Category: Medicine

Lumbar Puncture

A lumbar puncture uses a fine needle inserted between the vertebrae in the lower back to take samples of CSF from the subarachnoid space. The CSF that is obtained can aid the diagnosis of infections, subarachnoid haemorrhage & neurological disorders including Guillan-Barré Syndrome (GBS) or MS. Check out our article on CSF interpretation for more

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Haematuria

You will regularly see patients with blood in their urine, most often picked up incidentally on a urine drip. Your initial assessment should aim to identify whether this is due to a UTI (or other transient cause) and whether it is urological or nephrological with the help of measuring the patient’s blood pressure, bloods (FBC,

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Fever in the Returning Traveller

COVID-19 aside, international travel is easier and more prevalent than ever before, and illness associated with travel is common. Although most infections contracted overseas are self-limiting and mild, they often present with non-specific symptoms such as fever, making them very challenging to initially differentiate from more severe diseases. Key Points Causes of Fever There are

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Sudden Visual Loss

Loss of vision can be a scary symptom for patients to experience, and a scary presentation for doctors to manage! You will not be expected to know the causes in detail. However, some knowledge of the following conditions will help you to risk-stratify patients. These patients will most likely require an urgent referral to your

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Vertigo

Vertigo is described as an “abnormal sensation of motion. It can occur in the absence of motion or when motion is sensed inaccurately”1 Assessing a patient with vertigo can be challenging, even for experienced clinicians. Patients often use the words “vertigo” and “dizziness” synonymously to describe their symptoms, but the sensations they are experiencing can

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Interpreting Blood Films

A blood film looks at our three cell types (erythrocytes, leukocytes & platelets) under a microscope to identify any abnormalities to give visual clues regarding the functional state of the bone marrow & any systemic diseases. You should treat this article as a reference for where you can read up on differentials based on the

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HIV

Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) is a species of lentivirus that can infect humans and subsequently causes Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS). At the end of 2018, 37.9 million people were living with HIV worldwide. Infection HIV is spread via the transmission of bodily fluids, such as blood or semen. Routes of transmission include: Replication Once inside

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CNS Infections

A CNS infection is one that involves the central nervous system in some way. This includes the meninges, cerebellum, ventricular system and spinal cord, among others. Meningitis is the most common form of CNS infection. You should have a low threshold for starting empirical treatment in suspected cases of meningitis or encephalitis, particularly in patients

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Nutrition

Nutrition is an important aspect of a patient’s health and is overlooked during medical school as you are learning exciting pathophysiology of weird and wonderful diseases. One never thinks about nutrition until you are placed on a ward where you need to manage patients in need of nutritional support. Various studies show that doctors and

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Applying to Geriatric Medicine

Within Geriatric Medicine you are always working as part of a multidisciplinary team and have lots of close interactions with other allied health professionals. In my experience, this means plenty of opportunity for discussion and shared decision making with colleagues, as well as being able to gain knowledge and learn from others’ expertise. This also creates a very supportive environment to work in.

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