Category Archives: Medical Maladies

Weekly quiz to test your medical and scientific smarts.

Medical Maladies Quiz #2 – Answer

Thank you everyone who took a stab at this week’s Medical Maladies Quiz! Here’s the answer I was looking for was: piedra, more specifically, white piedra. This is a type of fungus. It is kind of rare, from what I understand. We studied fungicidal drugs the week before I posted the quiz. 😛 Coincidence? Think not!

There are two different types of piedra and they occur in different climatic conditions. Black piedra is most common in the tropical regions of the world that have high temperatures and humidity. White piedra is found in temperate and semi-tropical climates and parts of the southern United States. Both of these two fungi target hair, but they are each specific to certain parts of the body. Black piedra will usually affects scalp hair, and white piedra will affect pubic hair, beards, and eyebrows. These fungi will cause the hair shafts to break eventually. Treatment with many fungicidal drugs available will get rid of the problem.

I think I will be spacing these cases out a little more in the future. Maybe once or twice a month, but I’ll be sure to make the cases more involved(maybe allow commentators to “order tests” or something similar). Let me know if you’d like this tweak or suggest one of your own. Cheers everyone!


Posted by on April 14, 2011 in Medical Maladies


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Medical Maladies Quiz #2

A patient having his blood pressure taken by a...

Image via Wikipedia

Here is this week’s Medical Maladies Quiz! It’s a little more specific I hope.

The Case:

You are a newly minted resident working at a county hospital in Miami. A patient comes in to see you about their condition. The patient is a 56-year-old male of African-American dissent. He explains that he has been having problems with, what he describes as, dandruff in his pubic region lately, though he had never had problems like this in the past. Upon inspection, you find loose, white sheaths on the patient’s hair shafts. You do not see any signs of a rash or  irritation on the skin of the affected area.

What is your differential diagnosis of the patient’s problem?


Posted by on April 11, 2011 in Medical Maladies


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Medical Maladies Quiz #1 – Answer

Vibrio cholerae

Image by AJC1 via Flickr

Wow! There were lots of good guesses for this week’s case. The answer I was looking for was Vibrio cholerae but I think V. vulnificus would fit the case equally well. Tell the truth, I hadn’t even considered it while writing up the case.

Vibrio parahaemolyticus, V. cholerae, and V. vulnificus are the main Vibrio species that have been tied to seafood-borne infections. The elevated HR and the lowered BP pointed to a worsening case of dehydration, brought on by the diarrhea.

I guess this means I need to learn to be a little more specific in what I’m looking for. Next week’s case will be a little more specific in the diagnosis. Bear with me as I iron out the bumps. 🙂

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Posted by on April 6, 2011 in Medical Maladies


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Medical Maladies Quiz #1

Gregory HOUSE

Image by Alexis D. via Flickr

Okay guys! Here’s your first official Monday “Medical Maladies Quiz” entry. I will post the question, usually in the form of a clinical vignette, and you will have the chance to solve the case! Gregory House style! Minus the Vicodin of course. 🙂 Within a day or so, I will post the answer to the case along with some information and common presentations/symptoms, and common treatments for the diagnosis. This way everyone gets to learn something! Until the official diagnosis is announced, feel free to debate and discuss the possibilities. Without further ado, here we go:


The patient is a 45-year-old male, who had recently returned from a business trip to New Orleans. He presents to the ED about 48 hours after returning from his trip. Patient is alert upon admission, with the chief complaint being diarrhea and abdominal cramping.

The patient says that he had only been gone for about three days total and had felt fine before the trip. He admits to having had raw oysters while out for dinner on the last night there with some colleagues. Patient’s BP is slightly low, but within normal range and his HR is slightly elevated. A stool examination returns negative for fecal leukocytes. CBC blood tests return normal findings. Gram stain shows up with Gram negative, motile, curved rods.

What is your diagnosis for this patient?  Please leave your answers in the comments below!


Posted by on April 4, 2011 in Medical Maladies


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Medical Maladies Quiz?

Calling All Medical Bloggers And Med/Pre-med Readers!

I’m taking an idea that I got from schorrmore’s lovely blog (do visit, it’s simply awesome 🙂 ). I am thinking of doing a medically based quiz of sorts for all the bloggers/readers to take part in. Here’s the scoop:

  • It would be a weekly posting
  • Based on an interesting case report or something in the realm of medical science
  • It would be open to anyone via posting their answer in the comments or a poll embedded in the blog entry
  • Meant to foster a sense of community and friendly competition among med community bloggers and readers
  • Keep fresh on your scientific and medical knowledge

Here’s an example:

Identify the bacterium in the picture below:

What Am I?

Post the answer if you can figure it out in the comments below.

Hint #1 (highlight over the text to view): It’s a common, seasonal infection in wooded areas.

Hint #2: It is most commonly transmitted to humans via an arachnid.

What do you think?? 😀 I’m excited to see if we could get something going. There’s the possibility to present an interesting clinical case each week and see who can come up with a diagnosis. If you get it right you’d get a point. The students get to learn something from the cases and the seasoned med students/residents get to show off their mad skillz!


Posted by on March 28, 2011 in Medical Maladies


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