Problem Library

A Missed Diagnosis

Length: 1 Hour or Less

Discipline: Biological Sciences

Level: Intermediate (majors and non-majors)

Author: Tallitsch, Robert

“Susan presents herself to her family physician for a routine physical. During the physical examination Susan explains that she has been having recurring pain and slight muscle spasms (probably secondary to the pain) in her back and down into her left leg. Susan is examined by her family physician, who makes an incorrect initial diagnosis. Following a lack of response to physical therapy and injections, Susan is referred to an orthopedic surgeon and a neurologist. Students are asked to explain why the family physician made an incorrect initial diagnosis, as well as present a theory regarding a correct diagnosis. Students are also asked to answer several anatomically-related questions.”

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