Faculty Zucker School of Medicine

Med Student Credited With Finding More Than Just a Hiccup in Patient’s Story

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Lifesaving Discovery and Case Study Published in BMJ

A 35 year-old man who suffered three bouts of persistent hiccups, lasting a few days each, over the span of one month learned the real culprit behind his health issue — a large tumor in the back of his neck.

The potentially fatal discovery was made by Hofstra Northwell assistant professor of medicine, Mark Goldin, MD, and fourth-year medical student, Zachary Hahn, who co-authored a case study about their experience. The case was unusual because it’s fairly uncommon for the cause of such long-lasting hiccups to turn out to be a tumor, said Dr. Goldin in a recent interview.

The patient had no family history of this type of tumor, said Dr. Goldin. He credits Hahn, a third-year medical student at the time, for picking up on the signs and symptoms that led to identifying the root cause of the man’s problem. “Zach was instrumental in making a life-saving diagnosis,” said Dr. Goldin.

The case study was published online Jan. 28 in the journal BMJ Case Reports.

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