Problem Library

It Must Be a Bad Year for My Allergies

Length: 1 Hour or Less

Discipline: Biological Sciences

Level: Intermediate (majors and non-majors)

Author: Tallitsch, Robert

“It is an idyllic March day on the Midwestern university campus as Dr. Bob Johnston walks to his 8:00 philosophy lecture section. As he is walking across campus he notices that his typical spring cough, headache, hoarseness and nasal stuffiness are more noticeable than they have been for the past 7 to 10 days. As Bob turns the corner towards Old Main he notes that the Dogwoods are beginning to bloom, which confirms his symptoms and reminds him that it is the start of allergy season once again.
As the day progresses Bob notes his prescription antihistamines aren’t doing the trick, and his head feels unusually full, his voice is unusually hoarse for this time of day, and he felt slightly nauseous and light-headed. By the completion of office hours Dr. Johnson posts a sign on the door of his office and heads home earlier than normal.
By the start of the next day the symptoms persist, and so Bob calls his physician and asks for an increase in the dosage of his prescribed antihistamine. An appointment is made for the end of the business day. Upon completion of a perfunctory examination Dr. Strangelove writes a prescription for a slightly stronger antihistamine and sends Bob on his way, saying the proverbial “”Call me if you do not feel better in a week or so.””
The students follow Bob through a second clinical visit and are asked to develop hypotheses about his clinical condition as well as answer several anatomically related questions.”

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