Diarrhea: Clinical (To be retired)


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Diarrhea: Clinical (To be retired)

Medicine and surgery

Allergy and immunology

Antihistamines for allergies


Cardiology, cardiac surgery and vascular surgery

Coronary artery disease: Clinical (To be retired)

Heart failure: Clinical (To be retired)

Syncope: Clinical (To be retired)

Hypertension: Clinical (To be retired)

Hypercholesterolemia: Clinical (To be retired)

Peripheral vascular disease: Clinical (To be retired)

Leg ulcers: Clinical (To be retired)

Adrenergic antagonists: Alpha blockers

Adrenergic antagonists: Beta blockers

ACE inhibitors, ARBs and direct renin inhibitors

Thiazide and thiazide-like diuretics

Calcium channel blockers

Lipid-lowering medications: Statins

Lipid-lowering medications: Fibrates

Miscellaneous lipid-lowering medications

Antiplatelet medications

Dermatology and plastic surgery

Hypersensitivity skin reactions: Clinical (To be retired)

Eczematous rashes: Clinical (To be retired)

Papulosquamous skin disorders: Clinical (To be retired)

Alopecia: Clinical (To be retired)

Hypopigmentation skin disorders: Clinical (To be retired)

Benign hyperpigmented skin lesions: Clinical (To be retired)

Skin cancer: Clinical (To be retired)

Endocrinology and ENT (Otolaryngology)

Diabetes mellitus: Clinical (To be retired)

Hyperthyroidism: Clinical (To be retired)

Hypothyroidism and thyroiditis: Clinical (To be retired)

Dizziness and vertigo: Clinical (To be retired)

Hyperthyroidism medications

Hypothyroidism medications


Hypoglycemics: Insulin secretagogues

Miscellaneous hypoglycemics

Gastroenterology and general surgery

Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD): Clinical (To be retired)

Peptic ulcers and stomach cancer: Clinical (To be retired)

Diarrhea: Clinical (To be retired)

Malabsorption: Clinical (To be retired)

Colorectal cancer: Clinical (To be retired)

Diverticular disease: Clinical (To be retired)

Anal conditions: Clinical (To be retired)

Cirrhosis: Clinical (To be retired)

Breast cancer: Clinical (To be retired)

Laxatives and cathartics


Acid reducing medications

Hematology and oncology

Anemia: Clinical (To be retired)

Anticoagulants: Warfarin

Anticoagulants: Direct factor inhibitors

Antiplatelet medications

Infectious diseases

Pneumonia: Clinical (To be retired)

Urinary tract infections: Clinical (To be retired)

Skin and soft tissue infections: Clinical (To be retired)

Protein synthesis inhibitors: Aminoglycosides

Antimetabolites: Sulfonamides and trimethoprim

Miscellaneous cell wall synthesis inhibitors

Protein synthesis inhibitors: Tetracyclines

Cell wall synthesis inhibitors: Penicillins

Miscellaneous protein synthesis inhibitors

Cell wall synthesis inhibitors: Cephalosporins

DNA synthesis inhibitors: Metronidazole

DNA synthesis inhibitors: Fluoroquinolones

Herpesvirus medications



Miscellaneous antifungal medications

Anti-mite and louse medications

Nephrology and urology

Chronic kidney disease: Clinical (To be retired)

Kidney stones: Clinical (To be retired)

Urinary incontinence: Pathology review

ACE inhibitors, ARBs and direct renin inhibitors

PDE5 inhibitors

Adrenergic antagonists: Alpha blockers

Neurology and neurosurgery

Stroke: Clinical (To be retired)

Lower back pain: Clinical (To be retired)

Headaches: Clinical (To be retired)

Migraine medications

Pulmonology and thoracic surgery

Asthma: Clinical (To be retired)

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD): Clinical (To be retired)

Lung cancer: Clinical (To be retired)

