Mnemonics

Baby Say What? Understanding Developmental Milestones

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By Joe Savarese

Baby Say WhatPersonally, I don’t have children. Considering my hectic schedule, that is probably a larger benefit for my future children than it is for me. However, this puts me at a distinct disadvantage in understanding what is considered normal in a baby’s development.

Developmental milestones always seem intuitive on paper, which makes them difficult to commit to memory. Ranges of what is considered normal makes diagnosing a developmental delay even more difficult. I am going to make this ridiculously easy for you and myself. In the clinic setting, scales such as the Early Language Milestone (ELM) scale-2 can be useful in evaluation of speech delays (click here for more).

Remember everything in 3’s.
3 months – Cooing
6 months – Babbling
9 months – Jargoning (more…)

Mnemonic Monday: “FEEL My Conjunctivitis” – Kawasaki Disease Mnemonic

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By Molly Lewis

Kawasaki disease (AKA mucocutaneous lymph node syndrome) may sound like a rare entity found only in Japan, but it happens more often than you might expect- in the US, 19 children per 100,000 each year! It is a systemic vasculitis that most often affects young kids, and is idiopathic (no known cause). It can be surprisingly difficult to distinguish it from scarlet fever and erythema multiforme. So, here is a helpful mnemonic to remember the criteria for diagnosing Kawasaki’s!

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Mnemonic Monday: Back to Preschool!! Mnemonics for Pediatric Fine Motor Skills Milestones

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By Molly Lewis

In your Step 1 prep, you’ll most likely run across questions similar to this: “A mother brings her 4-year-old son into the pediatrician for a well-child visit. The boy is able to hop on one foot, has imaginary friends, can speak with prepositions, and can copy a circle. How is his development in terms of fine motor, gross motor, social, and verbal skills?

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Mnemonic Monday: What a Pain in the Back!

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By Joe Savarese

What a Pain in the BackAbout a year ago, I was scrolling through some medical humor website and I came across this meme. I laughed and then swiped to the next picture without a second thought. I recently came across the meme again. To be honest, I laughed again, but I also took a second to think (because overthinking is what I do best) about clerkships years.

As my third year of medical school comes to a close, I think about some of the medical conditions that are brought up over and over again by patients – vague complaints of headaches, back pain, abdominal pain, weakness, fatigue, etc. They are simple medical concepts to nearly everyone, but a wide differential diagnosis and varying clinical picture make it difficult to narrow them down to a specific condition without forgetting others.

I think organization is the key. An organized approach to the patient interview and physical exam are certainly learned skills that we practice frequently throughout the third and fourth years. As for the differential diagnosis and management, that part is up to you, books, and mnemonics. Hope this one helps for back pain. (more…)

Mnemonic Monday: PMS, Angry Ladies, and the External Carotid Artery

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By Molly Lewis

We’ve all had mini “anatomy panic attacks.” Maybe you’re in an anatomy practical and have only 30 seconds to identify the flagged structure, or maybe you’re in the OR and your attending asks: “What’s this?” Regardless of the situation, using mnemonics to remember anatomy can turn panic into confidence!

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Mnemonic Monday: 7 Cute Ladies- Mnemonics for the Patient Interview

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By Molly Lewis

Whether you are a first year in Physical Diagnosis class, a second year in Continuity Clinic, a third year seeing consults, or an attending deciding if a patient needs emergency surgery, taking a complete history is a key aspect of patient care. How can you remember everything you need to ask? Try a mnemonic!

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Deep Vein Thrombosis Risk Factors

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By Joe Savarese

Deep Vein Thrombosis Risk FactorsThe other day, while I was procrastinating from studying the intricacies of congestive heart failure, I pulled out my phone to browse social media and news outlets for something exciting (don’t judge, we all are pros at this). I came across an article about famous NBA Miami Heat basketball player, Chris Bosh, who recently suffered a blood clot that travelled to his lungs. While much has not been released about the origin of his blood clots, we know he likely experienced a deep vein thrombosis (DVT) that travelled to his lungs causing a pulmonary embolism (PE). Like a good medical student, this brought me back on track to challenge myself regarding the major risk factors of DVTs, as well as common clinical presentation and appropriate work-up.

Let’s start with the risk factors. You may already be familiar with Virchow’s triad (endothelial injury, venous stasis, and hypercoagulability), which serves as the mechanism that puts patients at an increased risk for DVTs. Here is a mnemonic to summarize the key risk factors, appropriately titled CHRIS BOSH. A more detailed list of other risk factors can be found on Medscape’s website (DVT Etiology and Risk Factors). (more…)

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