A 22-year-old college student calls his psychiatrist because for the past week, after cramming hard for finals, his thoughts have been racing and he is irritable. The psychiatrist notes that the patient’s speech is pressured as well. The patient has been stable for the past six months on 500 mg of valproate twice a day. What is the first step the psychiatrist should take in the management of this patient’s symptoms?
a. Hospitalize the patient
b. Increase the valproate by 500 mg/d
c. Prescribe clonazepam 1 mg qhs
d. Start haloperidol 5 mg qd
e. Tell the patient to begin psychotherapy one time per week
the answer is below…
The United States Medical Licensing Examination, or USMLE for short, is a three-part licensing examination that is required in order to receive a license to practice medicine within the United States.
The USMLE assesses a physician’s ability to apply knowledge, concepts, and principles, and to determine fundamental patient-centered skills that are important in health and disease and that constitute the basis of safe and effective patient care.Examination committees composed of medical educators and clinicians from across the United States and its territories prepare the examination materials each year.
This exam is designed by the Federation of State Medical Boards and the National Board of Medical Examiners to determine whether or not an individual understands and can apply the knowledge necessary to practice medicine safely and intelligently.
The USMLE is actually comprised of three different exams that are referred to as steps, which examine the individual’s knowledge of specific topics related to the field of medicine such as basic science, medical knowledge, medical skills, clinical science, and the application of all of these skills and areas of knowledge in the medical field.
All three steps of the USMLE include a series of computerized multiple-choice questions, but the format of the exam and the information covered in each multiple-choice section is different for each step of the USMLE. The USMLE Step II also has a clinical skills portion that examines an individual’s ability to work with real patients and the USMLE Step III has a computerized patient simulation portion in addition to the multiple-choice section of the exam. In order for an individual to receive a license to practice medicine, the individual must pass all three steps of the USMLE.
The correct answer is c; Prescribe clonazepam 1 mg qhs.
Sleep deprivation has an antidepressant effect in depressed patients and may trigger a manic episode in bipolar patients. The patient is not ill enough to require hospitalization. The use of a long-acting benzodiazepine will allow the patient to return to a normal sleep pattern and generally will abort the manic episode.