Category Archives: General

Shoes for Clinical Duties – Particularly for the Gents

I know this may seem trivial, silly, unimportant or any of a million other descriptive terms you may come up with, but for people like myself, a quality pair of shoes makes the difference between a day of misery and a day of success. Many people decide to just wear tennis shoes, but I wanted to have a shoe that was suitable for wearing with my business casual attire and scrubs without so I wouldn’t need to worry about transporting multiple pairs. Another important feature was the ease with which they could be cleaned since you never know what is going to end up on your footwear in healthcare. Take one look around any facility and I guarantee you’ll see Dansko shoes worn by someone. While these may be fine for some people, I couldn’t bring myself to wearing them. No offense to any guys reading this with a pair in their closet, but those look like girl shoes. Thus, my search began and eventually ended in success!

Gentleman, if you need a pair of shoes for clinical duties, look no further. I researched several pairs of shoes and ultimately decided on Merrel as the brand to test out. Without a doubt, one of the most comfortable pair of shoes I’ve owned and one that meets all of the aforementioned criteria are the Encore Gust Slip-On Shoes available through Amazon.


They are extremely comfortable, very easy to clean, durable and at $100, they’re actually cheaper than most Dansko shoes anyway. I can’t comment on the other similar pairs sold by Merrell, but I imagine there are other great choices as well. I know the “EVA footbed” of the pair I purchased is a big reason for the comfort, so you might want to be sure you purchase a pair with this feature as well. Anyways, if you’re in the market for some quality shoes, I highly suggest you give these a shot!


Clerkships Have Begun!

Well friends, 3rd year clinical clerkships have officially begun! I apologize for the lack of activity over the last month, but it’s been much busier than expected. I started working in the hospital 2 weeks ago, with last week totaling around 72 hrs of work, and this week will end up around 65 hrs. Add in the 40-45 minutes I spend driving (i.e., 1.5 hrs total each day) and there’s little time left over! Spending time with my family and getting some sleep obviously takes priority for the little free time I get, so opportunities for updating the website and completing new podcasts has been very minimal. Hopefully, things will wind down eventually and I’ll be able to put out some more information, podcasts, videos, etc. in the next few weeks. Fingers crossed!

Brachial Plexus Diagram & Lesion Manifestations

I attempted to create a brachial plexus diagram that shows the manifestations of common nerve lesions. It’s not comprehensive, but I think it presents the most important information in a way that makes learning it all much easier. For instance, I know that there are multiple “claw” deformities, but I decided to keep things as simple as possible, at least for now. Please let me know of any corrections that need to be made. Thanks!

Make A Difference in Nepal!

Hey everyone! A friend of mine was in Nepal when the earthquake happened and fortunately she is alright. Amazingly, she’s taking this opportunity to help those who were victims of the earthquake. I know most of my followers are students without much money, BUT if you can find it in your heart to donate to a charity that benefits a victim of the Nepal earthquake that would be wonderful! Check out her story.


This is definitely a charity where you can KNOW where your money is going and that it will be put to great use, so please help out if you can!

How To Write NBME Style Questions

Saw this from a friend and felt like it was a great post in honor of studying for Step 1!

Renal Tubular Defects “Picmonic”

I’m a big fan of the Picmonic website, but they obviously don’t have images for every condition out there. Sometimes I like to make my own “Picmonics” as a fun way to remember things and drawing serves as a nice break from studying. Here is one I came up with for the renal rubular defects. Specifically, it’s to help remember where each defect occurs.

  • Fanconi (“Fan-of-cones”) syndrome: reabsorptive defects in the proximal convoluted tubule
  • Bartter (“Bart”) syndrome: reabsorptive defect in thick ascending loop of Henele
  • Gitelman (“Giggle-man”) syndrome: reabsorptive defect of NaCl in distal convoluted tubule
  • Liddle (“Chicken Little”) syndrome: increased sodium reabsorption in the collecting tubules

I may add some additional details to it at some point that detail the features of each condition, but for now that suits my personal needs. Hope this helps some others out there!

What is a superantigen and how do they work?

See this video for an excellent explanation of superantigens and the sequence of events they induce. A prototypical example of a superantigen is toxic shock syndrome toxin (TSST) released by S. aureus.

In a nutshell:
1) Superantigen binds periphery of T-cell and MHC molecule receptors
2) Non-selective T-cell activation with release of IFN-gamma
3) Macrophage activation and release of IL-1, IL-6 and TNF-alpha
4) Non-specific inflammatory response

Rubeola vs Rubella vs Roseola

I’m definitely someone who struggles keeping stuff organized when things sound the same, so I was always getting these mixed up. Here is a helpful cartoon courtesy of Jorge Muniz on to help keep things straight. The website actually has a lot of great cartoons that can really help you learn in a fun way. Enjoy!

NEJM Image Challenge – What Condition is Indicated by this PE Finding?

NEJM Image Challenge

Can you answer the NEJM image challenge? Click here to vote and see the answer.

95,000 Child Study Proves That Measles Vaccine Doesn’t Cause Autism But The True Believers Won’t Be Satisfied

Thought Catalog

via Flickr - EU Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protectionvia Flickr – EU Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection

While I would have thought the overwhelming science on this issue would have put it to rest by now, it’s still controversial among some groups to say that the measles vaccine doesn’t cause autism but does protect children from measles. I know, it’s a shocking idea! Well, the Journal of the American Medical Association wants to put this to rest for good and they’ve conducted an enormous study using 95,000 children as subjects in order to check the “good science” box once and for all. Here’s the takeaway:

Conclusions and Relevance  In this large sample of privately insured children with older siblings, receipt of the MMR vaccine was not associated with increased risk of ASD, regardless of whether older siblings had ASD. These findings indicate no harmful association between MMR vaccine receipt and ASD even among children already at higher…

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