You respond for a call for a 34-year-old that woke up with abdominal pain; did you get the diagnosis right?
By Patrick Lickiss
The causes of abdominal pain can range from simple (mild constipation) to life-threatening (abdominal aortic aneurysm or acute MI). Because so many diseases can present with abdominal pain, the key to building a differential diagnosis in such cases is performing a detailed history and physical exam. These are both skills that providers of any level can perform, though it takes practice to become and maintain proficiency.