We searched far and wide to find select articles (& videos!) that you can read in your spare time. Then we
distilled the list to the key essentials. Below, find our reading
recommendations for every stage in medical school, residency and beyond:
These articles will help you understand the core educational resources in EM and the personal characteristics that make you a good fit for the field.
The Outstanding Medical Student in Emergency Medicine
The core professional
and personal characteristics that EM residency programs are seeking in
students, both during the EM rotation and when applying to residency. Written
by Stanford Emergency Medicine Residency.
Dr. Gus Garmel’s recommended
textbooks, readings, and resources for Emergency Medicine students and
residentsDr. Gus Garmel outlines the key educational resources relevant to Emergency Medicine. Do not try to read them all, pick what works and go with it!
Dr. Thomas Perara, M.D., program director at Jacobi/Montfiore and Mary Hannon, M.D., an alumnus of the program discuss what excites them about the field of EM.
Great video for anyone considering the field of emergency medicine.
Medical Student Timeline
Guide to help you navigate medical school with a focus on EM.
Limkakeng, AT. Emergency medicine national conventions: A medical student’s perspective. Journal of Emergency Medicine. 23(2):211-212, 2002 August
This article outlines reasons for medical students to attend national EM conferences (such as the ACEP Scientific Assembly), including exposure to the field, comparing EM to other specialties, and networking.
Lotfipour S, Luu R, et al. Becoming an emergency medicine resident: a practical guide for medical students. Journal of Emergency Medicine. 35(3):339-44, 2008 October
This step by step guide for medical students discusses important tasks that must be accomplished throughout medical school
by those hoping to match in EM and the importance of board scores, dean’s letters, grades, and letters of recommendation.
Pitre CJ. The unique educational value of emergency medicine student interest groups. Journal of Emergency Medicine. 22(4):427-428, 2002 May
This article outlines the benefits of a successful EMIG and suggests activities for it.
Windish DM, Paulman PM, et al. Do clerkship directors think medical students are prepared for the clerkship years? Academic Medicine. 79(1):56-61, 2004 January
This article defines six areas of competency
that students need before starting a clerkship: communication, professionalism,history/exam, life cycle, epidemiology, and care systems. It finds that 30-50% of clerkship directors do not believe that students are sufficiently prepared in these areas for clinical clerkship work.
Wenrich M, Jackson MB, et al.
Ready or not? Expectations of faculty and medical students for clinical skills preparation for clerkships. Medical Education Online. 15. doi: 10.3402/meo.v15i0.5295. 2010 August
This study outlines the expectations of clinical skill for medical students entering clerkships and the discordance between faculty and student expectations.
Planning Your Final Year of Medical
School. Gus M. Garmel, MD
This document contains specific advice on planning rotations & interviews
in the final year of medical school. It also includes a potpourri of
EM-relevant information, including a list of the major EM organizations, EM
journals, certifications, and a copy of the Standardized Letter of
Davenport, C, Honigman B, Druck J.
The 3-Minute Emergency Medicine Medical Student Presentation: A Variation on a
Theme. Academic Emergency Medicine. 15(7):683-687, 2008 July
This is THE article you must read before giving any oral patient presentation
in the emergency room.
Burdick WP, Jouriles NJ, et al.
Emergency Medicine in undergraduate education. Academic Emergency Medicine.
5(11):1105-1109, 1998 November
This article expounds
on the key EM competencies that the authors believe should be required of all
medical students, including BLS, airway & cardiovascular support, diagnosis
& treatment of common acute problems, and assessment of the “undifferentiated
Manthey DE, Ander DS, et al. Emergency medicine clerkship curriculum: an update and revision. Academic Emergency Medicine. 17(6):638-43, 2010 June
The Clerkship Directors in Emergency Medicine have updated the standardized 4th year EM
clerkship syllabus published in 2006 to reflect lessons learned through experience with the current curriculum and changes in guidelines.
Letters of Recommendation
Keim SM, Rein JA, et al. A
standardized letter of recommendation for residency application. Academic
Emergency Medicine. 6(11):1141-1146, 1999 November
THE original scholarly article describing the SLOR.