Antihistamines for allergies

Bronchodilators: Beta 2-agonists and muscarinic antagonists

Bronchodilators: Leukotriene antagonists and methylxanthines

Pulmonary corticosteroids and mast cell inhibitors

Rheumatology and orthopedic surgery

Joint pain: Clinical (To be retired)

Rheumatoid arthritis: Clinical (To be retired)

Lower back pain: Clinical (To be retired)

Anatomy clinical correlates: Clavicle and shoulder

Anatomy clinical correlates: Arm, elbow and forearm

Anatomy clinical correlates: Wrist and hand

Anatomy clinical correlates: Median, ulnar and radial nerves

Anatomy clinical correlates: Bones, joints and muscles of the back

Anatomy clinical correlates: Hip, gluteal region and thigh

Anatomy clinical correlates: Knee

Anatomy clinical correlates: Leg and ankle

Anatomy clinical correlates: Foot

Acetaminophen (Paracetamol)

Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs


Opioid agonists, mixed agonist-antagonists and partial agonists

Antigout medications

Non-biologic disease modifying anti-rheumatic drugs (DMARDs)

Osteoporosis medications


Diarrhea: Clinical (To be retired)

USMLE® Step 2 questions

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USMLE® Step 2 style questions USMLE

of complete

A 75-year-old woman comes to the emergency department with worsening shortness of the breath for the past week. She is admitted with a diagnosis of pneumonia. Her condition is managed with observation and intravenous levofloxacin 750 mg daily for 2 weeks. On the 15th day of hospitalization, she has three episodes of diarrhea. The following day, her white blood cell count is 21,000/mm3, and she begins complaining of abdominal pain. Her pulse is 110/min, respirations are 18/min, and blood pressure is 92/50 mm Hg. Physical examination shows she is confused and has diffuse abdominal tenderness without guarding, rebound, or rigidity. Which of the following is the most appropriate response?


Content Reviewers

Rishi Desai, MD, MPH


Anca-Elena Stefan, MD

Sam Gillespie, BSc

Diarrhea is defined as having more than 3 liquidy stools in 24 hours or having a stool weight of over 200 grams per day, but nobody measures stool weight since that can get messy - especially if you’re having diarrhea!

Diarrhea is also classified as acute if it lasts for less than 2 weeks, persistent if it lasts for 2 to 4 weeks, and chronic if it lasts for more than a month.

Diarrhea can also be classified as either inflammatory or non-inflammatory.

Inflammatory diarrhea causes inflammation of the gastrointestinal epithelium and this usually happens with invasive pathogens or as a result of a chronic inflammatory bowel disease, and usually there are systemic symptoms like fever.

In contrast, non-inflammatory diarrhea can be either secretory or osmotic, and neither one usually causes systemic symptoms like fever.

With secretory diarrhea, there’s increased water and electrolyte secretion and decreased absorption.

With osmotic diarrhea, some of the ingested nutrients aren’t fully absorbed, and they remain in the intestinal lumen and pull in water through the process of osmosis!

Now, most cases of acute diarrhea are caused by pathogens, mostly viruses, but also bacteria, protozoa, and parasites that mostly spread through fecal-oral transmission.

The minority of cases of acute diarrhea are due to non-infectious causes like stress, medications, or a toxic ingestion.

Most people with acute diarrhea don’t need to come to the hospital, because symptoms aren’t severe and resolve within 2 weeks. But in terms of figuring out the cause, it’s helpful to ask the right questions - like playing Sherlock Holmes.

With infectious organisms, diarrhea is non-inflammatory and secretory, stools are watery and usually associated with vomiting and this is mostly caused by viruses, such as norovirus and rotavirus.

Watery diarrhea can also be related to the ingestion of contaminated food - food poisoning - and in this case timing offers a clue. If diarrhea occurs within six hours of the ingestion, then the culprit may be Staphylococcus aureus or Bacillus cereus, if diarrhea occurs 8 to 16 hours after the ingestion, then the culprit may be Clostridium perfringens, and if diarrhea occurs more than 16 hours after the ingestion, then the culprit may be enterotoxigenic E. coli.


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