"The Big Sick" is an intimidating name for a movie. I never know what to think when "sick" is used as a noun. Does it mean vomit? Are we referring to ailing people? Just as the name doesn't give you much insight, neither does the beginning of the film. It has nothing to do with illness. It's about a Pakistani standup comedian/Uber driver who starts dating a white girl, but ...

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Whenever someone asks me what year of medical school I am currently in, I answer that I am a "four-out-of-five." To those outside the milieu of Stanford Medicine, this is an odd response -- four-out-of-five of what? But at Stanford, this is common parlance to refer to students taking a gap year after our third year of medical school. Some would reasonably bemoan my choice to take a research year as ...

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Test your medicine knowledge with the MKSAP challenge, in partnership with the American College of Physicians. A 23-year-old woman is evaluated for 2 weeks of painful lumps on her legs. The lumps persist for several days and make it difficult for her to go to work as a waitress. She is a college student in Ohio where she has lived her whole life. She has ...

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For many years after I became chronically ill, I blamed myself for failing to recover my health. I told myself: “You get sick; you get better. It’s as simple as that.” As a result of this stubborn attitude, I refused to set limits, even though it would have been a tremendous help, not only in managing my symptoms but in keeping them from flaring. Learning to set limitations I have a background ...

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Learn about the differences between polymyositis and dermatomyositis the Medcomic way.

Illustrated by Jorge Muniz and music by Neil Bobenhouse.

Image credit: Medcomic.com

It seems now as if every day and every month is associated with a "national day" or an "awareness month."  Some such as "national taco day" may be less important than others, well depending on one's priorities.  Although many illnesses now also have a dedicated day or month, many of these diseases will go unnoticed.  They will rarely be discussed -- that is until a celebrity or someone in the ...

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Test your medicine knowledge with the MKSAP challenge, in partnership with the American College of Physicians. A 53-year-old man is evaluated for a 5-year history of recurrent gout attacks involving the base of the great toes, mid feet, and ankles. Episodes are becoming more frequent and severe. History is also significant for hypertension and stage 3 chronic kidney disease. Medications are lisinopril and metoprolol. The ...

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My experience trying to obtain the drug prescribed by my rheumatologist is a cautionary tale. This is not about whether the doctor ordered it, or how the specialty pharmacy (CVS) must wait for approval from the insurer before filling the prescription, but the fact the patient who resides and waits at the end of the line, me, is treated not as a person in need, but an expense. In my ...

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Test your medicine knowledge with the MKSAP challenge, in partnership with the American College of Physicians. A 62-year-old woman is evaluated for a “sun allergy,” manifesting as a rash on her scalp, eyelids, upper back, and knuckles. This started 2 years ago, but is less pronounced over the winter months. Medical history is unremarkable. Her only medication is hydrocortisone cream. On physical examination, vital signs are ...

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When Hubby isn’t around to act as a sounding board, when I’m not feeling well, I talk to my dog.  She sometimes gets a fearful, tearful earful.  I think if I could channel her thoughts to Alexa, Amazon’s virtual assistant, our conversation might go something like this: Me: Alexa, it took seven days of seeing dentists for someone to listen to me. Alexa: I didn’t know you were a 7th Day Adventist. Me: No, seven dentists. Alexa ...

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