Perina, DG, Colier RE, et al. Report of the task force on residency training information (2010-2011), American Board of Emergency Medicine. Annals of Emergency Medicine. 57(5):526-534, 2011 May
Provides baseline data on the number of
emergency medicine residency positions, locations, and resident characteristics
such as gender, country of origin, and EM board pass rate.
Hayden SR, Hayden M, Gamst A. What characteristics of applicants to emergency medicine residency programs predict future success as an emergency medicine resident? Academic Emergency Medicine. 12(3):206-210, 2005 March
Examines the factors most predictive of success as a resident at UCSD EM residency. The two most important predictors were medical school attended and “distinctive factors” such as athletics, student government, etc. Strength of Dean’s Letter was also a major predictor.
Deiorio NM, Yarris LM, Gaines SA.
Emergency medicine residency applicant views on the interview day process. Academic
Emergency Medicine. 16:S67-S70, 2009 December
EM residency applicants were surveyed to
determine the most influential portions of interview day.
Laskey S, Cydulka RK. Applicant
considerations associated with selection of an emergency medicine residency
program. Academic Emergency Medicine. 16(4):355-359, 2009 April
Discusses the variables that influence medical
students when choosing an EM residency program and determine their satisfaction
with that residency choice.
Topics for Interviews
These are the topics to review before residency interviews – high-yield information to discuss with your interviewers.
Institute of Medicine (IOM) Report
Institute of Medicine. The Future of
Emergency Care in the United States Health System. Annals of Emergency
Medicine. 48(2):115-120, 2006 August
A seminal Institute of Medicine report
in 2006 calling attention to problems in the emergency care system. This
article outlines the major barriers to effective emergency care in the US from
the IOM report, including fragmentation of services, lack of specialists, &
lack of disaster preparedness. It provides recommendations from the IOM
to improve the system.
Chisholm CD. Institute of medicine
report “The Future of Emergency Care”: “Too much, too little, too late?” What
is the Society for Academic Emergency Medicine’s answer to the message?
Academic Emergency Medicine. 14(3):259-260, 2007 March
This spirited and potentially incendiary
perspective faults EM associations for not responding vigorously enough to the
IOM report and suggests that organizations will not be prepared for the deluge
of ED patients on the horizon, especially with our aging population.>
Napoli AM, Jagoda A. Clinical
policies: Their history, future, medical-legal implications, and growing importance
to physicians. Journal of Emergency Medicine. 33(4):425-432. 2007 November
This article examines the evidence base,
uptake, and legal role of clinical policies and practice guidelines.
White FA, French D, et al. Care
without coverage: is there a relationship between insurance and ED care?
Journal of Emergency Medicine. 32(2):159-165, 2007 February
This study found that fewer uninsured ED
patients were admitted to the hospital, though when standardizing a subset for
acuity, admission rates were similar.
Baumann MR, Vadeboncoeur TF, et al.
Financing of emergency medicine graduate medical education programs in an era
of declining medicare reimbursement and support. Academic Emergency Medicine.
11(7):756-759, 2004 July
This article covers technical information on
hospital funding formulas from legislative changes to Medicare.
Weeks WB, Wallace AE. Differences in
the annual incomes of emergency physicians related to gender. Academic
Emergency Medicine. 14(5):434-440, May 2007
This study found that female EPs made $48,000
less per year than male EPs, which was only partly explained by lower patient
volume, less board certification, and fewer years in practice.
Pines JM. The economic role of the
emergency department in the health care continuum: Applying Michael Porter’s
five forces model to emergency medicine. Journal of Emergency Medicine.
30(4):447-453, 2006 May
This article examines emergency care from the
perspectives of supplier& buyer power, threat of substitution, barriers to
entry, and internal rivalry, proposed by business expert Michael Porter.
Emergency Physician Demographics
Moorhead JC, Asplin BR. Distribution
of emergency medicine residency graduates. Annals of Emergency Medicine.
