Exam 1 Bick

1. For which of the following patients would a comprehensive health history be appropriate?
A) A new patient with the chief complaint of “I sprained my ankle”
B) An established patient with the chief complaint of “I have an upper respiratory infection”
C) A new patient with the chief complaint of “I am here to establish care”
D) A new patient with the chief complaint of “I cut my hand”
C.

This patient is here to establish care, and because she is new to you, a comprehensive health history is appropriate

2. The components of the health history include all of the following except which one?
A) Review of systems
B) Thorax and lungs
C) Present illness
D) Personal and social items
B

The thorax and lungs are part of the physical exam, not part of the health history.

Is the following information subjective or objective?
Mr. M. has shortness of breath that has persisted for the past 10 days; it is worse with activity and relieved by rest.
A) Subjective
B) Objective
A. Subjective

This is information given by the patient about the circumstances of his chief complaint.

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Is the following information subjective or objective? Mr. M. has a respiratory rate of 32 , and a pulse rate of 120.
A. Subjective
B. Objective
B

This is a measurement obtained by the examiner, so it is considered objective data.

The following information is recorded in the health history: “The patient has had abdominal pain for 1 week. The pain lasts for 30 minutes at a time; it comes and goes. The severity is 7 to 9 on a scale of 1 to 10. It is accompanied by nausea and vomiting. It is located in the mid-epigastric area.”
Which of these categories does it belong to?
A) Chief complaint
B) Present illness
C) Personal and social history
D) Review of systems
B. Present Illness.

This information describes the problem of abdominal pain, which is the present illness. The interviewer has obtained the location, timing, severity, and associated manifestations of the pain. The interviewer will still need to obtain information concerning the quality of the pain, the setting in which it occurred, and the factors that aggravate and alleviate the pain. You will notice that it does include portions of the pertinent review of systems, but because it relates directly to the complain, it is included in the history of the present illness.

The following information is recorded in the health history: “The patient completed 8th grade. He currently lives with his wife and two children. He works on old cars on the weekend. He works in a glass factory during the week.”
Which category does it belong to?
Personal and social history

Personal and social history information includes educational level, family of origin, current household status, personal interests, employment, religious beliefs, military history, and lifestyle (including diet and exercise habits; use of alcohol, tobacco, and/or drugs; and sexual preferences and history). All of this information is documented in this example.

The following information is recorded in the health history: “I feel really tired.”
Which category does it belong to?
Chief complaint

The chief complaint is an attempt to quote the patient’s own words, as long as they are suitable to print. It is brief, like a headline, and further details should be sought in the present illness section.

The following information is recorded in the health history: “Patient denies chest pain, palpitations, orthopnea, and paroxysmal nocturnal dyspnea.”
Which category does it belong to?
Review of Systems

Review of systems documents the presence or absence of common symptoms related to each major body system. The absence of cardiac symptoms is listed in the above example.

The following information is best placed in which category? “The patient has had three cesarean sections.”
Surgeries

A cesarean section is a surgical procedure. Approximate dates or the age of the patient at time of the surgery should also be recorded.

“The patient had a stent placed in the left anterior descending artery (LAD) in 1999”

Category?

Adult Illnesses

The adult illness category is reserved for chronic illnesses, significant hospitalizations, significant injuries, and significant procedures. A stent is a major procedure but does not involve a surgeon.

“The patient was treated for an asthma exacerbation in the hospital last year; the patient has never been intubated.”
Adult illnesses

This information is about a significant hospitalization and should be placed in the adult illnesses section. If the patient is being seen for an asthma exacerbation, you may consider placing this information in the present illness section, because it relates to the chief complaint at that visit.

A patient presents for evaluation of a sharp, aching chest pain which increases with breathing. Which anatomic area would you localize the symptom to?
Musculoskeletal

Chest pain may be due to a musculoskeletal condition, such as costochondritis, or intercostal muscle cramp. This would be worsened by motion of the chest wall. Pleuritic chest pain is also a sharp chest pain which increases with a deep breath. This type of pain can occur with inflammation of the pleura from pneumonia or other conditions and pulmonary embolus.

A patient comes to the emergency room for evaluation of shortness of breath. To which anatomic region would you assign the symptom?
Cardiac

Cardiac disorders such as CHF are the most likely on this list to result in shortness of breath. There are cases within the other categories which may also result in shortness of breath, such as anemia in the hematologic category, pregnancy in the reproductive category, or sepsis with UTI in the urinary category. This demonstrates the “tension” in clinical resigning between making sure all possibilities are covered while still being able to pick the most likely cause.

A patient presents for evaluation of a cough. Which of the following anatomic regions can be responsible for a cough?
A) Ophthalmologic
B) Auditory
C) Cardiac
D) Endocrine
C

The cardiac system can cause a cough if the patient has congestive heart failure. This results in fluid buildup in the lungs, which in turn can cause a cough that produces pink, frothy sputum. A foreign body in the ear may also cause a cough by stimulating Arnold’s branch of the vagus nerve, but this is less likely to be seen clinically than heart failure.

A 22-year-old advertising copywriter presents for evaluation of joint pain. The pain is new, located in the wrists and fingers bilaterally, with some subjective fever. The patient denies a rash; she also denies recent travel or camping activities. She has a family history significant for rheumatoid arthritis. Based on this information, which of the following pathologic processes would be the most correct?
A) Infectious
B) Inflammatory
C) Hematologic
D) Traumatic
The description is most consistent with an inflammatory process, although all the other etiologies should be considered. Lyme disease is an infection which commonly causes arthritis, hemophilia is a hematologic condition which can cause bleeding in the joints, and trauma can obviously cause joint pain. Your clinical reasoning skills are important for sorting through all of the data to arrive at the most likely conclusion.
A 47-year-old contractor presents for evaluation of neck pain, which has been intermittent for several years. He normally takes over-the-counter medications to ease the pain, but this time they haven’t worked as well and he still has discomfort. He recently wallpapered the entire second floor in his house, which caused him great discomfort. The pain resolved with rest. He denies fever, chills, rash, upper respiratory symptoms, trauma, or injury to the neck. Based on this description, what is the most likely pathologic process?
A) Infectious
B) Neoplastic
C) Degenerative
D) Traumatic
C

The description is most consistent with degenerative arthritis in the neck. The patient has had intermittent symptoms and the questions asked to elicit pertinent negative and positive findings are negative for infectious, traumatic, or neoplastic disease.

A 15-year-old high school sophomore comes to the clinic for evaluation of a 3-week history of sneezing; itchy, watery eyes; clear nasal discharge; ear pain; and nonproductive cough. Which is the most likely pathologic process?
A) Infection
B) Inflammation
C) Allergic
D) Vascular
C
A 19-year old-college student presents to the emergency room with fever, headache, and neck pain/stiffness. She is concerned about the possibility of meningococcal meningitis. Several of her dorm mates have been vaccinated, but she hasn’t been. Which of the following physical examination descriptions is most consistent with meningitis?
A) Head is normocephalic and atraumatic, fundi with sharp discs, neck supple with full range of motion
B) Head is normocephalic and atraumatic, fundi with sharp discs, neck with paraspinous muscle spasm and limited range of motion to the right
C) Head is normocephalic and atraumatic, fundi with blurred disc margins, neck tender to palpation, unable to perform range of motion
D) Head is normocephalic and atraumatic, fundi with blurred disc margins, neck supple with full range of motion
C

Blurred disc margins are consistent with papilledema, and neck tenderness and lack of range of motion are consistent with neck stiffness, which in this scenario is likely to be caused by meningeal inflammation. Later, you will learn about Kernig’s and Brudzinski’s signs, which are helpful in testing for meningeal irritation on examination.

A 37-year-old nurse comes for evaluation of colicky right upper quadrant abdominal pain. The pain is associated with nausea and vomiting and occurs 1 to 2 hours after eating greasy foods. Which one of the following physical examination descriptions would be most consistent with the diagnosis of cholecystitis?
A) Abdomen is soft, nontender, and nondistended, without hepatosplenomegaly or masses.
B) Abdomen is soft and tender to palpation in the right lower quadrant, without rebound or guarding.
C) Abdomen is soft and tender to palpation in the right upper quadrant with inspiration, to the point of stopping inspiration, and there is no rebound or guarding.
D) Abdomen is soft and tender to palpation in the mid-epigastric area, without rebound or guarding.
C

in cholecystitis, the pain, which originates from the gallbladder, is located in the right upper quadrant. Severity of pain with inspiration that is sufficient to stop further inhalation is also known as Murphy’s sign, which, if present, is further indicative of inflammation of the gallbladder.

A 55-year-old data entry operator comes to the clinic to establish care. She has the following symptoms: headache, neck pain, sinus congestion, sore throat, ringing in ears, sharp brief chest pains at rest, burning abdominal pain with spicy foods, constipation, urinary frequency that is worse with coughing and sneezing, and swelling in legs. This cluster of symptoms is explained by:
A) One disease process
B) More than one disease process
b
The patient appears to have several possible conditions: allergic rhinitis, arthritis, conductive hearing loss, pleuritic chest pains, heartburn, stress urinary incontinence, and venous stasis, among other conditions. Although we always try, it is very difficult to assign all of these symptoms to one cohesive diagnosis.
A 62-year-old teacher presents to the clinic for evaluation of the following symptoms: fever, headache, sinus congestion, sore throat, green nasal discharge, and cough. This cluster of symptoms is best explained by:
A) One disease process
B) More than one disease process
A

This cluster of symptoms is most consistent with sinusitis. The chance that all of these symptoms are caused by multiple synchronous conditions in the same patient is much less than the possibility of having one problem which accounts for all of them.

