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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
Johnson JC. Emergency Medicine. JAMA. 1984;252(11):1476. doi:10.1001/jama.1984.03350110070042
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