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From The CriticsReviewer: Jon C. Olsen, M.D., F.A.C.E.P.(University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine)
Description: This is a comprehensive reference textbook of emergency medicine. The previous edition was published in 1998.
Purpose: The editors' purpose is to provide a book that will serve as the educational corpus that will contribute to the competency of emergency medicine specialists. The purpose is more than adequately met.
Audience: The book is written primarily for practicing emergency medicine attending and resident physicians. The authors are almost entirely emergency physicians from academic centers and include most of the leaders in the specialty. Previous editions included authors from other medical specialties.
Features: This is a comprehensive review of the specialty of emergency medicine. The illustrations are black and white, numerous, and generally of high quality. This latest edition includes numerous algorithms and the ultrasound information is incorporated into the relevant chapters rather than presented in a separate chapter. There is comprehensive coverage of pathophysiology and epidemiology in addition to numerous tables. The index is comprehensive but difficult to read due to a very small print. The overall appearance of the book is clean, but it is cumbersome as a three volume set with 2,766 pages.
Assessment: This edition is a much needed update for the emergency medicine community. Emergency departments and medical libraries should have this book on their shelves. Due to the length of the book, its use as a review for board exams is limited and it should be used primarily as a reference by practicing physicians. Other textbooks of emergency medicine such as Tintinalli et al.'s Emergency Medicine: A Comprehensive Study Guide, 5th edition (McGraw-Hill, 2000), or Harwood-Nuss et al.'s Clinical Practice of Emergency Medicine, 3rd edition (Lippincott Williams & Wilkins 2001), are more focused and better resources for emergency medicine residents in training or as reviews for board exams.