Steve has just seen a 5-year-old girl who wheezes when exposed to cats. The patient’s family history is positive for asthma. You think the child most likely has asthma. What have you just accomplished?
A) You have tested your hypothesis.
B) You have developed a plan.
C) You have established a working diagnosis.
D) You have created a hypothesis.
D
As you go through a history and examination, you will start to generate ideas to explain the patient’s symptoms. It is best to keep an open mind and make as many hypotheses as you can, to avoid missing a possibility. A common mistake is to latch onto one idea too early. Once you have committed your mind to a diagnosis, it is difficult to change to another. To think about looking for wheezes on examination would be an example of testing your new hypothesis. Starting a patient on an inhaled medicine would be a plan. It is too early to commit to a working diagnosis, given the amount of information you have gathered.
Ms. Washington is a 67-year-old who had a heart attack last month. Now she complains of shortness of breath and not being able to sleep in a flat position (orthopnea). On examination you note increased jugular venous pressure, an S3 gallop, crackles low in the lung fields, and swollen ankles (edema). This is an example of a:
A) Pathophysiologic problem
B) Psychopathologic problem
A

This is an example of a pathophysiologic problem because Ms. Washington’s symptoms are consistent with a pathophysiologic process. The heart attack reduced the ability of her heart to handle her volume status and subsequently produced the many features of congestive heart failure.

On the way to see your next patient, you glance at the calendar and make a mental note to buy a Mother’s Day card. Your patient is Ms. Hernandez, a 76-year-old widow who lost her husband in May, two years ago. She comes in today with a headaches, abdominal pain, and general malaise. This happened once before, about a year ago, according to your detailed office notes. You have done a thorough evaluation but are unable to arrive at a consistent picture to tie these symptoms together. This is an example of a:
A) Pathophysiologic problem
B) Psychopathologic problem
B

It is not uncommon for patients to experience psychopathologic symptoms around the anniversary of a traumatic event. The time of year and the lack of an obvious connection between Ms. Hernandez’s symptoms would make you consider this as a possibility. You will note that although this might have been an early consideration in your hypothesis generation, it is key to convince yourself that there is not a physiologic explanation for these symptoms, by performing a careful history and examination.

Mr. Larson is a 42-year-old widowed father of two children, ages 4 and 11. He works in a sales office to support his family. Recently he has injured his back and you are thinking he would benefit from physical therapy, three times a week, for an hour per session. What would be your next step?
A) Write the physical therapy prescription.
B) Have your office staff explain directions to the physical therapy center.
C) Discuss the plan with Mr. Larson.
D) Tell Mr. Larson that he will be going to physical therapy three times a week.
C

you should discuss your proposed plan with the patient before implementing it. In this case, you and Mr. Larson will need to weigh the benefit of physical therapy against the ability to provide for his family. You may need to consider other ways of helping the patient, perhaps through prescribed back exercises he can do at home. It is a common mistake to implement a plan without coming to an agreement with the patient first.

You are seeing an elderly man with multiple complaints. He has chronic arthritis, pain from an old war injury, and headaches. Today he complains of these pains, as well as dull chest pain under his sternum. What would the order of priority be for your problem list?
A) Arthritis, war injury pain, headaches, chest pain
B) War injury pain, arthritis, headaches, chest pain
C) Headaches, arthritis, war injury pain, chest pain
D) Chest pain, headaches, arthritis, war injury pain
D

The problem list should have the most active and serious problem first. This new complaint of chest pain is almost certainly a higher priority than his other, more chronic problems.

You are excited about a positive test finding you have just noticed on physical examination of your patient. You go on to do more examination, laboratory work, and diagnostic tests, only to find that there is no sign of the disease you thought would correlate with the finding. This same experience happens several times. What should you conclude?
A) Consider not doing this test routinely.
B) Use this test when you have a higher suspicion for a certain correlating condition.
C) Continue using the test, perhaps doing less laboratory work and diagnostics.
D) Omit this test from future examinations.
C

This is an example of a sensitive physical finding that lacks specificity. This does not make this a useless test, because the purpose of a screening physical is to find disease. This finding made you consider the associated condition as one of your hypotheses, and this in itself has value. Other possibilities are that you may be doing the maneuver incorrectly or using it on the wrong population. It is important to ask for hands-on help from your instructor when you have a question about a maneuver. Make sure that your information about the maneuver comes from a reliable source as well. All of this information also applies to history questions.

You are growing fatigued of performing a maneuver on examination because you have never found a positive and are usually pressed for time. How should you next approach this maneuver?
A) Use this test when you have a higher suspicion for a certain correlating condition.
B) Omit this test from future examinations.
C) Continue doing the test, but rely more heavily on laboratory work and diagnostics.
D) Continue performing it on all future examinations.
A

This is an example of a specific test that lacks sensitivity. With this scenario, when you finally find a positive, you might be very certain that a given condition is present. We generally develop our examinations to fit our clinical experiences. Sensitive tests are performed routinely on the screening examination, while specific tests are usually saved for the detailed or “branched” examinations. Branched examinations are further maneuvers we can perform to investigate positive findings on our screening examinations. Save this type of maneuver to confirm your hypothesis. All of this information also applies to history questions.

You have recently returned from a medical missions trip to sub-Saharan Africa, where you learned a great deal about malaria. You decide to use some of the same questions and maneuvers in your “routine” when examining patients in the midwestern United States. You are disappointed to find that despite getting some positive answers and findings, on further workup, none of your patients has malaria except one, who recently emigrated from Ghana. How should you next approach these questions and maneuvers?
A) Continue asking these questions in a more selective way.
B) Stop asking these questions, because they are low yield.
C) Question the validity of the questions.
D) Ask these questions of all your patients.
A

The predictive value of a positive finding depends upon the prevalence of a given disease in a population. The prevalence of malaria in the Midwest is almost zero, except in people immigrating from areas of high prevalence. You will waste time and resources applying these questions and maneuvers to all patients. It would be wise to continue applying what you learned to those who are from areas of high prevalence of a given disease. Likewise, physicians from Ghana should not ask about signs or symptoms of multiple sclerosis, as it is found almost exclusively in northern latitudes. You will learn to tailor your examination to the population you are serving.

Alexandra is a 28-year-old editor who presents to the clinic with abdominal pain. The pain is a dull ache, located in the right upper quadrant, that she rates as a 3 at the least and an 8 at the worst. The pain started a few weeks ago, it lasts for 2 to 3 hours at a time, it comes and goes, and it seems to be worse a couple of hours after eating. She has noticed that it starts after eating greasy foods, so she has cut down on these as much as she can. Initially it occurred once a week, but now it is occurring every other day. Nothing makes it better. From this description, which of the seven attributes of a symptom has been omitted?
A) Setting in which the symptom occurs
B) Associated manifestations
C) Quality
D) Timing
Associated Manifestations

The interviewer has not recorded whether or not the pain has been accompanied by nausea, vomiting, fever, chills, weight loss, and so on. Associated manifestations are additional symptoms that may accompany the initial chief complaint and that help the examiner to start refining his or her differential diagnosis.

Jason is a 41-year-old electrician who presents to the clinic for evaluation of shortness of breath. The shortness of breath occurs with exertion and improves with rest. It has been going on for several months and initially occurred only a couple of times a day with strenuous exertion; however, it has started to occur with minimal exertion and is happening more than a dozen times per day. The shortness of breath lasts for less than 5 minutes at a time. He has no cough, chest pressure, chest pain, swelling in his feet, palpitations, orthopnea, or paroxysmal nocturnal dyspnea.
Severity

The severity of the symptom was not recorded by the interviewer, so we have no understanding as to how bad the symptom is for this patient. The patient could have been asked to rate his pain on a 0 to 10 scale or used one of the other standardized pain scales available. This allows the comparison of pain intensity before and after an intervention.
k

You are interviewing an elderly woman in the ambulatory setting and trying to get more information about her urinary symptoms. Which of the following techniques is not a component of adaptive questioning?
A) Directed questioning: starting with the general and proceeding to the specific in a manner that does not make the patient give a yes/no answer
B) Reassuring the patient that the urinary symptoms are benign and that she doesn’t need to worry about it being a sign of cancer
C) Offering the patient multiple choices in order to clarify the character of the urinary symptoms that she is experiencing
D) Asking her to tell you exactly what she means when she states that she has a urinary tract infection
b
Reassurance is not part of clarifying the patient’s story; it is part of establishing rapport and empathizing with the patient.
Mr. W. is a 51-year-old auto mechanic who comes to the emergency room wanting to be checked out for the symptom of chest pain. As you listen to him describe his symptom in more detail, you say “Go on,” and later, “Mm-hmmm.” This is an example of which of the following skilled interviewing techniques?
A) Echoing
B) Nonverbal communication
C) Facilitation
D) Empathic response
c
This is an example of facilitation. Facilitation can be posture, actions, or words that encourage the patient to say more.
Mrs. R. is a 92-year-old retired teacher who comes to your clinic accompanied by her daughter. You ask Mrs. R. why she came to your clinic today. She looks at her daughter and doesn’t say anything in response to your question. This is an example of which type of challenging patient?
A) Talkative patient
B) Angry patient
C) Silent patient
D) Hearing-impaired patient
c

This is one example of a silent patient. There are many possibilities for this patient’s silence: depression, dementia, the manner in which you asked the question, and so on.

