Emergency Medicine

General or Other | Emergency Medicine (Medicine Field)


Emergency Medicine is the specialty concerned with the stabilization, management, diagnosis, and disposition of individuals with acute illness and injury or traumas that require immediate attention. It also includes the management of advanced cardiac life support, trauma resuscitation, advanced airway management, poisonings, pre-hospital care and disaster preparedness. Emergency Medicine encompasses a large amount of general medicine but involves the technical and cognitive aspects of virtually all fields of medicine and surgery including the surgical sub-specialties.


Emergency physicians require a broad knowledge base and possess the skills of many specialists - the ability to manage a difficult airway , treat a heart attack (internist), suture a complex laceration (plastic surgery), stop a bad nosebleed (ENT), deliver a baby (Obstetrics and Gynecology), reduce a fractured bone or dislocated joint (orthopedic surgery), manage suicide attempts and complex overdoses (Psychiatry & Toxicology), tap a septic joint (Rheumatology), protect an abused child (Pediatrics), and place a chest tube (Cardiothoracic Surgery).

While not usually providing long-term or continuing care, emergency medicine physicians diagnose a variety of illnesses and undertake acute interventions to resuscitate and stabilize patients. Emergency medicine physicians practice in hospital emergency departments, in pre-hospital settings via emergency medical services, other locations where initial medical treatment of illness takes place, and recently the intensive-care unit. Just as clinicians operate by immediacy rules under large emergency systems, emergency practitioners aim to diagnose emergent conditions and stabilize the patient for definitive care.