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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Laura Joy Hurst, MD (University of Chicago)
Description: As an introduction to the specialty of emergency medicine, this book includes a brief history of the specialty and then provides cases that highlight the common topics covered and illnesses seen in emergency medicine.
Purpose: The author's objectives are to "introduce the discipline of emergency medicine in a meaningful and substantial way." It uses case studies to introduce a topic and then covers the basic knowledge that a caregiver should have in approaching that topic. The book certainly does give an overview of many of the commonly encountered complaints along with the basic differential and approach to those complaints.
Audience: It is primarily geared toward students and it would be good for those doing an emergency medicine rotation. The author also states that this book is geared toward physician assistants and nurse practitioners. It would be a good introduction to the specialty, but it is extremely limited in the information it provides. Anyone actually practicing emergency medicine would have to seek out additional resources.
Features: The book has a brief introduction to the specialty of emergency medicine and then broadly covers topics that are commonly encountered in the field. Each chapter starts with a case of a "classic presentation" of an illness such as chest pain, back pain, abdominal pain. The chapter is further broken down into topics covering the main differentials within that chief complaint (for example, under chest pain the topics are MI, PE, pneumothorax, and atypical chest pain). Each chapter concludes with questions to further emphasize the teaching points.
Assessment: This is a decent overview of the main topics in emergency medicine. I'm not convinced that it is unique or offers anything different than other such introductory books. There aren't a lot of charts, graphs or distracting pictures and I thought each topic was covered in a brief and to-the-point manner. The splinting and procedure overview would be extremely helpful to a student who may be asked to perform such tasks with minimal supervision.