Are you a medical student about to do an Emergency Medicine rotation and want to impress the hell out of your supervisors?
Here’s a tip.
Read the Emergency Medicine Clerkship Primer by David A. Wald and colleagues – if you absorb even 10% of the wisdom in this small book you will succeed in your goal.
What’s great about this book?
- the book is short (only about 100 pages), well organized and easy to read.
- it’s free to download here as a pdf from the Society for Academic Emergency Medicine.
- You will gain insight into what makes emergency medicine unique in terms of philosophy and approach.
- The book is comprehensive in scope – there are 24 chapters covering:
- an introduction to emergency medicine and unique aspects of the specialty
- focused history taking and physical examination and how to recognize sick patients
- building a differential diagnoses and plan of action
- decision making and diagnostic testing
- the role of diagnosis in emergency medicine and the overriding importance of disposition
- documentation and discharge instructions
- oral case presentation and interacting with supervisors
- procedural skills
- how to refer patients for consultation from other specialties
- achieving patient satisfaction
- getting the most out of the rotation by being an active learner
- further reading and educational resources
- advice for those considering a career in emergency medicine
- It will be useful for all medical students regardless of whether they see themselves pursuing a career in emergency medicine in the future.
- There is an impressive list of references that will keep even the interminably curious occupied.
What’s not-so great?
- The book is understandably US-centric. Emergency medicine works a little differently in different countries and terminology may vary. However, most of the book is broadly applicable to emergency medicine anywhere.
- Well, it’s a book, it doesn’t read itself…
The bottom line:
Any medical student (or junior doctor) about to do a rotation in emergency medicine should download the book and at least scan through it before they start. Chances are you’ll come back to it again and again throughout your rotation.
Other recommended resources for medical students and interns in Emergency Medicine: