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Content Objective: Fever/Common Infections

By the end of the Family Medicine Clerkship, the medical student will be able to:

  1. Perform a focused history and physical exam to determine presence of fever, fever pattern, and associated symptoms & signs, so as to:
    • make a determination as to whether a patient truly has/has had a fever, and whether it is acute versus chronic.
    • identify patients with serious illness.
    • demonstrate good understanding of the potential groups of cause of fever (infection, malignancy, drugs, environment (sun, heat).)
    • important conditions not to miss: endocarditis, meningitis, septicemia.
  2. Recognize special groups where fever has different significance or impact (neonates, elderly patients, travel/immigrant issues, under-immunized groups, living conditions, cultural/religious groups, immune-compromised individuals.)

  3. Propose a plan for appropriate investigation of possible causes of fever, based in the local context.

  4. Propose a basic plan of management for fever that includes:
    1. simple at home measures including antipyretics.
    2. guidance for patients/caregivers on how to access care depending on evolution of illness.
  5. Propose empiric therapy for the following conditions:
    • URTI (cold, pharyngitis, laryngitis, sinusitis)
    • LRTI (pneumonia, acute bronchitis)
    • Red eye/conjunctivitis
    • Acute Otitis Media
    • Influenza
    • Vaginal/urethral discharge
    • UTI/Complicated UTI/Pyelonephritis
    • Cellulitis

Mandatory Clinical Encounter

  • URTI

* Where a specific resource is not listed for a particular objective, please refer to recommended general texts/websites. Resources have often been selected from the Clinical Practice Guidelines and Protocols in British Columbia and Alberta’s Towards Optimized Practice Clinical Practice Guidelines. These are often concise summaries of national guidelines.