The publication of this book is a timely reminder of the maturity of the specialty of emergency medicine. The chapters, each written by an experienced EM physician and added to by renowned national and international experts, explore in depth the clinical challenges and conundrums that begin each chapter. The diligent reference to key studies, not just via a simple citation but by use of a brief summary of the relevant findings, ensures that the reader is not only informed by the text but achieves a level of familiarity with a good deal of the academic literature. The reader is guided through a series of questions and answers as the clinical path of each patient progresses and this interaction greatly increases the readability of the text. The other engaging feature is the inclusion of expert comments and opinions at various points in each chapter. The effect created is similar to that experienced in a small tutorial group overseen by a learned and experienced mentor. Key learning points assist in emphasizing the issues most relevant to patient outcomes.
Finally each chapter concludes with an extensive and up to date reference list to ensure ease of access to the source literature. For those EM physicians who are increasingly familiar with the use of ultrasound in the ED there are numerous excellent sonographic examples of key anatomy and pathophysiology. This is not a traditional textbook, nor does it purport to cover any specific curriculum; instead this is a book that engages the reader, seeks to challenge and educate the EM physician and will do so whether they are recently qualified or an established consultant. The book covers a wide range of conditions and any shift worked in the ED will include many of the patients and challenges so authoritatively covered by this text. The result is, in effect, a single volume approach to CPD. Those who read and note its contents will be better clinicians, better teachers, and better prepared to challenge concepts in emergency medicine.
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