Preface

The Study Guide is the fifth edition to follow the first one published by the American College of Emergency Physicians in 1979. The increasing complexity of each edition has reflected the maturation of our practices over twenty years.

To prepare for this edition, we solicited written reviews of the fourth edition from emergency medicine residents, clinical practitioners, and academicians. We expanded the format of the Study Guide to incorporate evidence from the medical literature to support clinical practice. Chapter structure was improved, several new sections have been added, and many new emergency medicine authors were recruited. It is surprising how little of the practice of medicine is founded on the results of clinical investigation. We hope that our readers and users will be stimulated to design their own clinical investigations to help us improve our future practices.

We have incorporated the EMRA Antibiotic Handbook into the body of the Study Guide, to make this excellent resource more widely available.

The list of reviewers and authors for the Study Guide is impressive. We are especially proud of the many contributions by young emergency medicine faculty and practitioners. Their knowledge, clinical expertise, and commitment to emergency medicine reflect positively on our specialty.

Of the skills important for an emergency physician-knowledge, technical proficiency, compassion, and wisdom-this book can only provide the first, knowledge, to help us practice. Technical ability is learned at the bedside under the watchful eyes and hands of a teacher-a book cannot guide your hands through a difficult procedure. Compassion comes from the values and beliefs that we bring to our profession-a book cannot infuse us with compassion and advocacy for the patients we treat. And wisdom comes from awareness of your own strengths, weaknesses, abilities, and limitations. Our hope is that this text, containing the experience of hundreds of emergency physicians, will stimulate your own development as an emergency physician.

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