Case Study, Diagnosis

Lyme Disease Differential Diagnosis

Author Chandana Balasubramanian , 19-Mar-2024

The “Lyme Disease Differential Diagnosis” lesson plan is designed to educate students on the complexities of diagnosing Lyme disease, especially when common symptoms such as the characteristic rash are absent. The lesson aims to enhance students’ understanding of Lyme disease symptoms, the process of differential diagnosis, and the comparison of Lyme disease symptoms with those of other tick-borne illnesses.


This comprehensive educational package highlights the importance of early and accurate diagnosis for effective treatment, acknowledging that untreated Lyme disease can lead to serious complications affecting the heart, brain, nervous system, and other organs. By engaging in a scenario-based activity, students are challenged to perform a differential diagnosis, considering various potential illnesses based on provided symptoms and additional information.


Key components of the lesson include detailed discussion questions focusing on the significance of Lyme disease awareness, the reasons behind its frequent misdiagnosis, the increase in tick-borne illnesses, and preventative measures against tick bites. The lesson further delves into the process of differential diagnosis, emphasizing the role of patient history, outdoor activities, and the necessity of lab tests for a definitive diagnosis.


Through post-activity exercises, students are encouraged to explore the epidemiology of Lyme disease, understand the vector and pathogen involved, and learn about the most common treatments. A bonus activity enables a deeper comparison between Lyme disease and other tick-borne diseases, such as ehrlichiosis and babesiosis, highlighting distinguishing symptoms and factors.


By concluding with answer keys for case studies and bonus activities, the lesson ensures a thorough understanding of the diagnostic challenges and the critical thinking required to differentiate Lyme disease from other conditions, reinforcing the pivotal role of medical professionals in the accurate diagnosis and treatment of tick-borne diseases.


About the Lesson Plan

This Lesson Features:

  • Learning Objectives & Key Outcomes
  • Comprehensive Lesson Summary
  • Instructor’s Guide & Answer Sheets
  • Case Study Scenario & Questions
  • Student Activity Sheets
  • Solutions for Differential Diagnosis
  • GIDEON Platform Tutorial
  • Bonus Activity: Compare Tick-borne Illnesses
Chandana Balasubramanian

Chandana Balasubramanian is an experienced healthcare executive who writes on the intersection of healthcare and technology. She is the President of Global Insight Advisory Network, and has a Masters degree in Biomedical Engineering from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, USA.