Tuesday, May 02, 2006


HEEADDSS is an acronym used in adolescent medicine. The assumption is that most adolescents are healthy, and it is more important to practice health maintenance with them than to spend a lot of time on acute complaints. So, at my clinic anyway, the vast majority of time in an interview with someone between 12 and 19 is spent asking a few questions from each of the HEEADDSS categories

Sexual Activity

Normally, and when done well, this picks up the primary ways teens are getting hurt, or setting themselves up to get hurt.

Normally, and when done well.

However, one of my classmates (you know who you are) made a faux pas while conducting this exam which is now legendary among the staff. Apparently, his rapport, or his style, or something, was a bit off (all right, all right, it was his first time too) but he managed to get through the entire interview and come out of the room to present the patient concluding that, though suffering from mono, the girl was pretty normal and well adjusted. Of course, when the preceptor came back into the room, the first thing he noticed were the multiple transverse unhealed razor cuts on the patient's wrists.

Observation is key.


S. Lee said...

Hmm, oops. You should have given the person a fake name, so it could go along with your sidebar.

zhoen said...

So easy to miss the obvious, when learning the more arcane. Like focusing on warm blankets, when the patient isn't breathing.