocalyptic” was the word used by my fellow volunteers at the local church, a temporary shelter for displaced families on post-hurricane-landfall day 3. Although the flooded roads harboring similarly displaced alligators, fire ants, and snakes and the black flecks in the sky representing rescue helicopters were grossly removed from the many-eyed beasts of Revelations, I agreed with their assessment. In fact, the thousands of flooding victims stranded on roofs in ...

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"OK, one more patient to go," I said to myself with my eyes quickly scanning the patient list in my hands. I was in the elevator, going up the spanking new glass tower in the giant tertiary care hospital I call my workplace. Today was turning out to be a better Monday than usual. I had worked over the weekend, so I knew the patients. And there were no major ...

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Dear John Oliver, First of all, thank you for your recent segment on dialysis. Kidney disease deserves much more attention and discussion than it currently receives. Thank you also for your full-throated support of transplantation and the need for more kidney donors. As a practicing nephrologist, there is nothing better than hearing that one of my patients has been given a transplant. Finally, thank you for pointing out that end-stage renal ...

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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 recurrent nephrolithiasis. Medical history is significant for Crohn disease complicated by multiple small bowel strictures requiring resection. He began developing kidney stones 3 years ago following his last bowel surgery. Analysis of the stones has consistently shown calcium oxalate, and he ...

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I felt a gust of sharp pain a couple of centimeters to the right of my belly button. It will subside, I thought. All pain subsides. It was an easy dictum to follow as a 39-year-old pediatric eye doc who last spent a night in the hospital as a patient in 1977. I’d undergone bilateral laparoscopic inguinal hernia repair ten days earlier, so I was accustomed to brief squalls of discomfort ...

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Chronic kidney failure is a serious disease. When progression to end-stage renal disease (ESRD) occurs, dialysis is required to sustain life. It is shocking, then, that in the United States, it is estimated that over 1,000 patients annually are involuntarily discharged from their dialysis clinics. Further, they are often "blackballed" from other local clinics. The consequences for such patients, predominately African-American, are dire. A patient may be unable to find a ...

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Acute kidney injury (AKI) is hard. Things that seem like they should work often don't. Just ask Perry Wilson. And even the most predictable cases of AKI are resistant to intervention. Look at bypass surgery. We know days in advance the time and place the AKI will occur and despite that foreknowledge, like Cassandra, we are powerless to prevent the AKI. Same with contrast administration (or not). Same with AAA ...

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