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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Peder Todd Lindberg, MD, PhD (University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine)
Description: This short review is an attempt to shape emergency medicine practice based on the most recent high quality evidence in the field. Focusing on the outcomes they hope to avoid, the authors marshal current evidence to guide the thoughts and actions of the emergency physician.
Purpose: The authors attempt to use the most relevant literature to prevent thought patterns and behaviors that still lead to poor outcomes. Rather than covering the entire breadth of medical problems, the authors focus on what to do (and what not to do) in order to achieve practical improvement for our patients. By focusing on practical solutions, backed up with evidence from the literature, the authors are able to meet their goals in a concise and relevant format.
Audience: In the preface, the authors state that they intend the book for the seasoned practitioner, but that it would also be good for the physician-in-training. In fact this book is likely best used as a frequent review for any physician hoping to avoid bad outcomes in patients. While it would serve well the seasoned professional who lacks an official teacher, it is also an excellent example for the new graduate of how to use the literature to guide responsible and successful practice.
Features: The book briefly covers the most common or dangerous complaints in the emergency department, as well as some easily recognized groups of patients (pregnant, pediatric, intoxicated, or violent). Its organization thus lends itself to the physician first considering the patient, rather than considering a disease. Within each chapter, the authors organize evidence around specific pitfalls that tend to lead to bad outcomes.
Assessment: This book is clearly organized around some of the central tendencies of the good emergency physician. It is brief, sticking closely to the "take-home" points. It has a dedication to evidence, with the clear belief that data, rather than personalities, will protect our patients. It is complaint-based, rather than diagnosis-based in an attempt to catch problems that can be missed. Current, concise, and practical, this book is a worthy companion to help guide both the practice and the culture of emergency medicine.