Archive Of Standardized Exam Questions: Otitis Externa


This page is dedicated to organizing various examples of standardized exam questions whose answer is otitis externa. While this may seem a odd practice, it is useful to see multiple examples of how otitis externa will be characterized on standardized exams (namely the boards and the shelf exams). This page is not meant to be used as a tradition question bank (as all of the answers will be the same), however seeing the classic “test” characterization for a disease is quite valuable.


Question # 1

A 15 year old girl comes to the clinic because of left ear pain, itching, and discharge for the past 6 days. She does not have a cold, hearing loss, or tinnitus. She returned yesterday from a 3-week vacation at a beach house in the Hamptons. She explained that she swam there almost daily. Her temperature in the clinic is 98.9°F. Movement of the left ear during the ear exam causes pain. Otoscope reveals prominent swelling and erythema in the ear canal, with both purulent and crusty debris. The tympanic membrane is unremarkable and has expected mobility. The patient’s right ear is unremarkable. The rest of the exam is non-contributory. What is the likely diagnosis in this patient?


Page Updated: 11.26.2016