Top 10 Ways to Rock EM Clerkship

In CaRMS Guide, Mentorship by Brent Thoma15 Comments

In our commitment to keeping posts up-to-date, this post was updated by Eve Purdy in December 2014.  You’re a bright-eyed young medical student and you think you want to be an emergency doctor. You haven’t made life easy for yourself. While it may not be the case in other parts of the world, Emergency Medicine in Canada has become a highly sought-after specialty. The stats from our matching service indicated that last year …

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 …

Elusive OMSS The Definitive Medical Explanation

In Opinion by Nadim LalaniLeave a Comment

After having seen several cases I thought that this was important enough to share. [Can’t believe that this hasn’t been published in a major journal]. Below I describe the pathophysiology and teleology and then finish up with two cases from recent memory. Introduction: “did you see grandpa pick up that keg of beer?” …”Yeah he has sick old man strength” Ever heard of an Old Timer displaying an inordinate amount of strength for …

Drunk.

In Editorial by Edmund Kwok5 Comments

Defined as someone “having the faculties impaired by alcohol” (or a more practical version: “When you have to hold onto the grass to keep from falling off the earth“), those of us who work in an acute healthcare facility are witness to many illustrious examples of drunk patients coming through our doors. Underaged kids passed out at a house party? Yup. Raging alcoholics who are brought into the ER at least once a …

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 …