Mrs. T. comes for her regular visit to the clinic. She is on your schedule because her regular provider is on vacation and she wanted to be seen. You have heard about her many times from your colleague and are aware that she is a very talkative person. Which of the following is a helpful technique to improve the quality of the interview for both the provider and the patient?
A) Allow the patient to speak uninterrupted for the duration of the appointment.
B) Briefly summarize what you heard from the patient in the first 5 minutes and then try to have her focus on one aspect of what she told you.
C) Set the time limit at the beginning of the interview and stick with it, no matter what occurs in the course of the interview.
D) Allow your impatience to show so that the patient picks up on your nonverbal cue that the appointment needs to end.
b
You can also say, “I want to make sure I take good care of this problem because it is very important. We may need to talk about the others at the next appointment. Is that okay with you?” This is a technique that can help you to change the subject but, at the same time, validate the patient’s concerns; it also can provide more structure to the interview.
A 23-year-old graduate student comes to your clinic for evaluation of a urethral discharge. As the provider, you need to get a sexual history. Which one of the following questions is inappropriate for eliciting the information?
A) Are you sexually active?
B) When was the last time you had intimate physical contact with someone, and did that contact include sexual intercourse?
C) Do you have sex with men, women, or both?
D) How many sexual partners have you had in the last 6 months?
a

This is inappropriate because it is too vague. Given the complaint, you should probably assume that he is sexually active. Sometimes patients may respond to this question with the phrase “No, I just lie there.” A specific sexual history will help you to assess this patient’s risk for other sexually transmitted infections.

Mr. Q. is a 45-year-old salesman who comes to your office for evaluation of fatigue. He has come to the office many times in the past with a variety of injuries, and you suspect that he has a problem with alcohol. Which one of the following questions will be most helpful in diagnosing this problem?
A) You are an alcoholic, aren’t you?
B) When was your last drink?
C) Do you drink 2 to 3 beers every weekend?
D) Do you drink alcohol when you are supposed to be working?
b

This is a good opening question that is general and neutral in tone; depending on the timing, you will be able to ask for more specific information related to the patient’s last drink. The others will tend to stifle the conversation because they are closed-ended questions. Answer D implies negative behavior and may also keep the person from sharing freely with you.

On a very busy day in the office, Mrs. Donelan, who is 81 years old, comes for her usual visit for her blood pressure. She is on a low-dose diuretic chronically and denies any side effects. Her blood pressure is 118/78 today, which is well-controlled. As you are writing her script, she mentions that it is hard not having her husband Bill around anymore. What would you do next?
A) Hand her the script and make sure she has a 3-month follow-up appointment.
B) Make sure she understands the script.
C) Ask why Bill is not there.
D) Explain that you will have more time at the next visit to discuss this.
c
Sometimes, the patient’s greatest need is for support and empathy. It would be inappropriate to ignore this comment today. She may have relied heavily upon Bill for care and may be in danger. She may be depressed and even suicidal, but you will not know unless you discuss this with her. Most importantly, you should empathize with her by saying something like “It must be very difficult not to have him at home” and allow a pause for her to answer. You may also ask “What did you rely on him to do for you?” Only a life-threatening crisis with another patient should take you out of her room at this point, and you may need to adjust your office schedule to allow adequate time for her today.
A patient is describing a very personal part of her history very quickly and in great detail. How should you react to this?
A) Write down as much as you can, as quickly as possible.
B) Ask her to repeat key phrases or to pause at regular intervals, so you can get almost every word.
C) Tell her that she can go over the notes later to make sure they are accurate.
D) Push away from the keyboard or put down your pen and listen.
d

This is a common event in clinical practice. It is much more important to listen actively with good eye contact at this time than to document the story verbatim. You want to minimize interruption (e.g., answer B). It is usually not appropriate to ask a patient to go over the written notes, but it would be a good idea to repeat the main ideas back to her. You should be certain she has completed her story before doing this. By putting down your pen or pushing away from the keyboard, you let the patient know that her story is the most important thing to you at this moment.

When you enter your patient’s examination room, his wife is waiting there with him. Which of the following is most appropriate?
A) Ask if it’s okay to carry out the visit with both people in the room.
B) Carry on as you would ordinarily. The permission is implied because his wife is in the room with him.
C) Ask his wife to leave the room for reasons of confidentiality.
D) First ask his wife what she thinks is going on.
a
Even in situations involving people very familiar with each other, it is important to respect individual privacy. There is no implicit consent merely because he has allowed his wife to be in the room with him. On the other hand, it is inappropriate to assume that his wife should leave the room. Remember, the patient is the focus of the visit, so it would be appropriate to allow him to control who is in the room with him and inappropriate to address his wife first. Although your duty is to the patient, you may get optimal information by offering to speak to both people confidentially. This situation is analogous to an adolescent’s visit.
A patient complains of knee pain on your arrival in the room. What should your first sentence be after greeting the patient?
A) How much pain are you having?
B) Have you injured this knee in the past?
C) When did this first occur?
D) Could you please describe what happened?
d

When looking into a complaint, it is best to start with an invitation for the patient to tell you in his or her own words. More specific questions should be used later in the interview to fill in any gaps.

A patient tells you about her experience with prolonged therapy for her breast cancer. You comment, “That must have been a very trying time for you.” What is this an example of?
A) Reassurance
B) Empathy
C) Summarization
D) Validation
d
This is an example of validation to legitimize her emotional experience. “Now that you have had your treatment, you should not have any further troubles” is an example of reassurance. “I understand what you went through because I am a cancer survivor myself” is an example of empathy. “So, you have had a lumpectomy and multiple radiation treatments” is an example of summarization as applied to this vignette.
You are performing a young woman’s first pelvic examination. You make sure to tell her verbally what is coming next and what to expect. Then you carry out each maneuver of the examination. You let her know at the outset that if she needs a break or wants to stop, this is possible. You ask several times during the examination, “How are you doing, Brittney?” What are you accomplishing with these techniques?
A) Increasing the patient’s sense of control
B) Increasing the patient’s trust in you as a caregiver
C) Decreasing her sense of vulnerability
D) All of the above
d
These techniques minimize the effects of transitions during an examination and empower the patient. Especially during a sensitive examination, it is important to give the patient as much control as possible.
When using an interpreter to facilitate an interview, where should the interpreter be positioned?
A) Behind you, the examiner, so that the lips of the patient and the patient’s nonverbal cues can be seen
B) Next to the patient, so the examiner can maintain eye contact and observe the nonverbal cues of the patient
C) Between you and the patient so all parties can make the necessary observations
D) In a corner of the room so as to provide minimal distraction to the interview
b
nterpreters are invaluable in encounters where the examiner and patient do not speak the same language, including encounters with the deaf. It should be noted that deaf people from different regions of the world use different sign languages. The priority is for you to have a good view of the patient. Remember to use short, simple phrases while speaking directly to the patient and ask the patient to repeat back what he or she understands.
A 15-year-old high school sophomore and her mother come to your clinic because the mother is concerned about her daughter’s weight. You measure her daughter’s height and weight and obtain a BMI of 19.5 kg/m2. Based on this information, which of the following is appropriate?
A) Refer the patient to a nutritionist and a psychologist because the patient is anorexic.
B) Reassure the mother that this is a normal body weight.
C) Give the patient information about exercise because the patient is obese.
D) Give the patient information concerning reduction of fat and cholesterol in her diet because she is obese.
B

The patient has a normal BMI; the range for a normal BMI is 18.5 to 24.9 kg/m2. You may be able to give the patient and her mother the lower limit of normal in pounds for her daughter’s height, or instruct her in how to use a BMI table.

A 25-year-old radio announcer comes to the clinic for an annual examination. His BMI is 26.0 kg/m2. He is concerned about his weight. Based on this information, what is appropriate counsel for the patient during the visit?
A) Refer the patient to a nutritionist because he is anorexic.
B) Reassure the patient that he has a normal body weight.
C) Give the patient information about reduction of fat, cholesterol, and calories because he is overweight.
D) Give the patient information about reduction of fat and cholesterol because he is obese.
C
The patient has a BMI in the overweight range, which is 25.0 to 29.9 kg/m2. It is prudent to give him information about reducing calories, fat, and cholesterol in his diet to help prevent further weight gain.
A 67-year-old retired janitor comes to the clinic with his wife. She brought him in because she is concerned about his weight loss. He has a history of smoking 3 packs of cigarettes a day for 30 years, for a total of 90 pack-years. He has noticed a daily cough for the past several years, which he states is productive of sputum. He came into the clinic approximately 1 year ago, and at that time his weight was 140 pounds. Today, his weight is 110 pounds.
Which one of the following questions would be the most important to ask if you suspect that he has lung cancer?
A) Have you tried to force yourself to vomit after eating a meal?
B) Do you have heartburn/indigestion and diarrhea?
C) Do you have enough food to eat?
D) Have you tried to lose weight?
D

This is important: If the patient hasn’t tried to lose weight, then this weight loss is inadvertent and poses concern for a neoplastic process, especially given his smoking history.

Common or concerning symptoms to inquire about in the General Survey and vital signs include all of the following except:
A) Changes in weight
B) Fatigue and weakness
C) Cough
D) Fever and chills
C

This sx is more appropriate to the respiratory review of systems

You are beginning the examination of a patient. All of the following areas are important to observe as part of the General Survey except:
A) Level of consciousness
B) Signs of distress
C) Dress, grooming, and personal hygiene
D) Blood pressure
D

BP is a vital sign, not part of the general survey

A 55-year-old bookkeeper comes to your office for a routine visit. You note that on a previous visit for treatment of contact dermatitis, her blood pressure was elevated. She does not have prior elevated readings and her family history is negative for hypertension. You measure her blood pressure in your office today. Which of the following factors can result in a false high reading?
A) Blood pressure cuff is tightly fitted.
B) Patient is seated quietly for 10 minutes prior to measurement.
C) Blood pressure is measured on a bare arm.
D) Patient’s arm is resting, supported by your arm at her mid-chest level as you stand to measure the blood pressure.
A.

A blood pressure cuff that is too tightly fitted can result in a false high reading. The other answers are important to observe to obtain an accurate blood pressure reading. JNC-7 also mentions the importance of having the back supported when obtaining blood pressure in the sitting position.

A 49-year-old truck driver comes to the emergency room for shortness of breath and swelling in his ankles. He is diagnosed with congestive heart failure and admitted to the hospital. You are the student assigned to do the patient’s complete history and physical examination. When you palpate the pulse, what do you expect to feel?
A) Large amplitude, forceful
B) Small amplitude, weak
C) Normal
D) Bigeminal
b
Congestive heart failure is characterized by decreased stroke volume or increased peripheral vascular resistance, which would result in a small-amplitude, weak pulse. Subtle differences in amplitude are usually best detected in large arteries close to the heart, like the carotid pulse. You may not be able to notice these in other locations.
An 18-year-old college freshman presents to the clinic for evaluation of gastroenteritis. You measure the patient’s temperature and it is 104 degrees Fahrenheit. What type of pulse would you expect to feel during his initial examination?
A) Large amplitude, forceful
B) Small amplitude, weak
C) Normal
D) Bigeminal
A
Fever results in an increased stroke volume, which results in a large-amplitude, forceful pulse. Later in the course of the illness, if dehydration and shock result, you may expect small amplitude and weak pulses.
A 25-year-old type 1 diabetic clerk presents to the emergency room with shortness of breath and states that his blood sugar was 605 at home. You diagnose the patient with diabetic ketoacidosis. What is the expected pattern of breathing?
A) Normal
B) Rapid and shallow
C) Rapid and deep
D) Slow
C

This is the expected rate and depth in diabetic ketoacidosis. The body is trying to rid itself of carbon dioxide to compensate for the acidosis. This is known as Kussmaul’s breathing and is seen in other causes of acidosis as well

Mrs. Lenzo weighs herself every day with a very accurate balance-type scale. She has noticed that over the past 2 days she has gained 4 pounds. How would you best explain this?
A) Attribute this to some overeating at the holidays.
B) Attribute this to wearing different clothing.
C) Attribute this to body fluid.
D) Attribute this to instrument inaccuracy.
C

This amount of weight over a short period should make one think of body fluid changes. You may consider a kidney problem or heart failure in your differential. The other reasons should be considered as well, but this amount of weight gain over a short period usually indicates causes other than excessive caloric intake. A rule of thumb for dieters is that an energy excess of 3500 calories will cause a 1-pound weight gain, if the increase is to be attributed to food intake.

Mr. Curtiss has a history of obesity, diabetes, osteoarthritis of the knees, HTN, and obstructive sleep apnea. His BMI is 43 and he has been discouraged by his difficulty in losing weight. He is also discouraged that his goal weight is 158 pounds away. What would you tell him?
A) “When you get down to your goal weight, you will feel so much better.”
B) “Some people seem to be able to lose weight and others just can’t, no matter how hard they try.”
C) “We are coming up with new medicines and methods to treat your conditions every day.”
D) “Even a weight loss of 10% can make a noticeable improvement in the problems you mention.”
D
Many patients trying to change a habit are overwhelmed by how far they are from their goal. As the proverb says: “A journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.” Many patients find it empowering to know that they can achieve a small goal, such as a loss of 1 pound per week. They must be reminded that this process will take time and that slow weight loss is more successful long-term. Research has shown that significant benefits often come with even a 10% weight loss.
Jenny is one of your favorite patients who usually shares a joke with you and is nattily dressed. Today she is dressed in old jeans, lacks makeup, and avoids eye contact. To what do you attribute these changes?
A) She is lacking sleep.
B) She is fatigued from work.
C) She is running into financial difficulty.
D) She is depressed
D
It is important to use all of your skills and memory of an individual patient to guide your thought process. She is not described as sleepy. Work fatigue would most likely not cause avoidance of eye contact. Financial difficulties would not necessarily deplete a nice wardrobe. It is most likely that she is depressed or in another type of difficulty.
Despite having high BP readings in the office, Mr. Kelly tells you that his readings at home are much lower. He checks them twice a day at the same time of day and has kept a log. How do you respond?
A) You diagnose “white coat hypertension.”
B) You assume he is quite nervous when he comes to your office.
C) You question the accuracy of his measurements.
D) You question the accuracy of your measurements
C

It is not uncommon to see differences in a patient’s home measurements and your own in the office. Presuming that this is “white coat hypertension” can be dangerous because this condition is not usually treated. This allows for the effects of a missed diagnosis of hypertension to go unchecked. It is also very difficult to judge if a patient is outwardly nervous. You should always consider that your measurements are not accurate as well, but the fact that you and your staff are well-trained and perform this procedure on hundreds of patients a week makes this less likely. Ideally, you would ask the patient to bring in his BP equipment and take a simultaneous reading with you to make sure that he is getting an accurate reading.

You are observing a patient with heart failure and notice that there are pauses in his breathing. On closer examination, you notice that after the pauses the patient takes progressively deeper breaths and then progressively shallower breaths, which are followed by another apneic spell. The patient is not in any distress. You make the diagnosis of:
A) Ataxic (Biot’s) breathing
B) Cheyne-Stokes respiration
C) Kussmaul’s respiration
D) COPD with prolonged expiration
B
Cheyne-Stokes respiration can be seen in patients with heart failure and is usually not a sign of an immediate problem. Ataxic breathing is very irregular in rhythm and depth and is seen with brain injury. Kussmaul’s respiration is seen in patients with a metabolic acidosis, as they are trying to rid their bodies of carbon dioxide to compensate. Respirations in COPD are usually regular and are not usually associated with apneic episodes
Mr. Garcia comes to your office for a rash on his chest associated with a burning pain. Even a light touch causes this burning sensation to worsen. On examination, you note a rash with small blisters (vesicles) on a background of reddened skin. The rash overlies an entire rib on his right side. What type of pain is this?
A) Idiopathic pain
B) Neuropathic pain
C) Nociceptive or somatic pain
D) Psychogenic pain
B
This vignette is consistent with a diagnosis of herpes zoster, or shingles. This is caused by reemergence of dormant varicella (chickenpox) viruses from Mr. Garcia’s nerve root. The characteristic burning quality without a history of an actual burn makes one think of neuropathic pain. It will most likely remain for months after the rash has resolved. There is no evidence of physical injury and this is a peculiar distribution, making nociceptive pain less likely. There is no evidence of a psychogenic etiology for this, and the presence of a rash makes this possibility less likely as well. Because of your astute diagnostic abilities, the pain is not idiopathic.
A 50-year-old body builder is upset by a letter of denial from his life insurance company. He is very lean but has gained 2 pounds over the past 6 months. You personally performed his health assessment and found no problems whatsoever. He says he is classified as “high risk” because of obesity. What should you do next?
A) Explain that even small amounts of weight gain can classify you as obese.
B) Place him on a high-protein, low-fat diet.
C) Advise him to increase his aerobic exercise for calorie burning.
D) Measure his waist
D
The patient most likely had a high BMI because of increased muscle mass. In this situation, it is important to measure his waist. It is most likely under 40 inches, which makes obesity unlikely (even to an insurance company). It is important that you personally contact the company and explain your reasoning. Be prepared to back your argument with data. A special diet is unlikely to be of much use, and more aerobic exercise, while probably a good idea for most, is redundant for this individual
Ms. Wright comes to your office, complaining of palpitations. While checking her pulse you notice an irregular rhythm. When you listen to her heart, every fourth beat sounds different. It sounds like a triplet rather than the usual “lub dup.” How would you document your examination?
A) Regular rate and rhythm
B) Irregularly irregular rhythm
C) Regularly irregular rhythm
D) Bradycardia
C

Because this unusual beat occurs every fourth set of heart sounds, it is regularly irregular. This is most consistent with ventricular premature contractions (or VPCs). This is generally a common and benign rhythm. An irregularly irregular rhythm is a classic finding in atrial fibrillation. The rhythm is very random in character. Bradycardia refers to the rate, not the rhythm.

A 35-year-old archaeologist comes to your office (located in Phoenix, Arizona) for a regular skin check-up. She has just returned from her annual dig site in Greece. She has fair skin and reddish-blonde hair. She has a family history of melanoma. She has many freckles scattered across her skin. From this description, which of the following is not a risk factor for melanoma in this patient?
A) Age
B) Hair color
C) Actinic lentigines
D) Heavy sun exposure
A
The risk for melanoma is increased in people over the age of 50; our patient is 35 years old. The other answers represent known risk factors for melanoma. Especially with a family history of melanoma, she should be instructed to keep her skin covered when in the sun and use strong sunscreen on exposed areas
You are speaking to an 8th grade class about health prevention and are preparing to discuss the ABCDEs of melanoma. What are the ABCDEs?
A=asymmetry
B=irregular borders
C=color changes
D=diameter >6,,
E=evolution
You are beginning the examination of the skin on a 25-year-old teacher. You have previously elicited that she came to the office for evaluation of fatigue, weight gain, and hair loss. You strongly suspect that she has hypothyroidism. What is the expected moisture and texture of the skin of a patient with hypothyroidism?
Dry and rough

A patient with hypothyroidism is expected to have skin that is dry as well as rough.

28-year-old patient comes to the office for evaluation of a rash. At first there was only one large patch, but then more lesions erupted suddenly on the back and torso; the lesions itch. On physical examination, you note that the pattern of eruption is like a Christmas tree and that there are a variety of erythematous papules and macules on the cleavage lines of the back. Based on this description, what is the most likely diagnosis?
A) Pityriasis rosea
B) Tinea versicolor
C) Psoriasis
D) Atopic eczema
A

This is a classic description of pityriasis rosea. The description of a large single or “herald” patch preceding the eruption is a good way to distinguish this rash from other conditions.

A 19-year-old construction worker presents for evaluation of a rash. He notes that it started on his back with a multitude of spots and is also on his arms, chest, and neck. It itches a lot. He does sweat more than before because being outdoors is part of his job. On physical examination, you note dark tan patches with a reddish cast that has sharp borders and fine scales, scattered more prominently around the upper back, chest, neck, and upper arms as well as under the arms. Based on this description, what is your most likely diagnosis?
A) Pityriasis rosea
B) Tinea versicolor
C) Psoriasis
D) Atopic eczema
B
Pityriasis rosea
cause unknown, self limiting illness lasting 4 weeks to 8 weeks and asymptomatic. Pt c/o oval lesions with fine scales that follow skin lines(leavage lines) of the trunk or a “christmas tree” pattern. “Herald Patch”first lesion to appear and largest in size, appears 2 weeks before full breakout.
Tinea versicolor
a fungal infection that causes painless, discolored areas on the skin
A 68-year-old retired farmer comes to your office for evaluation of a skin lesion. On the right temporal area of the forehead, you see a flattened papule the same color as his skin, covered by a dry scale that is round and feels hard. He has several more of these scattered on the forehead, arms, and legs. Based on this description, what is your most likely diagnosis?
A) Actinic keratosis
B) Seborrheic keratosis
C) Basal cell carcinoma
D) Squamous cell carcinoma
A

This is a typical description of actinic keratosis -it may be easier to feel than to see. If left untreated, approximately 1% of cases can develop into squamous cell carcinoma

A 58-year-old gardener comes to your office for evaluation of a new lesion on her upper chest. The lesion appears to be “stuck on” and is oval, brown, and slightly elevated with a flat surface. It has a rough, wartlike texture on palpation. Based on this description, what is your most likely diagnosis?
A) Actinic keratosis
B) Seborrheic keratosis
C) Basal cell carcinoma
D) Squamous cell carcinoma
B

THe benign, “stuck on” appearance and the rough, wart like texture are key features for the diagnosis. They often produce a greasy scale when scratched with a fingernail, which further helps to distinguish them from other lesions. Frequently, these benign lesions actually meet several of the ABCDEs of melanoma, so it is important to distinguish these lesions to prevent unnecessary biopsy.

An 8-year-old girl comes with her mother for evaluation of hair loss. She denies pulling or twisting her hair, and her mother has not noted this behavior at all. She does not put her hair in braids. On physical examination, you note a clearly demarcated, round patch of hair loss without visible scaling or inflammation. There are no hair shafts visible. Based on this description, what is your most likely diagnosis?
A) Alopecia areata
B) Trichotillomania
C) Tinea capitis
D) Traction alopecia
A
This is a typical description for alopecia areata. There are no risk factors for trichotillomania or for traction alopecia. The physical examination is not consistent with tinea capitis because the skin is intact.
A mother brings her 11 month old to you because her mother-in-law and others have told her that her baby is jaundiced. She is eating and growing well and performing the developmental milestones she should for her age. On examination you indeed notice a yellow tone to her skin from head to toe. Her sclerae are white. To which area should your next questions be related?
A) Diet
B) Family history of liver diseases
C) Family history of blood diseases
D) Ethnicity of the child
A
The lack of jaundice in the sclerae is an important clue. Typically, this is the first place where one sees jaundice. This examination should also be carried out in natural light (sunlight) as opposed to fluorescent lighting, which can alter perceived colors. Many infants this age have a large proportion of carrots, tomatoes, and yellow squash, which are rich in carotene. Liver and blood diseases can cause jaundice, but this should involve the sclerae. The ethnicity of the child should not cause a perceived change from her usual skin tone
A new mother is concerned that her child occasionally “turns blue.” On further questioning, she mentions that this is at her hands and feet. She does not remember the child’s lips turning blue. She is otherwise eating and growing well. What would you do now?
A) Reassure her that this is normal
B) Obtain an echocardiogram to check for structural heart disease and consult cardiology
C) Admit the child to the hospital for further observation
D) Question the validity of her story
A
This is an example of peripheral cyanosis. This is a very common and benign condition which typically occurs when the child is slightly cold and his peripheral circulation is adjusting to keep his core warm. Without other problems, there is no need for further workup. If the lips or other central locations are involved, you must consider other etiologies.
You are examining an unconscious patient from another region and notice Beau’s lines, a transverse groove across all of her nails, about 1 cm from the proximal nail fold. What would you do next?
A) Conclude this is caused by a cultural practice.
B) Conclude this finding is most likely secondary to trauma.
C) Look for information from family and records regarding any problems which occurred 3 months ago.
D) Ask about dietary intake.
C

These lines can provide valuable information about previous significant illnesses, some of which are forgotten or are not able to be reported by the patient. Because the fingernails grow at about 0.1 mm per day, you would ask about an illness 100 days ago. This patient may have been hospitalized for endocarditis or may have had another significant illness which should be sought. Trauma to all 10 nails in the same location is unlikely. Dietary intake at this time would not be related to this finding. Do not assume a finding is necessarily related to a patient’s culture unless you have good knowledge of that culture.

Dakota is a 14-year-old boy who just noticed a rash at his ankles. There is no history of exposure to ill people or other agents in the environment. He has a slight fever in the office. The rash consists of small, bright red marks. When they are pressed, the red color remains. What should you do?
A) Prescribe a steroid cream to decrease inflammation.
B) Consider admitting the patient to the hospital.
C) Reassure the parents and the patient that this should resolve within a week.
D) Tell him not to scratch them, and follow up in 3 days.
B

Although this may not be an impressive rash, the fact that they do not “blanch” with pressure is very concerning. This generally means that there is pinpoint bleeding under the skin, and while this can be benign, it can be associated with life-threatening illnesses like meningococcemia and low platelet counts (thrombocytopenia) associated with serious blood disorders like leukemia. You should always report this feature of a rash immediately to a supervisor or teacher.

vasculitis
inflammation of a blood vessel
Mrs. Hill is a 28-year-old African-American with a history of SLE (systemic lupus erythematosus). She has noticed a raised, dark red rash on her legs. When you press on the rash, it doesn’t blanch. What would you tell her regarding her rash?
A) It is likely to be related to her lupus.
B) It is likely to be related to an exposure to a chemical.
C) It is likely to be related to an allergic reaction.
D) It should not cause any problems.
A

A “palpable purpura” is usually associated with vasculitis. This is an inflammatory condition of the blood vessels often associated with system rheumatic disease. It can cut off circulation to any portion of the body and can mimic many other diseases in this manner. While allergic and chemical exposures may be a possible cause of hte rash, this patient’s SLE should make you consider vasculitis.

Jacob, a 33-year-old construction worker, complains of a “lump on his back” over his scapula. It has been there for about a year and is getting larger. He says his wife has been able to squeeze out a cheesy-textured substance on occasion. He worries this may be cancer. When gently pinched from the side, a prominent dimple forms in the middle of the mass. What is most likely?
A sebaceous cyst.

This is a classic description of an epidermal inclusion cyst resulting from a blocked sebaceous gland. The fact that any lesion is enlarging is worrisome, but the other descriptors are so distinctive that cancer is highly unlikely. This would be an unusual location for a lymph node, and these do not usually drain to the skin.

A young man comes to you with an extremely pruritic rash over his knees and elbows which has come and gone for several years. It seems to be worse in the winter and improves with some sun exposure. On examination, you notice scabbing and crusting with some silvery scale, and you are observant enough to notice small “pits” in his nails. What would account for these findings?
Psoriasis

Plaque psoriasis.

Eczema is usually over the flexor surfaces and does not scale, whereas psoriasis affects the extensor surfaces. Pityriasis usually is limited to the trunk and proximal extremities. Tinea has a much finer scale associated with it, almost like a powder, and is found in dark and moist areas.

Mrs. Anderson presents with an itchy rash which is raised and appears and disappears in various locations. Each lesion lasts for many minutes. What most likely accounts for this rash?
Urticaria

THis is a typical case of urticaria. The most unusual aspect of this condition is that the lesions “move” from place to place. This would be distinctly unusual for hte other causes listed.

Ms. Whiting is a 68 year old who comes in for her usual follow-up visit. You notice a few flat red and purple lesions, about 6 centimeters in diameter, on the ulnar aspect of her forearms but nowhere else. She doesn’t mention them. They are tender when you examine them. What should you do?
A) Conclude that these are lesions she has had for a long time.
B) Wait for her to mention them before asking further questions.
C) Ask how she acquired them.
D) Conduct the visit as usual for the patient.
C
These are consistent with ecchymoses, or bruises. It is important to ask about antiplatelet medications such as aspirin, trauma history, and history of blood disorders in the patient and her family. Because of the different ages of the bruises and the isolation of them to the ulnar forearms, these may be a result of abuse or other violence. It is your duty to investigate the cause of these lesions.
A middle-aged man comes in because he has noticed multiple small, blood-red, raised lesions over his anterior chest and abdomen for the past several months. They are not painful and he has not noted any bleeding or bruising. He is concerned this may be consistent with a dangerous condition. What should you do?
A) Reassure him that there is nothing to worry about.
B) Do laboratory work to check for platelet problems.
C) Obtain an extensive history regarding blood problems and bleeding disorders.
D) Do a skin biopsy in the office.
These represent cherry angiomas, which are very common, benign lesions. Further workup such as laboratory work, skin biopsy, or even further questions are not necessary at this time. It would be wise to ask the patient to report any changes in any of his skin lesions, and tell him that you would need to see him at that time.
A 72-year-old retired saleswoman comes to your office, complaining of a bloody discharge from her left breast for 3 months. She denies any trauma to her breast. Her past medical history includes high blood pressure and abdominal surgery for colon cancer. Her aunt died of ovarian cancer and her father died of colon cancer. Her mother died of a stroke. The patient denies tobacco, alcohol, or drug use. She is a widow and has three healthy children. On examination her breasts are symmetric, with no skin changes. You are able to express bloody discharge from her left nipple. You feel no discrete masses, but her left axilla has a hard, 1-cm fixed node. The remainder of her heart, lung, abdominal, and pelvic examinations are unremarkable.
What cause of nipple discharge is the most likely in her circumstance?
A) Benign breast abnormality
B) Breast cancer
C) Galactorrhea
B

Nipple discharge in breast cancer is usually unilateral and can be clear or bloody. Although a breast mass is not palpated, in this case a fixed lymph node is palpated.

