Description: This work provides fascinating and detailed information about the social, scientific, and political forces that helped shape emergency medicine as a specialty, and insightful accounts from emergency medicine pioneers such as Ron Krome, George Podgorny, R. R. Hannas, Jr., James Mills, Jr., Harris Graves, John G. Wiegenstein, Peter Rosen, and many others.
Purpose: The author spent four years researching, "compiling and analyzing the modern history of emergency medicine in the U. S.," and conducting oral history interviews with emergency medicine pioneers. He received a sabbatical from the University of Michigan and a publication grant from the National Library of Medicine to support his research project.
Audience: This book will be of great interest to emergency physicians, residents, students, and hospital administrators, or anyone interested in the rise of medical specialties. The author is an Associate Professor of Emergency Medicine and Associate Dean for Student Programs at the University of Michigan Medical School, and past president of the Society for Academic Emergency Medicine.
Features: The book covers the tenuous connection between academic medicine and emergency care before 1960, maverick physicians who developed new ways (Alexandria Plan, Pontiac Plan) to staff emergency rooms with full-time physicians, the push for postgraduate emergency medicine training, and the formation of the American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP). Features include a foreword written by Peter Rosen, a timeline of events from 1954 to 1989, 16 pages of black-and-white photographs and illustrations, chapter end notes, and an index.
Assessment: This work is unique and fills a definite need. The author intentionally does not address the history of emergency medical services or prehospital care. A similar work is Henry R. Guly's A History of Accident and Emergency Medicine 1948-2004 (Palgrave Macmillan, 2006) which covers the history of 20th century British emergency medicine.