Category: Head, Eyes, Ears, Nose, and Throat (HEENT)

Eye Complaints

Before you can learn the different eye diagnoses and how to treat them, you need to have a basic understanding of the ophthalmologic exam. Only after having this foundation can you finalize your approach to the red eye, acute vision loss, or eye trauma (which will be covered in future episodes).

Sore Throat

During my clerkship, every time a patient came in with a sore throat, my attending would ask me, “Zack, what are the 4 life threatening causes of sore throat!?”  I could never remember the answer, but after the episode today you will. Also, extra special thanks to Dr. O’Connell and Elsevier for allowing us to use the book USMLE Step 2 Secrets during this episode. We will be incorporating these questions into future shows as well. I hope you find it useful.

Dental Pain

Get excited the next time you have a patient with dental pain! Because this is one of those chief complaints that will give you tons of points on your SLOE as long as you can articulate your way through it. This is also one of those rare opportunities where you get to demonstrate procedural skills by doing an inferior alveolar nerve block. So never roll your eyes at these patients, because they are an opportunity for you to stand out from the pack and earn high clinical scores!


If you listened to the introduction episode, you heard my story about the patient with a bleeding nose. I had NO IDEA what to do. It was embarrassing. And that specific situation is what inspired the creation of this episode. Nosebleeds can be scary! You will probably have a patient with this during your clerkship, and the approach requires a completely different mindset than when we just articulate the differential diagnosis for a Core 4 medical complaint. Epistaxis requires a plan with a series of interventions as opposed to labs and imaging, and it WILL throw you off balance if you aren’t prepared.

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