Harwood-Nuss' Clinical Practice of Emergency Medicine, fourth edition, captures an essential element of our specialty, namely, that the focus of emergency medicine practice is management, not diagnosis, of the patient.
A concise introduction, “Approach to the Emergency Department Patient,” clearly sets the stage and tone for the text: “[I]f a diagnosis can be made, it is extremely helpful, but if not, decisions and actions must still be taken.” I recommend that physicians in training and practicing physicians in all specialties that interact with emergency medicine read this introduction once a year as a reminder of the fundamental nature of emergency medicine.
Perez A. Emergency Medicine. JAMA. 2006;295(9):1067–1072. doi:10.1001/jama.295.9.1071-a
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