A common USMLE mistake many test takers make



Lets contribute to bringing awareness about this and lessening the mistake.

Many USMLE test takers prepare for the USMLE learning and memorizing common features of a disease without understanding the meaning of of the feature presented.

For example, a case is presented to us of describing Howell–Jolly Bodies (in asplenia or post surgical removal of the spleen in hereditary spherocytosis) to which the test never mentions Howell-Jolly Bodies in the stem of the question and instead they presents it as “findings of basophilic nuclear remnants (clusters of DNA) in circulating erythrocytes”.

Lets take advantage of this thread to describe other examples. Please contribute.


Howell-Jolly Bodies: Basophilic nuclear remnants (clusters of DNA) in circulating erythrocytes

Please reply with the term and definition that we should be aware of next…


GREAT idea @NetG

Heinz Bodies - inclusions within red blood cells which composed of denatured hemoglobin.


Barr body is the inactive X chromosome in a female somatic cell


Bite cell - an abnormally shaped red blood cell with one or more semicircular portions removed from the cell margin. These “bites” result from the removal of denatured hemoglobin by macrophages in the spleen.