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Old 02-05-2015
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Default confused about mini cases vs long cases

It takes me a long time to come up with mnemonics to study ddx. I understand the ddx from the long cases but the ddx from the mini cases confuse me. Usually ddx are built from one or two common complaints. The mini cases have ddx built around a vignette that heavily hints at a particular dx: e.g.

67 yo M presents with alternating diarrhea and con-stipation, decreased stool caliber, and blood in the
stool for the past 8 months. He also reports uninten-tional weight loss. He is on a low-fiber diet and has a
family history of colon cancer. His last colonoscopy
was 12 years ago.

--> colorectal cancer.

Is this actually representative of the exam? I almost feel it's better to memorize a ddx list comprised of all the cases within the main headache, confusion/memory loss, loss of vision, etc.

Does this make sense? It's just that memorizing each of the individual single mini-cases seems silly to me and I'm wondering if they actually helped anyone else.
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