Sunday, October 11, 2009

A Breath of Fresh Air

I wonder if doctors have the privilege of prescribing vacations among other things. As a medical student, feeding the urge to enjoy oneself is often confronted with a looming need to study, thus rendering vacation a physical attribute that is rarely shared mentally.

Psychiatric Relief

With the extra day off last week and an opportunity to get out of town, I was sure not to pass up a potential vacation. Nonetheless I still have a quiz upon my return Monday. With some study behind me, the hours of travel time to come, and the mountain pass closed ahead there is a little time before I can consider myself fully prepared for the upcoming knowledge assessment.

From the beginning, the idea of boards has haunted me as the ultimate test of knowledge. In the interim, there is always something that needs to be studied. This unending progression of curriculum makes weekends and vacations difficult to enjoy completely. Although, I must say, studying for my quiz at a mountainside resort was not the worst experience ever, despite the urge to enjoy local amenities. My kind wife made an attempt at helping, but when it came time for the “anti-pyretics” and I had to point out they have little do with “pirates,” I finished the investigation on my own.

If for nothing else, this weekend getaway provided a mental respite from the monotonous page turning that fills most weekends. I would definitely suggest taking the time, however minimal, to regroup and stay at the peak of your game. Do yourself a favor, consider your mental health too and maintain your sanity once in a while.

Board Prep Question of the Week


A 43-year-old woman presents with bone pain, joint pain, and fatigue. Further history reveals blood in her urine and difficulty moving her bowels. She denies recent weight loss, poor appetite, and night sweats. She has no chronic medical conditions and does not take any medications or use drugs. Her family history is negative for malignancy. Physical examination is negative for lymphadenopathy or hepatosplenomegaly. Laboratory values include serum calcium 11.2 mg/dL, serum phosphorous 2.0 mg/dL, urine calcium 410 mg, and increased levels serum 1,25-hydroxy Vitamin D, and parathyroid hormone. Which of the following medications would most likely help in treating this patient?

A. 1,25-hydroxy Vitamin D
B. Calcium gluconate
C. Furosemide
D. Hydrochlorothiazide
E. Magnesium sulfate

Answer & Explanation

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