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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Mary J. Guenther, MD (University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine)
Description: This paperback study tool offers 49 case studies and 73 minicases that span the entire breadth of emergency medicine. Structurally each main case is presented in an orderly fashion progressing from a chief complaint to management and complications.
Purpose: The authors' intention is to create a study text for emergency medicine that is both informative and succinct. The book aims to teach a student through case presentations the key elements to a particular disease entity. This objective is met.
Audience: The authors, who are a mix of students, residents, and attendings of various fields, make no claims of attracting a broader audience than medical students who are either studying for USMLE 2 or rotating through the emergency room. The book is well suited for that particular audience. The book is written at such a basic level that it is not useful for a resident or attending physician in the field of emergency medicine.
Features: The book covers the disease entities seen in an emergency room that range from commonplace to rare and life-threatening. It attempts to give a smattering of the most important subjects a budding emergency medicine student would want to know when on rotation. The best aspect of the book is the format, which presents in a straightfoward and concise manner each disease entity in its classic form. This edition is meant to be complemented by two color atlas supplements for further learning. The shortcoming of the book is that is provides no references if a student should desire to learn more about an entity.
Assessment: This book is a simple study guide which most medical students preparing for a rotation in emergency medicine or for USMLE part 2 would find useful. The authors state that this second edition incorporates updates and corrections. The main drawback of the book is primarily that it lacks authority. Only one of the five leading authors is listed as an emergency physician and that physician practices outside of the United States. It would be difficult for medical students just begining to learn emergency medicine to trust in the book's information without an authoritative author or references to back it up.