Authors: Luke W. Sirant MSc
In primary care settings, cardiac arrhythmias can prove difficult in their diagnosis and management because many patients present with symptoms that are variable, transient, and nonspecific. Developing an approach to the recognition, diagnosis, and management of arrythmias is an important learning experience for medical students early in their training. In this article, several lessons are highlighted through a case example of a 57- year-old male presenting to their primary care provider with pre-syncopal episodes, shortness of breath, and chest discomfort. The case focuses on the steps in the management of the patient’s symptoms in a local emergency department, and eventually in a tertiary care facility where a permanent pacemaker was deemed necessary for symptom resolution. This case emphasizes important lessons for medical students related to the diagnosis and treatment of arrhythmias, which can be in turn, applied to a general approach to all medical conditions.
Keywords: cardiology, arrhythmia, primary care