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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Melinda A Graber, BA, MD (University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine)
Description: This book addresses how we make diagnostic decisions in the emergency department. Much of what we do is guided by clinical decision rules, and in this book the authors discuss how these clinical rules are made and the up-to-date research behind them. Each chapter is based on clinical decisions that emergency medicine practitioners make every day, with evidence provided to help guide these decisions.
Purpose: The purpose is to address relevant questions on diagnostic testing that emergency medicine practitioners face daily, and to answer these questions with a review of the current literature. The authors consistently address useful questions and provide the evidence to help back up our decision-making process.
Audience: This practical guide will be useful to anyone practicing emergency medicine. The authors are well regarded, board-certified emergency medicine physicians.
Features: Two sections make up this book. Initially, it addresses the process we use to make clinical decisions and the process that is used to produce a clinical decision rule. This section gives a step-by-step approach to analyzing clinical studies and how to apply them to practice. There is also a good review of basic epidemiology. The larger section of the book is divided up by diagnoses, and addresses specific questions related to the diagnostic testing and clinical decision rules that surround each diagnosis. Each question is answered with a thorough but readable review of the current literature.
Assessment: The authors do an excellent job of providing clinically relevant evidence that we can use to support our daily decisions in the emergency department. While this is not an exhaustive review of emergency medicine research, it does provide a good summary of clinically useful information that will help each of us to make better informed, evidence-based decisions.