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Sept 21, 1984

Emergency Medicine

Author Affiliations

Porter Memorial Hospital Valparaiso, Ind

JAMA. 1984;252(11):1476. doi:10.1001/jama.1984.03350110070042

This article is only available in the PDF format. Download the PDF to view the article, as well as its associated figures and tables.


Seventy-nine contributors join surgeon Harold May in creating Emergency Medicine from the course materials enjoyed by the last nine classes of senior students at the Harvard Medical School, Boston, during their instruction in acute medicine. The text is divided into five sections: "Life Support" (critical care), "Acute Injuries" (trauma), "Other Acute Disorders" (acute medicine and pediatrics), "Medicolegal Considerations," and "Emergency Procedures." Excluding the latter two sections, Emergency Medicine concerns itself with defining the acute problems inherent in all of medicine: "The discussion of each emergency is presented in the context of emergency room practice," (emphasis added).

Much of the text is devoted to the pathophysiology of each acute condition described. While the discussions are both accurate and informative, the content plays to the inexperienced student audience and finds its origins in the inpatient rhetoric of the sub-specialist and not that of the specialist in emergency medicine. The diagnostic approach and