Example Topic

last authored:  your name will go here
last reviewed:





 This page represents the template we normally use for conditions and diseases; other types of topics will have a different template.


Some topics have at least some material already written; we ask that you incorporate this material into the page as much as you see possible and appropriate. If you have questions, please ask!


Content should be foundational, aimed at the level of an undergraduate, medical or nursing student. Too much detail is unnecessary, and in fact can detract from the learning experience. With all the information out there, the hard part can be trying to distill details down to make the topic managable.

For examples of the style and feel of our topics, please see the following:

Please cite photos, videos, illustrations, tables, direct quotes, etc. using in-text citations; your bibliography and reference list will be at the end of the topic.


Causes and Risk Factors

 Briefly outline the main causes and/or risk factors that lead to the condition.

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 Review principles of pathophysiology that relate to your topic. Be thorough but brief.

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Signs and Symptoms

  • history
  • physical exam


 Discuss relevant questions you would ask, with answers that might point to the condition.

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  • lab investigations
  • diagnostic imaging

Lab Investigations

 Describe important lab tests to order, and what you might expect to find.

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Differential Diagnosis

 Mention relevant conditions that should also be considered. If there is a major clinical symptom that is normally linked to the condition - for example, pneumonia and shortness of breath - the symptom will have it's own topic. A fuller description of the differential diagnosis will be provided there.

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Provide an overview of management, according to three levels:

Level 1: First responder, equipped with a medical bag containing basic assessment tools, dressings, and medications. Discuss indications for transport to the clinic.

Level 2: Medical clinic, stocked with fuller assessment tools and basic point of care labs. A wider array of medications, oxygen, and IV access may also be available. Discuss indications for transport to the hospital.

Level 3: Community hospital, with a full lab, X-ray, ultrasound, and CT scanner; a well-stocked pharmacy, and operating room. Discuss indications for transport to a tertiary hospital.

It is NOT necessary to give SPECIFIC treatment guidelines, and we especially ask that you not give drug dosages. Stick with general themes and provide a link to sources of guidelines. This way, students will know how to find guidelines as they need them, and the job of staying up to date can stay with the experts!

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Consequences and Course

 Discuss common outcomes of the condition, including with and without definitive treatment.

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Resources and References

Identify the sources of your information. Ideally these are open-access sources that students can freely go to for more details. It is unnecessary to pepper the article with references, unless you are quoting a specific fact or statistic.


We use the APA format, as shown in the following examples. Please include a link to the reference wherever possible.


Journal article:

Cayley, W.E. (2011). Adapting the Advanced Cardiac Life Support for the Experienced Provider (ACLS-EP) course for emergency care education in Rwanda. Afr J Prm Health Care Fam Med. 2:1-3.




TED Talks. (2012). Paolo Cardini: Forget Multitasking, try monotasking. Retrieved from http://www.ted.com/talks/paolo_cardini_forget_multitasking_try_monotasking.html




McWhinney, I.R., & Freeman, T. (2009). Textbook of Family Medicine. New York: Oxford University Press.

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Topic Development

We'll fill this section in!

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