October 17, 2007

House MD predictions

I like this show. It has bad medicine. It features a doctor who is the antithesis of good medicine. He regularly commands underlings to break and enter peoples' homes to search for clues about their current disease. He says very rude and insensitive things to patients and their families. He's done outright illegal and unethical acts in the name of saving his patient. Well, I suppose its the thought that counts. He does care, after all.

I get my House fix over at Polite Dissent. There wasn't a new episode of House this week (much to my disappointment when I sat down to watch TV at 8pm) but Scott did put out a challenge to his readers: guess what diagnoses are going to be featured in future episodes!

Most of my studying is out of a hefty tome called "Robbin's Pathologic Basis of Disease." A lot of the random names that fly about in House episodes come straight from this book, so I'm glad to say that after just a year and a half of med school training, I can ID nearly 90% of the lingo from the show.

House has made it easier to remember some of these bizarre entities and ridiculous diseases because I can put a face and a story to many of them now. It's greatly added to the appeal of the show for me. I haven't ever nailed a diagnosis, but maybe someday I will.

Here's my list of predictions. I'll report back week after week about how I'm doing.
1) Bronchogenic carcinoma (some sort of paraneoplastic syndrome, myasthenia gravis, Trousseau)
2) Small cell carcinoma (w/ ACTH or SIADH) … just because I like the ddx of paraneoplastic syndromes, I wanted to toss this in
3) Neurofibromatosis -> acoustic neuroma
4) Cryptococcus infection (c’mon now. A disease you get from pigeons? They’ll use this at some point.)
5) Strep mutans -> subacute endocarditis -> weird stroke syndromes, etc. (i picked this because they’d get use the line “s/he died just from brushing his/her teeth!”)
6) McCune-Albright polyostostic fibrous dysplasia (w/ endocrinopathies GH, TSH, ACTH… might show up in #2’s ddx or vice versa w/ cafe au lait spots)
7) Lyme disease -> Neuroborreliosis (maybe concealed by something like psoriatic arthritis)
8) AVM (maybe concealed w/ something like a traumatic brain injury in a soldier from Iraq… shrapnel would prevent them from running an MRI, House’s favorite diagnostic test)
9) Systemic Progressive Sclerosis (the clinic case of the day of Peyronie’s disease could be the eureka moment for House’s diagnosis)
10) Syphilis -> neuro, cardio etc.


  1. Sweet! I nailed one of the diagnoses... Lyme Disease for this week. The target rash was concealed by a fro.

  2. That also happened on Scrubs! A case of Lyme Disease, where the bite ends up being under his hair.

  3. I was at the doctors yesterday and self diagnosed on what I saw on that episode! My OH told me not to selfdiagnose based on House episodes lol. I've got a bite on my ankle and have the target rash so knew something was serious!

  4. i love to watch House MD but i never tried any of its diagnose. i think i am wise enough :D

  5. So...What are the names of the HOUSE MD and SCRUBS episodes where LYME DISEASE was the conclusive disease after the investigation?