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 +2  (nbme22#8)

Fat soluble vitamins are A,D,E,K. So both D & E could be decreased in this pt. But you have to know that Vitamin E deficiency is associated with demyelination & has been associated with posterior column demyelination. Also Vit E can be given with Alzheimer patients as it helps with free radicals..?

aesalmon  I actually thought that the posterior column findings were likely due to B12 deficiency - "subactue combined degeneration", due to malabsorption, as we see in this pt (. Turns out vitamin E can also cause symptoms which look like subacute combined degeneration: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9012278, as does Copper (TIL): https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15249607
jooceman739  Vitamin E deficiency causes posterior column findings and hemolytic anemia :)
nwinkelmann  The way I think about it is that essentially, vitamin E is an anti-oxidant. Vitamin E deficiency = LOTS of oxidation, i.e. free radicals, which are toxic to most cells in the body (particularly myelination and RBCs). That's why it can be used with Alzheimer's patients.




Subcomments ...

A normoblast is an immature RBC, so it's elevated in states of increased hematopoiesis.

sympathetikey  Don't mind me. Just sippin my dumb ass soda over here. +9  
someduck3  The term "Normoblast" isn't even in first aid. +9  
link981  NBME testing your knowledge of synonyms. Have to know 15 descriptive words of the same thing I guess. +  
tinydoc  I wish they would stop making it so every other question I know the answer and I can't find it among the answer choices because they decided to use some medical thesaurus on us. +2  


submitted by asapdoc(20),

Dr.Goljan explains it really well on the audio. I will just give the basic idea. All the hemoglobins have alpha in it therefore you cannot notice it on hemoglobin electrophoresis

someduck3  Just to add to this; a-thal is due to a deletion. While b-thal is due to a mutation. If they had a b-thal there would be target cells. a-thal just presents as microcytic & hypochromic. +2  


submitted by sympathetikey(303),

Any time you see fixed wide splitting of S2, smash ASD.

someduck3  I'm not 100% about this so take it with a grain of salt. But i was confused about why there would be a systolic murmur. I think its b/c prolonged ASD would eventually cause pulmonic stenosis which would present as a systolic murmur. But besides that I super agree with @sympathetikey +  
need_answers  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7hzabZ7YBr0 -smash, smash, smuh-ash +1  


submitted by seagull(423),

maybe someone can explain why this is avascular necrosis and not sepsis. It doesn't mention fever or absence of fever. The MRI has a small amount of hypodensity but to get avascular necrosis seems odd/

someduck3  Pg 455 of F.A. mentions that alcoholism can be a cause of avascular necrosis. +4  
meningitis  I think the small dark area on the left head of femur and the darkened neck are the avascular sites. Neck: http://img.medscapestatic.com/pi/meds/ckb/15/19515tn.jpg Head: (obvious lesion on the RT femur, but similar discrete lesion on the left as seen on the practice NBME) http://radsource.us/wp-content/uploads/2005/11/1a.jpg +1  
yotsubato  He wouldnt be playing golf if he had septic arthritis. Avascular necrosis is a more chronic condition that has a slow onset. +2  


submitted by drdoom(192),

You have to think about this using the concept of CONDITIONAL PROBABILITY. Another way to ask this type of question is like this: “I show you a patient with spontaneous pneumothorax. Which other thing is most likely to be true about that person?” Or you can phrase it these ways:

  • Given a CONDITION (spontaneous pneumo), what other finding is most likely to be the case?
  • Given a pool of people with spontaneous pneumothorax, what other thing is most likely to be true about them?

In other words, of all people who end up with spontaneous pneumo, the most common other thing about them is that they are MALE & THIN.

If I gave you a bucket of spontaneous pneumo patients -- and you reached your hand in there and pulled one out -- what scenario would be more common: In your hand you have a smoker or in your hand you have a thin male? It’s the latter.

someduck3  Is this the best approach to all of the "strongest predisposing risk factor" type questions? +  
drdoom  There is a town of 1,000 men. Nine hundred of them work as lawyers. The other 100 are engineers. Tom is from this town. He rides his bike to work. In his free time, he likes solving math puzzles. He built his own computer. What is Tom's occupation most likely to be? Answer: Tom is most likely to be a lawyer! Don't let assumptions distract you from the overwhelming force of sheer probability! "Given that Tom is from this town, his most likely occupation (from the available data) = lawyer." +2  
drdoom  There is a town of 1,000 spontaneous pneumo patients. Six hundred are tall, thin and male. The other 400 are something else. Two hundred of the 1,000 smoke cigarettes. The other 800 do not. What risk factor is most strongly associated with spontaneous pneumo? (Answer: Not being a smoker! ... because out of 1,000 people, the most common trait is NOT smoking [800 members].) +3  
impostersyndromel1000  this is WILD! thanks guy +3  
belleng  beautiful! also, i think about odds ratio vs. relative risk...odds ratio is retrospective of case-control studies to find risk factor or exposure that correlates with grater ratio of disease. relative risk is an estimation of incidence in the future when looking at different cohort studies. +  
drdoom  @impostersyndrome I love me some probability and statistics. Glad my rant was useful :P +  
hyperfukus  @drdoom i hate it which is why your rant was extremely useful lol i learned a ton thanks dr.doom! +1  
dubywow  I caught he was thin. The only reason I didn't pick Gender and body habitus is because he was not overly tall (5'10"). I talked myself out of it because I thought the body habitus was too "normal" because he was not both thin AND tall. Got to keep telling myself to not think too hard on these. Thanks for the explanation. +  


submitted by marbledoc(0),

Why would you ask the patient to identify the pros and cons? I don’t get the approach here!

someduck3  There was a question about this in Uworld. for *stubborn* patients who are "not ready to quit" just yet you use the motivational approach. The technique acronym is OARS: Open ended questions, Affirmation, Reflect, Summarize. +2  
yotsubato  Additionally the guy himself says "I know smoking is bad for me" Like he knows its bad, he doesnt care, but give him nicotine replacement and maybe he'll quit... +1  
usmleuser007  I didn't think nicotine replacement was a good answer choice b/c if he isn't ready to quit then why would he agree to use alternatives. +  
usmleuser007  People who smoke and are addicted like the feel of the cigs and environmental ques. Using replacements would be more challenging. The second best answer choice would have been Rx. +  
titanesxvi  why not detail the long-therm health effects of smoking? +  
seracen  @ titanesxvi: I assume because they always like the most "open ended" response. If you start detailing the long term effects, the patient might interpret that as attempting to convince, and might resist or feel pressured. By having the patient elucidate what they consider pros and cons, you allow it to be an open discussion. +