A group of American University of Antigua (AUA) College of Medicine students presented as poster finalists at the American College of Physicians (ACP) Internal Medicine Meeting, a national conference that took place on April 11-13, 2019.
Bilawal Ahmed, Omar Chaudhary, Mazhar Mustafa, Firas Siddique, Shil Shah, and Byron Okwesili – all fourth-year medical students at AUA – co-authored the poster, which highlighted an unusual case of acute pancreatitis and pancytopenia as the initial presentation of systematic lupus erythematosus (SLE). Pancreatitis is a rare complication of SLE, occurring in only 0.2% to 8.2% of SLE patients.
The 15-year-old female patient in this case was experiencing abdominal pain and related symptoms, and had no contributing medical history or drug allergies. She initially received treatment for pancreatitis, but when she showed no clinical improvement, the doctors on the case ran an infectious disease and rheumatologic workup. Once the SLE diagnosis was revealed, the medical team began successful treatment.
“It was a hard case for the doctors to diagnose,” said Ahmed, a former AUA class president who is interested in telemedicine, interventional pulmonology, and critical care. “But it shows that though it is rare, physicians must be aware of acute pancreatitis in a patient with pancytopenia presenting with abdominal pain. As a current student, I learned a great deal from how the doctors on this case treated the patient.”
Ahmed said he and his classmates were honored to present at the conference and represent the AUA community. “We felt a sense of pride and accomplishment to be representing AUA at a national level. Not only did we get great insight into the upcoming match season, we were also fortunate enough to be able to attend various clinical skills workshops, well-being sessions as well as educational lectures from various ACP attending and fellows. We are grateful to AUA faculty and staff for their support and guidance through this entire process.”