A 44-year-old female comes to your clinic, complaining of severe dry skin in the area over her right nipple. She denies any trauma to the area. She noticed the skin change during a self-examination 2 months ago. She also admits that she had felt a lump under the nipple but kept putting off making an appointment. She does admit to 6 months of fatigue but no weight loss, weight gain, fever, or night sweats. Her past medical history is significant for hypothyroidism. She does not have a history of eczema or allergies. She denies any tobacco, alcohol, or drug use. On examination you find a middle-aged woman appearing her stated age. Inspection of her right breast reveals a scaly eczema-like crust around her nipple. Underneath you palpate a nontender 2-cm mass. The axilla contains only soft, moveable nodes. The left breast and axilla examination findings are unremarkable.
What visible skin change of the breast does she have?
A) Nipple retraction
B) Paget’s disease
C) Peau d’orange sign
B

This uncommon form of breast cancer starts as an eczema like scaly skin change around the areola. The lesion may weep, crust, or erode. It can be associated with an underlying mass, but the skin change can also be found alone. Any eczema-like area around the nipple that does not response to topical treatment needs to evaluated for breast cancer.

A 56-year-old female comes to your clinic, complaining of her left breast looking unusual. She says that for 2 months the angle of the nipple has changed direction. She does not do self-examinations, so she doesn’t know if she has a lump. She has no history of weight loss, weight gain, fever, or night sweats. Her past medical history is significant for high blood pressure. She smokes two packs of cigarettes a day and has three to four drinks per weekend night. Her paternal aunt died of breast cancer in her forties. Her mother is healthy but her father died of prostate cancer. On examination you find a middle-aged woman appearing older than her stated age. Inspection of her left breast reveals a flattened nipple deviating toward the lateral side. On palpation the nipple feels thickened. Lateral to the areola you palpate a nontender 4-cm mass. The axilla contains several fixed nodes. The right breast and axilla examinations are unremarkable.
What visible skin change of the breast does she have?
A) Nipple retraction
B) Paget’s disease
C) Peau d’orange sign
A

A retracted nipple is flattened or pulled inward or toward the medial, lateral, anterior, or posterior side of the breast. The surrounding skin can be thickened. This is a relatively late finding in breast cancer.

A 19-year-old female comes to your office, complaining of a clear discharge from her right breast for 2 months. She states that she noticed it when she and her boyfriend were “messing around” and he squeezed her nipple. She continues to have this discharge anytime she squeezes that nipple. She denies any trauma to her breasts. Her past medical history is unremarkable. She denies any pregnancies. Both of her parents are healthy. She denies using tobacco or illegal drugs and drinks three to four beers a week. On examination her breasts are symmetric with no skin changes. You are able to express clear discharge from her right nipple. You feel no discrete masses and her axillae are normal. The remainder of her heart, lung, abdominal, and pelvic examinations are unremarkable. A urine pregnancy test is negative.
What cause of nipple discharge is the most likely in her circumstance?
A) Benign breast abnormality
B) Breast cancer
C) Nonpuerperal galactorrhea
A

Nipple discharge in benign breast abnormalities tends to be clear and unilateral. The discharge is usually not spontaneous. This patient needs to be told to stop compressing her nipple. If the problem still persists after the patient has stopped compressing the nipple, further workup is warranted.

A 23-year-old computer programmer comes to your office for an annual examination. She has recently become sexually active and wants to be placed on birth control. Her only complaint is that the skin in her armpits has become darker. She states it looks like dirt, and she scrubs her skin nightly with soap and water but the color stays. Her past medical symptoms consist of acne and mild obesity. Her periods have been irregular for 3 years. Her mother has type 2 diabetes and her father has high blood pressure. The patient denies using tobacco but has four to five drinks on Friday and Saturday nights. She denies any illegal drug use. On examination you see a mildly obese female who is breathing comfortably. Her vital signs are unremarkable. Looking under her axilla, you see dark, velvet-like skin. Her annual examination is otherwise unremarkable.
What disorder of the breast or axilla is she most likely to have?
A) Peau d’orange
B) Acanthosis nigricans
C) Hidradenitis suppurativa
B

Acanthosis nigricans can be associated with an internal malignancy, but in most cases, it is a benign dermatologic condition associated with polycystic ovarian syndrome, consisting of acne, hirsutism, obesity, irregular periods, infertility, ovarian cysts, and early onset type 2 diabetes. It is also known to correlate with insulin resistance.

A 43-year-old store clerk comes to your office upset because she has found an enlarged lymph node under her left arm. She states she found it yesterday when she was feeling pain under her arm during movement. She states the lymph node is about an inch long and is very painful. She checks her breasts monthly and gets a yearly mammogram (her last was 2 months ago), and until now everything has been normal. She states she is so upset because her mother died in her 50s of breast cancer. The patient does not smoke, drink, or use illegal drugs. Her father is in good health. On examination you see a tense female appearing her stated age. On visual inspection of her left axilla you see a tense red area. There is no scarring around the axilla. Palpating this area, you feel a 2-cm tender, movable lymph node underlying hot skin. Other shotty nodes are also in the area. Visualization of both breasts is normal. Palpation of her right axilla and both breasts is unremarkable. Examining her left arm, you see a scabbed-over superficial laceration over her left hand. Upon your questioning, she remembers she cut her hand gardening last week.
What disorder of the axilla is most likely responsible for her symptoms?
A) Breast cancer
B) Lymphadenopathy of infectious origin
C) Hidradenitis suppurativa
B

A lymph node enlarged because of infection is generally hot, tender, and red. CLose examination of hte skin that drains to that lymph node region is advised. Often there will be a cut or scratch over that involved arm that has an infectious agent. An example is cat scratch disease.

A 63-year-old nurse comes to your office, upset because she has found an enlarged lymph node under her right arm. She states she found it last week while taking a shower. She isn’t sure if she has any breast lumps because she doesn’t know how to do self-exams. She states her last mammogram was 5 years ago and it was normal. Her past medical history is significant for high blood pressure and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. She quit smoking 2 years ago after a 55-packs/year history. She denies using any illegal drugs and drinks alcohol rarely. Her mother died of a heart attack and her father died of a stroke. She has no children. On examination you see an older female appearing her stated age. On visual inspection of her right axilla you see nothing unusual. Palpating this area, you feel a 2-cm hard, fixed lymph node. She denies any tenderness. Visualization of both breasts is normal. Palpation of her left axilla and breast is unremarkable. On palpation of her right breast you feel a nontender 1-cm lump in the tail of Spence.
What disorder of the axilla is most likely responsible for her symptoms?
A) Breast cancer
B) Lymphadenopathy of infectious origin
C) Hidradenitis suppurativa
A

Metastatic lymph nodes tend to be hard, contender, and fixed, often to the rib cage. Although the patient has no family history of breast cancer, she is at a slightly increased risk due to her never having had children.

8. A 40-year-old mother of two presents to your office for consultation. She is interested in knowing what her relative risks are for developing breast cancer. She is concerned because her sister had unilateral breast cancer 6 years ago at age 38. The patient reports on her history that she began having periods at age 11 and has been fairly regular ever since, except during her two pregnancies. Her first child arrived when she was 26 and her second at age 28. Otherwise she has had no health problems. Her father has high blood pressure. Her mother had unilateral breast cancer in her 70s. The patient denies tobacco, alcohol, or drug use. She is a family law attorney and is married. Her examination is essentially unremarkable.
Which risk factor of her personal and family history most puts her in danger of getting breast cancer?
First-degree relative wiht premenopausal breast cancer.
Which of the following is true regarding breast self-examination?
A) It has been shown to reduce mortality from breast cancer.
B) It is recommended unanimously by organizations making screening recommendations.
C) A high proportion of breast masses are detected by breast self-examination.
D) The undue fear caused by finding a mass justifies omitting instruction in breast self-examination.
C

Although self-exam has not been shown to reduce mortality and is not recommended by all groups making screening recommendations, many choose to teach women a systematic method in which to examine their breasts. A high proportion of breast masses are detected by breast self-exam

Which is true of women who have had a unilateral mastectomy?
A) They no longer require breast examination.
B) They should be examined carefully along the surgical scar for masses.
C) Lymphedema of the ipsilateral arm usually suggests recurrence of breast cancer.
D) Women with breast reconstruction over their mastectomy site no longer require examination
B
A woman who has had breast cancer remains at high risk for recurrence, especially in the contralateral breast. The mastectomy site should be carefully examined for local recurrence as well. Lymphedema or swelling of the ipsilateral arm following mastectomy is common and does not usually indicate recurrence. Women with breast reconstruction must also undergo careful examination.
Which is the most effective pattern of palpation for breast cancer?
A) Beginning at the nipple, make an ever-enlarging spiral.
B) Divide the breast into quadrants and inspect each systematically.
C) Examine in lines resembling the back and forth pattern of mowing a lawn.
D) Beginning at the nipple, palpate outward in a stripe pattern.
C

The vertical strip pattern has been shown to be the most effective pattern for palpation of the breast. The most important aspect, however, is to be systematic. The tail of Spence, located on the upper anterior chest, is an area commonly missed on examination.

