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Content Objective: Headache

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

  1. Perform a patient-centred interview that identifies:
    • Symptoms of secondary headaches, including red flags of potentially serious causes e.g. intracranial bleed, meningitis etc.
    • Features that may differentiate types of headache that commonly presents in primary care
      • Migraine
      • Tension
      • Cervicogenic
      • Medication over-use headaches
  2. Perform a focused physical exam that identifies signs of secondary causes of headache, including potentially serious causes.

  3. Use diagnostic criteria to diagnose a patient with migraine.

  4. Propose a management plan for a patient presenting with headache that includes:
    • appropriate and timely investigation & disposition if a potentially serious secondary cause is suspected.
    • includes appropriate evidence-informed pharmacological and non-pharmacological modalities.
    • response to patient fears and expectations providing reassurance when appropriate.

Mandatory Clinical Encounter

  • Headache

* 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.