Let the Options Save You - USMLE Forums
USMLE Forums Logo
USMLE Forums         Your Reliable USMLE Online Community     Members     Posts
USMLE Articles
Go Back   USMLE Forums > USMLE Articles

USMLE Articles USMLE Articles, Guides, Opinions, Crazy thoughts, and How To's. It's like a USMLE Magazine.

Article Tools Search this Article Display Modes
Let the Options Save You
by rasheed 11-16-2009, 12:14 AM

In the exam you may face a question that asks about a specific piece of information that you don't know or haven't read about or cannot remember.

In such a situation do not just panic and pick an option randomly and jump to the next question. You can still answer it! here's how;

Study the options carefully. Try to find which one is different. Which option is the odd among the others. You may find yourself answering the question correctly without the pre-request of knowing what it is talking about.

Patient developed acute extra-pyramidal syndrome after taking antipsychotic medication. You gave him a drug to treat that. Which of the following is an expected side effect of your medication?
- Diarrhea
- Miosis
- Bronchoconstriction
- Xerostomia
- Bradycardia

Ok, I forgot what do they give to treat acute parkinsonism for patients on anti-psychotics, but when I examined the options it seems that they are all talking about muscarinic effects. So my job is to find which of the options does not fit into a parasympathomimmetic action. Diarrea, bronchoconstriction, bradycardia, and constricted pupils are caused by increased parasympathetic activity. Therefore the only odd option is the dry mouth (Xerostomia).

This way I answered the question correctly without ever knowing or remembering that they actually give anti-muscarinics (such as trihexiphenidyl or benztropin) to treat the acute EPS.

Also, sometimes you can find the answer by a process of exclusion. Whereby you know for sure that these four options are definitely wrong then the correct answer must be the fifth one even though am not specifically aware of it.

Patient developed necrotic skin infection after burns. Which of the following is the virulent factor of the microorganism that helped in developing these skin ulcers?
- Pyocyanin
- Pilli
- Exotoxin
- Elastase
- ADP ribosylation

In the above example I correctly identified the microorganism as Pseudomonas and I know very well that pyocyanin is a pigment, Exotoxin and ADP ribosylation aid in inhibiting protein synthesis and the capsule helps in avoiding phagocytosis. So all these options that I know do not fit into the answer (destroying tissues and making necrosis). So am left with elastase and it is the correct answer. Even though I was not aware of the fact that Pseudomona aeroginosa has an elastase that is the cause of skin lesions.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Views 9337 Comments 6

Total Comments 6


Old 03-10-2010
Steps History: Not yet
Posts: 25
Threads: 2
Reputation: 15
Very useful strategies and experience. I hope it'll help everybody at the proper time of test. Thank you!
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 03-24-2010
Steps History: Not yet
Posts: 32
Threads: 2
Reputation: 54
very nice and helpful,,i really appreciate it, thk u so much for giving us such mirror
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 07-25-2010
Steps History: 1+CK+CS
Posts: 117
Threads: 17
Reputation: 47
That was a coolllllll !!!!!

useful info dude.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 09-02-2010
Steps History: 1 + CS
Posts: 406
Threads: 55
Reputation: 525
Thank you for the post. I will try and remember this.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 07-31-2013
Steps History: Not yet
Posts: 1
Threads: 0
thank you bro

Sometimes i did this in my medical school exams and it helps me a lot .
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 12-02-2014
Steps History: ---
Posts: 292
Threads: 5
Good advices!
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message


Quick Reply

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the USMLE Forums forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.
User Name:
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.
Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.
Email Address:
Medical School
Choose "---" if you don't want to tell. AMG for US & Canadian medical schools. IMG for all other medical schools.
USMLE Steps History
What steps finished! Example: 1+CK+CS+3 = Passed Step 1, Step 2 CK, Step 2 CS, and Step 3.

Choose "---" if you don't want to tell.

Favorite USMLE Books
What USMLE books you really think are useful. Leave blank if you don't want to tell.
Where you live. Leave blank if you don't want to tell.


Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.

Article Tools Search this Article
Search this Article:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

RSS Feed
Find Us on Facebook
vBulletin Security provided by vBSecurity v2.2.2 (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2016 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.

USMLE® & other trade marks belong to their respective owners, read full disclaimer
USMLE Forums created under Creative Commons 3.0 License. (2009-2014)