Mr Moore’s Surgical Sieve

Use my surgical sieve to remember different types of human disease when you are stuck for an answer to a question in exams or on ward rounds!

A surgical sieve is a way of easily remembering the different types of disease processes that can affect humans.  There are many different surgical sieves and I have listed below the one that I used for my medical and surgical exams.  It is very useful to have a surgical sieve if you are in a sticky situation in an exam because you do not immediately think of the answer to a question.  The surgical sieve lists disease processes from most common to least common and it can help to jog your memory for a potential answer to that tricky question!  The surgical sieve is useful when you are faced with a patient where the diagnosis is not immediately obvious and it will help with the formulation of a differential diagnosis.

My surgical sieve is ‘CA Invited MD eye, eye, eye!‘ using CA to stand for California and MD to stand for Medical Doctor or Managing Director, whichever is easier to remember.  If you do not find this easy to remember then you should make up your own surgical sieve.  With a surgical sieve you should never be lost for some form of answer to a tough medical examiner’s question!

C is for Congenital (genetic) e.g. cystic fibrosis

A is for Acquired (environmental) e.g. asbestosis

I is for Infective (bacteria, viruses, fungi) e.g. diverticulitis or pneumonia

N is for Neoplastic (cancer) e.g. colon carcinoma

V is for Vascular e.g. cerebrovascular accident or stroke

I is for Inflammatory e.g. Crohn’s disease

T is for Traumatic e.g. stab wound

E is for Endocrine e.g. diabetes

D is for Degenerative e.g. osteoarthritis

M is for Metabolic e.g. osteoporosis

D is for Drugs e.g. aspirin related gastritis

I is for Idiopathic (cause not known) e.g. irritable bowel syndrome

I is for Iatrogenic (caused by healthcare professionals) e.g. antibiotic related Clostridium difficile gastroenteritis

I is for Immunological e.g. Hashimoto’s thyroiditis