Which of the following is most likely benign on breast examination?
A) Dimpling of the skin resembling that of an orange
B) One breast larger than the other
C) One nipple inverted
D) One breast with dimple when the patient leans forward
B

Asymmetry in size of the breasts is common benign finding.

How often, according to American Cancer Society recommendations, should a woman undergo a screening breast examination by a skilled clinician?
Every 3 years.

The current recommendation for screening by breast exam is every 3 years

Mrs. Patton, a 48-year-old woman, comes to your office with a complaint of a breast mass. Without any other information, what is the risk of this mass being cancerous?
10% approx.

Eleven percent of women presenting with a breast mass will have breast cancer. This statistic can be reassuring to a patient, but the importance of further studies must be emphasized.

When should a woman conduct a breast self-exam with respect to her menses?
Five to seven days following period.

-least estrogen stimulation of breast tissue at this time.

What lymp node groups is most commonly involved in breast cancer?
Central

The central nodes at the apex of the axilla are most commonly involved in breast cancer. The axilla can be viewed roughly as a four-sided pyramid. An examination covering all sides and the apex is unlikely to miss a significant node.

A 30-year-old man notices a firm, 2-cm mass under his areola. He has no other symptoms and no diagnosis of breast cancer in his first-degree relatives. What is the most likely diagnosis?
A) Breast tissue
B) Fibrocystic disease
C) Breast cancer
D) Lymph node
A

Approx. one third of adult men will have palpable breast tissue under the areola. While males can have breast cancer, this is much less common. There are no lymph nodes in this area.

A patient is concerned about a dark skin lesion on her anterolateral abdomen. It has not changed, and there is no discharge or bleeding. On examination there is a medium brown circular lesion on the anterolateral wall of the abdomen. It is soft, has regular borders, is evenly pigmented, and is about 7 mm in diameter. What is this lesion?
A) Melanoma
B) Dysplastic nevus
C) Supernumerary nipple
D) Dermatofibroma
C

Occurs along “milk line” and do not exhibit features of more concerning lesions.

A 51-year-old cook comes to your office for consultation. She recently found out that her 44-year-old sister with premenopausal breast cancer is positive for the BRCA1 gene. Your patient has been doing research on the Internet and saw that her chance of having also inherited the BRCA1 gene is 50%. She is interested in knowing what her risk of developing breast cancer would be if she were positive for the gene. She denies any lumps in her breasts and has had normal mammograms. She has had no weight loss, fever, or night sweats. Her mother is healthy and her father has prostate cancer. Two of her paternal aunts died of breast cancer. She is married. She denies using tobacco or illegal drugs and rarely drinks alcohol. Her breast and axilla examinations are unremarkable.
At her age, what is her risk of getting breast cancer if she has the BRCA1 gene?
A) 10%
B) 50%
C) 80%
B

At age of 50, risk is 50% with gene

A 14-year-old junior high school student is brought in by his mother and father because he seems to be developing breasts. The mother is upset because she read on the Internet that smoking marijuana leads to breast enlargement in males. The young man adamantly denies using any tobacco, alcohol, or drugs. He has recently noticed changes in his penis, testicles, and pubic hair pattern. Otherwise, his past medical history is unremarkable. His parents are both in good health. He has two older brothers who never had this problem. On examination you see a mildly overweight teenager with enlarged breast tissue that is slightly tender on both sides. Otherwise his examination is normal. He is agreeable to taking a drug test.
What is the most likely cause of his gynecomastia?
A) Breast cancer
B) Imbalance of hormones of puberty
C) Drug use
B

Approx. one third of teenage boys develop gynecomastia during puberty. It is not surprising that the two older brothers did not have this.

A 38-year-old accountant comes to your clinic for evaluation of a headache. The throbbing sensation is located in the right temporal region and is an 8 on a scale of 1 to 10. It started a few hours ago, and she has noted nausea with sensitivity to light; she has had headaches like this in the past, usually less than one per week, but not as severe. She does not know of any inciting factors. There has been no change in the frequency of her headaches. She usually takes an over-the-counter analgesic and this results in resolution of the headache. Based on this description, what is the most likely diagnosis of the type of headache?
Migraine

No aura, phonophobia, photophobia, nausea, resolution with sleep, and unilateral distribution.

A 29-year-old computer programmer comes to your office for evaluation of a headache. The tightening sensation is located all over the head and is of moderate intensity. It used to last minutes, but this time it has lasted for 5 days. He denies photophobia and nausea. He spends several hours each day at a computer monitor/keyboard. He has tried over-the-counter medication; it has dulled the pain but not taken it away. Based on this description, what is your most likely diagnosis?
Tension
Which of the following is a symptom involving the eye?
A) Scotomas
B) Tinnitus
C) Dysphagia
D) Rhinorrhea
Scotomas

specks in vison or areas where the patient cannot see; therefor, this is common/concerning sx of the eye

A 49-year-old administrative assistant comes to your office for evaluation of dizziness. You elicit the information that the dizziness is a spinning sensation of sudden onset, worse with head position changes. The episodes last a few seconds and then go away, and they are accompanied by intense nausea. She has vomited one time. She denies tinnitus. You perform a physical examination of the head and neck and note that the patient’s hearing is intact to Weber and Rinne and that there is nystagmus. Her gait is normal. Based on this description, what is the most likely diagnosis?

A) Benign positional vertigo
B) Vestibular neuronitis
C) Ménière’s disease
D) Acoustic neuroma

A

This is a classic description of benign positional vertigo. The vertigo is episodic, lasting a few seconds to minutes, instead of continuous as in vestibular neuronitis. Also, there is no tinnitus or sensorineural hearing loss as occurs in Ménière’s disease and acoustic neuroma. You may choose to learn about Hallpike maneuvers, which are also helpful in the evaluation of vertigo.

nystagmus
Involuntary rapid eye movements
A 55-year-old bank teller comes to your office for persistent episodes of dizziness. The first episode started suddenly and lasted 3 to 4 hours. He experienced a lot of nausea with vomiting; the episode resolved spontaneously. He has had five episodes in the past 1½ weeks. He does note some tinnitus that comes and goes. Upon physical examination, you note that he has a normal gait. The Weber localizes to the right side and the air conduction is equal to the bone conduction in the right ear. Nystagmus is present. Based on this description, what is the most likely diagnosis?
A) Benign positional vertigo
B) Vestibular neuronitis
C) Ménière’s disease
D) Acoustic neuroma
C

Ménière’s disease is characterized by sudden onset of vertiginous episodes that last several hours to a day or more, then spontaneously resolve; the episodes then recur. On physical examination, sensorineural hearing loss is present. The patient does complain of tinnitus.

A 73-year-old nurse comes to your office for evaluation of new onset of tremors. She is not on any medications and does not take herbs or supplements. She has no chronic medical conditions. She does not smoke or drink alcohol. She walks into the examination room with slow movements and shuffling steps. She has decreased facial mobility and a blunt expression, without any changes in hair distribution on her face. Based on this description, what is the most likely reason for the patient’s symptoms?
A) Cushing’s syndrome
B) Nephrotic syndrome
C) Myxedema
D) Parkinson’s disease
D
This is a typical description for a patient with Parkinson’s disease. Facial mobility is decreased, which results in a blunt expression—a “masked” appearance. The patient also has decreased blinking and a characteristic stare with an upward gaze. In combination with the findings of slow movements and a shuffling gait, the diagnosis of Parkinson’s is almost clinched.
A 29-year-old physical therapist presents for evaluation of an eyelid problem. On observation, the right eyeball appears to be protruding forward. Based on this description, what is the most likely diagnosis?
A) Ptosis
B) Exophthalmos
C) Ectropion
D) Epicanthus
B
Exophthalmos is the condition when the eyeball protrudes forward. If it is bilateral, it suggests the presence of Graves’ disease. If it is unilateral, it could still be caused by Graves’ disease. Alternatively, it could be caused by a tumor or inflammation in the orbit.
A 12-year-old presents to the clinic with his father for evaluation of a painful lump in the left eye. It started this morning. He denies any trauma or injury. There is no visual disturbance. Upon physical examination, there is a red raised area at the margin of the eyelid that is tender to palpation; no tearing occurs with palpation of the lesion. Based on this description, what is the most likely diagnosis?
A) Dacryocystitis
B) Chalazion
C) Hordeolum
D) Xanthelasma
C

Hordeolum, or sty, is a painful, tender, erythematous infection in a glad at teh margin of the eyelid

A 15-year-old high school sophomore presents to the emergency room with his mother for evaluation of an area of blood in the left eye. He denies trauma or injury but has been coughing forcefully with a recent cold. He denies visual disturbances, eye pain, or discharge from the eye. On physical examination, the pupils are equal, round, and reactive to light, with a visual acuity of 20/20 in each eye and 20/20 bilaterally. There is a homogeneous, sharply demarcated area at the lateral aspect of the base of the left eye. The cornea is clear. Based on this description, what is the most likely diagnosis?
A) Conjunctivitis
B) Acute iritis
C) Corneal abrasion
D) Subconjunctival hemorrhage
D
A subconjunctival hemorrhage is a leakage of blood outside of the vessels, which produces a homogenous, sharply demarcated bright red area; it fades over several days, turning yellow, then disappears. There is no associated eye pain, ocular discharge, or changes in visual acuity; the cornea is clear. Many times it is associated with severe cough, choking, or vomiting, which increase venous pressure. It is rarely caused by a serious condition, so reassurance is usually the only treatment necessary.
A 67-year-old lawyer comes to your clinic for an annual examination. He denies any history of eye trauma. He denies any visual changes. You inspect his eyes and find a triangular thickening of the bulbar conjunctiva across the outer surface of the cornea. He has a normal pupillary reaction to light and accommodation. Based on this description, what is the most likely diagnosis?
A) Corneal arcus
B) Cataracts
C) Corneal scar
D) Pterygium
D

A pterygium is a triangular thickening of the bulbar conjunctiva that grows slowly across the outer surface of the cornea, usually from the nasal side. Reddening may occur, and it may interfere with vision as it encroaches on the pupil. Otherwise, treatment is unnecessary.

