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Zucker School of Medicine at Hofstra/Northwell

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Adrienne Stoller
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Hofstra Northwell School of Medicine
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Date: Feb 12, 2016

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

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.

Read more about the case study in BMJ Case Reports.

View recent interview in CBS News Online