Group A Strep: The Stray Dog of Bacterias

In Medical Concepts by Brent Thoma2 Comments

Sore throat. Group A Strep. It’s a presenting complaint we see almost daily that certainly doesn’t get anyone’s heart racing. I feel comfortable identifying the “sick” child, have a well-practiced “it’s a virus” speech, am adept in the art of the parent-facilitated tonsil swab, and generally think I diagnose and manage these patients fairly well. For a discussion of the Modified Centor Score and helpful PV card, see Academic Life in the EM. …

A Constipation Cocktail

In Medical Concepts by Brent Thoma4 Comments

Constipation, as defined succinctly by Urban Dictionary, is when you’ve gotta go, but your ass says “no!” It is a diagnosis that I can truly empathize with – who hasn’t been at least a bit bunged up before? The constipated patients that present to the ED take this everyday ailment to a whole new level. No one shows up a little constipated. Those that know they’re constipated come in as a last resort …

Urinalysis Voodoo

In Medical Concepts by Brent Thoma18 Comments

I must have missed the class on urinalysis interpretation in medical school.  When I hit the ward I didn’t have a clue.  Those first few weeks I nodded along knowingly when the residents talked confidently about how the patient did/did not have a UTI, initially being too embarrassed about not knowing something so simple to ask what, exactly, on the urinalysis led them to their conclusion.  A few rotations in I noted what …

I’m drowning in FOAM!

In Medical Concepts by Brent Thoma6 Comments

Over the past year my education has been enhanced by the wonders of Free Open Access Meducation (FOAM).  While I have found the innumerable podcasts and blog posts to be extremely educational, I’ve noticed a problem: I’m drowning in FOAM! For the most part, it is a good thing. I am learning a ton from the many podcasts and blogs that I follow. This was working out great until I got to the …