Which of the following is a “red flag” regarding patients presenting with headache?
A) Unilateral headache
B) Pain over the sinuses
C) Age over 50
D) Phonophobia and photophobia
C

A unilateral headache is often seen with migraines and may commonly be accompanied by phonophobia and photophobia. Pain over the sinuses from sinus congestion may also be unilateral and produce pain. Migraine and sinus headaches are common and generally benign. A new severe headache in someone over 50 can be associated with more serious etiologies for headache. Other red flags include: acute onset, “the worst headache of my life”; very high blood pressure; rash or signs of infection; known presence of cancer, HIV, or pregnancy; vomiting; recent head trauma; and persistent neurologic problems.

A sudden, painless unilateral vision loss may be caused by which of the following?
A) Retinal detachment
B) Corneal ulcer
C) Acute glaucoma
D) Uveitis
A

Corneal ulcer, acute glaucoma, and uveitis are almost always accompanied by pain. Retinal detachment is generally painless, as is chronic glaucoma.

Sudden, painful unilateral loss of vision may be caused by which of the following conditions?
A) Vitreous hemorrhage
B) Central retinal artery occlusion
C) Macular degeneration
D) Optic neuritis
D

In multiple sclerosis, sudden painful loss of vision may accompany optic neuritis. The other conditions are usually painless.

Diplopia, which is present with one eye covered, can be caused by which of the following problems?
A) Weakness of CN III
B) Weakness of CN IV
C) A lesion of the brainstem
D) An irregularity in the cornea or lens
d

Double vision in one eye alone points to a problem in “processing” the light rays of an incoming image. The other causes of diplopia result in a misalignment of the two eyes.

You are conducting a pupillary examination on a 34-year-old man. You note that both pupils dilate slightly. Both are noted to constrict briskly when the light is placed on the right eye. What is the most likely problem?
A) Optic nerve damage on the right
B) Optic nerve damage on the left
C) Efferent nerve damage on the right
D) Efferent nerve damage on the left
b

Because both pupils can constrict, efferent nerve damage is unlikely. When the light is placed on the left eye, neither a direct nor a consensual response is seen. This indicates that the left eye is not perceiving incoming light.

You feel a small mass that you think is a lymph node. It is mobile in both the up-and-down and side-to-side directions. Which of the following is most likely?
A) Cancer
B) Lymph node
C) Deep scar
D) Muscle
b

A useful maneuver for discerning lymph nodes from other masses in the neck is to check for their mobility in all directions. Many other masses are mobile in only two directions. Cancerous masses may also be “fixed,” or immobile.

college student presents with a sore throat, fever, and fatigue for several days. You notice exudates on her enlarged tonsils. You do a careful lymphatic examination and notice some scattered small, mobile lymph nodes just behind her sternocleidomastoid muscles bilaterally. What group of nodes is this?
A) Submandibular
B) Tonsillar
C) Occipital
D) Posterior cervical
d
The group of nodes posterior to the sternocleidomastoid muscle is the posterior cervical chain. These are common in mononucleosis.
A young woman undergoes cranial nerve testing. On touching the soft palate, her uvula deviates to the left. Which of the following is likely?
A) CN IX lesion on the left
B) CN IX lesion on the right
C) CN X lesion on the left
D) CN X lesion on the right
d

The failure of the right side of the palate to rise denotes a problem with the right 10th cranial nerve. The uvula deviates toward the properly functioning side.

A young man is concerned about a hard mass he has just noticed in the midline of his palate. On examination, it is indeed hard and in the midline. There are no mucosal abnormalities associated with this lesion. He is experiencing no other symptoms. What will you tell him is the most likely diagnosis?
A) Leukoplakia
B) Torus palatinus
C) Thrush (candidiasis)
D) Kaposi’s sarcoma
b

Torus palatinus is relatively common and benign but can go unnoticed by the patient for many years. The appearance of a bony mass can be concerning. Leukoplakia is a white lesion on the mucosal surfaces corresponding to chronic mechanical or chemical irritation. It can be premalignant. Thrush is usually painful and is seen in immunosuppressed patients or those taking inhaled steroids for COPD or asthma. Kaposi’s sarcoma is usually seen in HIV-positive individuals and is classically a deep purple.

A patient with hearing loss by whisper test is further examined with a tuning fork, using the Weber and Rinne maneuvers. The abnormal results are as follows: bone conduction is greater than air on the left, and the patient hears the sound of the tuning fork better on the left. Which of the following is most likely?
A) Otosclerosis of the left ear
B) Exposure to chronic loud noise of the right ear
C) Otitis media of the right ear
D) Perforation of the right eardrum
a

The above pattern is consistent with a conductive loss on the left side. Causes would include: foreign body, otitis media, perforation, and otosclerosis of the involved side.

A patient presents with ear pain. She is an avid swimmer. The history includes pain and drainage from the left ear. On examination, she has pain when the ear is manipulated, including manipulation of the tragus. The canal is narrowed and erythematous, with some white debris in the canal. The rest of the examination is normal. What diagnosis would you assign this patient?
A) Otitis media
B) External otitis
C) Perforation of the tympanum
D) Cholesteatoma
b

These are classic history and examination findings for a patient suffering from external otitis. Otitis media would not usually have pain with movement of the external ear, nor drainage unless the eardrum was perforated. In this case the examination of the eardrum is recorded as normal. Cholesteatoma is a growth behind the eardrum and would not account for these symptoms. Otitis media would classically be accompanied by a bulging, erythematous eardrum.

15. A patient complains of epistaxis. Which other cause should be considered?
A) Intracranial hemorrhage
B) Hematemesis
C) Intestinal hemorrhage
D) Hematoma of the nasal septum
b

Although the source of epistaxis may seem obvious, other bleeding locations should be on the differential. Hematemesis can mimic this and cause delay in life-saving therapies if not considered. Intracranial hemorrhage and septal hematoma are instances of contained bleeding. Intestinal hemorrhage may cause hematemesis if there is obstruction distal to the bleeding, but this is unlikely.

Glaucoma is the leading cause of blindness in African-Americans and the second leading cause of blindness overall. What features would be noted on funduscopic examination?
A) Increased cup-to-disc ratio
B) AV nicking
C) Cotton wool spots
D) Microaneurysms
a

It is important to screen for glaucoma on funduscopic examination. The cup and disc are among the easiest features to find. AV nicking and cotton wool spots are seen in hypertension. Microaneurysms are seen in diabetes.

A patient is assigned a visual acuity of 20/100 in her left eye. Which of the following is true?
A) She obtains a 20% correct score at 100 feet.
B) She can accurately name 20% of the letters at 20 feet.
C) She can see at 20 feet what a normal person could see at 100 feet.
D) She can see at 100 feet what a normal person could see at 20 feet.
c
. A light is pointed at a patient’s pupil, which contracts. It is also noted that the other pupil contracts as well, though it is not exposed to bright light. Which of the following terms describes this latter phenomenon?
A) Direct reaction
B) Consensual reaction
C) Near reaction
D) Accommodation
b
On visual confrontation testing, a stroke patient is unable to see your fingers on his entire right side with either eye covered. Which of the following terms would describe this finding?
A) Bitemporal hemianopsia
B) Right temporal hemianopsia
C) Right homonymous hemianopsia
D) Binasal hemianopsia
c
You note that a patient has anisocoria on examination. Pathologic causes of this include which of the following?
A) Horner’s syndrome
B) Benign anisocoria
C) Differing light intensities for each eye
D) Eye prosthesis
Ans: A
Chapter: 07
Page and Header: 211, Techniques of Examination
Feedback: Anisocoria can be associated with serious pathology. Remember to exclude benign causes before embarking on an intensive workup. Testing the near reaction in this case may help you to find an Argyll Robertson or tonic (Adie’s) pupil.
A patient is examined with the ophthalmoscope and found to have red reflexes bilaterally. Which of the following have you essentially excluded from your differential?
A) Retinoblastoma
B) Cataract
C) Artificial eye
D) Hypertensive retinopathy
d

Hypertensive retinopathy requires a careful examination of the optic fundus. It cannot be diagnosed or excluded merely from the red reflex. Typically, the red reflex would be normal in this case. The other conditions are all associated with an abnormal red reflex.

A patient presents with ear pain. She is an avid swimmer. The history includes pain and drainage from the left ear. On examination, she has pain when the ear is manipulated, including manipulation of the tragus. The canal is narrowed and erythematous, with some white debris in the canal. The rest of the examination is normal. What diagnosis would you assign this patient?
A) Otitis media
B) External otitis
C) Perforation of the tympanum
D) Cholesteatoma
Ans: B
Chapter: 07
Page and Header: 225, Techniques of Examination
Feedback: These are classic history and examination findings for a patient suffering from external otitis. Otitis media would not usually have pain with movement of the external ear, nor drainage unless the eardrum was perforated. In this case the examination of the eardrum is recorded as normal. Cholesteatoma is a growth behind the eardrum and would not account for these symptoms. Otitis media would classically be accompanied by a bulging, erythematous eardrum.
A young woman undergoes cranial nerve testing. On touching the soft palate, her uvula deviates to the left. Which of the following is likely?
A) CN IX lesion on the left
B) CN IX lesion on the right
C) CN X lesion on the left
D) CN X lesion on the right
d

The failure of the right side of the palate to rise denotes a problem with the right 10th cranial nerve. The uvula deviates toward the properly functioning side.

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