What is PSNet Continuing Education?
PSNet Continuing Education offerings include WebM&M Spotlight Cases and Commentaries, which are certified for Continuing Medical Education/ Continuing Education Units (CME/CEU) and Maintenance of Certification (MOC) credit through the University of California, Davis (UCD) Health Office of Continuing Medical Education.
Each WebM&M Spotlight Case and Commentary is certified for the AMA PRA Category 1™ and Maintenance of Certification (MOC) through the American Board of Internal Medicine by the Office of Continuing Medical Education (OCME) at UCD, Health.
Learn more about how to earn credit from UCD
UCD's CME Security and Privacy
How does it work?
Earn CME or MOC credit and trainee certification by successfully completing quizzes based on Cases & Commentaries.
- Individuals have two attempts at each quiz to achieve a passing score of 80% or higher in order to earn credit.
- If you fail a quiz twice, the quiz will become unavailable, but the Spotlight case will be available as read-only.
- Spotlight Cases older than three years continue to be available as read-only, but their associated quizzes have been disabled.
New WebM&M Spotlight Cases
A 72-year-old man was diagnosed with COVID-19 pneumonia and ileus, and admitted to a specialized COVID care unit. A nasogastric tube (NGT) was placed, supplemental oxygen was provided, and oral feedings were... Read More
These cases describe the rare but dangerous complication of hematoma following neck surgery. The first case involves a patient with a history of spinal stenosis who was admitted for elective cervical discectomy and... Read More
A 38-year-old man with end-stage renal disease (ESRD) on chronic hemodialysis was admitted for nonhealing, infected lower leg wounds and underwent a below-knee... Read More
This case describes a man in his 70s with a history of multiple myeloma and multiple healthcare encounters for diarrhea in the previous five years, which had always been attributed to viral or unknown causes, without any... Read More
All WebM&M Spotlight Cases (51)
- Communication Improvement(25)
- Quality Improvement Strategies(16)
- Education and Training(15)
- Error Reporting and Analysis(9)
- Technologic Approaches(7)
- Culture of Safety(5)
- Human Factors Engineering(4)
- Specialization of Care(4)
- Computerized Decision Support(3)
- Legal and Policy Approaches(2)
- Logistical Approaches(2)
- Clear filter(91)
- Diagnostic Errors(51)
- Discontinuities, Gaps, and Hand-Off Problems(13)
- Medication Safety(8)
- Interruptions and distractions(4)
- Surgical Complications(4)
- Nonsurgical Procedural Complications(3)
- Psychological and Social Complications(3)
- Medical Complications(2)
- Device-Related Complications(1)
- Fatigue and Sleep Deprivation(1)
- Transfusion Complications(1)
A 65-year-old woman with a history of 50 pack-years of cigarette smoking presented to her primary care physician (PCP), concerned about lower left back pain; she was advised to apply ice and take ibuprofen. She returned to her PCP a few months later reporting persistent pain. A lumbar spine radiograph showed mild degenerative disc disease and the patient was prescribed hydrocodone/acetaminophen in addition to ibuprofen. In the following months, she was seen by video twice for progressive, more severe pain that limited her ability to walk. A year after the initial evaluation, the patient presented to the Emergency Department (ED) with severe pain. X-rays showed a 5 cm lesion in her lung, a small vertebral lesion and multiple lesions in her pelvic bones. A biopsy led to a diagnosis of lung cancer and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) showed metastases to the liver and bone, as well as multiple small fractures of the pelvic girdle. Given the extent of metastatic disease, the patient decided against aggressive treatment with curative intent and enrolled in hospice; she died of metastatic lung cancer 6 weeks after her enrollment in hospice. The commentary summarizes the ‘red flag’ symptoms associated with low back pain that should prompt expedited evaluation, the importance of lung cancer screening for patients with a history of heavy smoking, and how pain-related stigma can contribute to contentious interactions between providers and patients that can limit effective treatment.
A 44-year-old man presented to his primary care physician (PCP) with complaints of new onset headache, photophobia, and upper respiratory tract infections. He had a recent history of interferon treatment for Hepatitis C infection and a remote history of cervical spine surgery requiring permanent spinal hardware. On physical examination, his neck was tender, but he had no neurologic abnormalities. He was sent home from the clinic with advice to take over-the-counter analgesics. Over the next several days, the patient was evaluated for the same or similar symptoms again by his PCP and was seen by the emergency department and urgent care clinics before being admitted to the hospital; however, he was misdiagnosed with Staphylococcal meningitis, and it was not until his third inpatient day when cervical magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) showed a spinal epidural abscess. The commentary discusses the multiple factors leading to erroneous interpretation tests for spinal epidural abscess and the importance of broadening differentials and avoiding premature closure during diagnosis.
A 52-year-old man complaining of intermittent left shoulder pain for several years was diagnosed with a rotator cuff injury and underwent left shoulder surgery. The patient received a routine follow-up X-ray four months later. The radiologist interpreted the film as normal but noted a soft tissue density in the chest and advised a follow-up chest X-ray for further evaluation. Although the radiologist’s report was sent to the orthopedic surgeon’s office, the surgeon independently read and interpreted the same images and did not note the soft tissue density or order any follow-up studies. Several months later, the patient’s primary care provider ordered further evaluation and lung cancer was diagnosed. The commentary discusses how miscommunication contributes to delays in diagnosis and treatment and strategies to facilitate effective communication between radiologists and referring clinicians.
A 56-year-old women with a history of persistent asthma presented to the emergency department (ED) with shortness of breath and chest tightness that was relieved with Albuterol. She was admitted to the hospital for acute asthma exacerbation. Given a recent history of mobility limitations and continued clinical decompensation, a computed tomography (CT) angiogram of the chest was obtained to rule out pulmonary embolism (PE). The radiologist summarized his initial impression by telephone to the primary team but the critical finding (“profound evidence of right heart strain") was not conveyed to the primary team. The written radiology impression was not reviewed, nor did the care team independently review the CT images. The team considered her to be low-risk and initiated therapy with a direct oral anticoagulant (DOAC). Later that day, the patient became hemodynamically unstable and was transferred to the intensive care unit (ICU). She developed signs of stroke and required ongoing resuscitation overnight before being transitioned to comfort care and died. This commentary discusses the importance of avoiding anchoring bias, effective communication between care team members, and reviewing all available test results to avoid diagnostic errors.
A 60-year-old male presented to the emergency department (ED) with his partner after an episode of dizziness and syncope when exercising. An electrocardiogram demonstrated non-ST-elevation myocardial infarction abnormalities. A brain CT scan was ordered but the images were not assessed prior to initiation of anticoagulation treatment. While awaiting further testing, the patient’s heart rate slowed and a full-body CT scan demonstrated an intracranial hemorrhage. An emergent craniotomy was performed and the patient later died. The commentary discusses the influence of cognitive errors and the high-risk nature of anticoagulation contributing to this medical error, and the use of systematic interventions such as checklists and forcing functions to mitigate cognitive biases and prevent adverse outcomes.
A 52-year-old woman with a known history of coronary artery disease and ischemic cardiomyopathy was admitted for presumed community-acquired pneumonia. The inpatient medicine team obtained a “curbside” cardiology consultation which concluded that the worsening left ventricular systolic functioning was in the setting of acute pulmonary edema. Two months post-discharge, a nuclear stress test was suggestive of infarction and a subsequent catheterization showed a 100% occlusion. The commentary discusses cardiovascular-related diagnostic errors affecting women and the advantages, pitfalls and best practices for curbside consultations in acute care settings.