Sunday, December 19, 2010

Holiday Festivities

(Click image to view Doctor Fizzy's medical cartoons)

Just in time for the holidays is the spread only a physician could love. Textbook descriptions of anatomical abnormalities may not be a popular thing to talk about, but somehow they always seem to make it to the dinner table. For an explanation of these rare delicacies consult your local medical student or physician.

Holiday Cheer

Medical students usually dream of this special time when they get extra time to sleep in, experience a comatose state in front of the television, or just simply not think much at all. That is of course if you are in your first two years of medical school. The clinical years are not as relaxing; resembling something closer to a paid profession. We work all the way up to the holidays and sometimes on those special days just chugging along trying to keep pace. It continues to be rewarding, but does it really help in the long run to have one extra day of clinic...really? The break would probably be better for us mentally than stressing about a few hours of scutwork.

The cartoon depicts the feast well and I could imagine a dessert platter offering the following: cafe-au-lait spots, peau d'orange, cherry hemangiomas, or berry aneurysms. As long as you don't have any of these questionable entities yourself, your holidays are already off to a good start. So whatever your plans this holiday season, elaborate or simple, I hope you take some time to enjoy the finer things in your life - even if you have to work on a supposed day off. I hope you all enjoy the beauty of the season and stay in good health. Bon appetit!

Question of the Week
A patient is admitted to the hospital with shortness of breath and found to have a pleural effusion on chest X-ray. Thoracentesis is performed and the fluid is sent for laboratory testing. Results of the fluid analysis are: pleural protein 8.0, serum protein 6.5, pleural LDH 500, serum LDH 100. Based on these findings, which of the following is the most likely etiology of the pleural effusion?

A. Bacterial
B. Congestive heart failure (CHF)
C. Cirrhosis
D. Nephrotic syndrome
E. Pulmonary embolism

Answer & Explanation

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