32(4):509-510, 1998 October
This article observes that the majority of
board-certified EPs practice in urban settings, and provides suggestions to
make rural settings more personally and economically appealing to graduating
Wear D. The House of God: Another
Look. Academic Medicine. 77(6):496-501, 2002 June
This re-analysis of Samuel Shem’s classic
novel suggests that the real value of House of God is in forcing us to
re-evaluate the purpose of hospital hierarchy and our response to the
incredible breadth of disease that we see every day.
Li SF, Haber M. Patient attitudes
toward emergency physician attire. Journal of Emergency Medicine. 29(1):1-3,
This study found that there was no difference
in patient satisfaction between ED physicians wearing formal attire and white
coats, and those wearing scrubs.
Moskop JC, Sklar DP, et al. Emergency
Department Crowding, Part 1—Concept, Causes, and Moral Consequences. Annals of
Emergency Medicine. 53(5):605-11, 2009 MayPart
An updated review of ED crowding that defines, explains how it is measured, identifies the most
important causes, and discusses its consequences.
JS, Rathlev NK. Emergency department overcrowding and ambulance diversion: The
impact and potential solutions of extended boarding of admitted patients in the
emergency department. Journal of Emergency Medicine. 30(3):351-356, 2006 April
This is an excellent review of ED
overcrowding—one of the biggest political topics in EM. The authors
conclude biggest driver of ED overcrowding is inability to transfer patients to
inpatient beds in a timely manner.
BR. Hospital-based emergency care: a future without boarding? Annals of
Emergency Medicine. 48(2):121-125, 2006 August
This editorial published in response to the
2006 IOM report includes recommendations on financing, research, and regional organization
of emergency care, and most notably calls on hospitals to develop improved
systems to admit patients more quickly out of the ED and continue care on the
Important ideas that are applicable to medical students and residents. Also important considerations when evaluating programs.
Burnout, stress and wellness
C, Heyborne R, et al. Reflections about "burn-out". Academic
Emergency Medicine. 16(6):567-571, 2009 June
A highly regarded program director gives her
opinion on factors contributing to ED burnout.
M, Cydulka RK. Chronicles of an emergency medicine intern. Academic Emergency
Medicine. 14(5):475-478, May 2007
Offers a first-hand account of the stresses of
intern year of residency and the need for interpersonal support systems.
C, Hevia A, et al. The influence of the causes and contexts of medical errors
on emergency medicine residents’ responses to their errors: An exploration.
Academic Medicine. 80(8):758-764, 2005 August
Over 93% of residents have made medical errors. 71% of them discussed the
error with their attending, 28% with the patient or family. Most
residents felt remorse, guilt, inadequacy, and frustration over the error.
Negative emotions were associated with personal characteristics, job
overload, and lack of institutional support.
G. Strategies for coping with stress in emergency medicine: Early education is
vital. J Emerg Trauma Shock. 2012 Jan-Mar; 5(1): 64–69
Describes solutions to burnout and stress.
Also looks at correlation between resident stress and patient satisfaction with
D, Schokley LW, Markovchick V. Wellness issues and the emergency medicine
resident. Annals of Emergency Medicine. 35(4):394-397, 2000 April
This article discusses wellness issues
including sleep, drug use, pregnancy, relationships, and safety among EM
residents – key issues to consider to thrive in the ED.
ED, Sharp L, Ferguson E. Depression among emergency medicine residents over an
academic year. Academic Emergency Medicine. 13(3):284-287, 2006 March
Found that 12% of EM residents have depression
and it is not predicted by gender, number of hours worked, or residency year.
Rotating shift work and the sleep cycle
KK, Stoller EP, et al. The effects of sleep loss and fatigue on
resident-physicians: A multi-institutional, mixed-method study. Academic
Medicine. 79(5):394-406, 2004 May
Found that only 16% of residents could score
in the normal range on the Epworth Sleepiness Scale. Residents perceived
that sleep loss and fatigue had major impact both on personal lives and on work
G. Circadian rhythm, shift work, and emergency medicine. Annals of Emergency
Medicine. 37(1):88-98, 2001 January
Reviews the physiological negative effects of
desynchronosis, or interruption of the circadian rhythm, on physician
D. Prevention and treatment of sleep deprivation among emergency physicians.
Pediatric Emergency Care. 23(7):498-503, 2007 July
Addresses the negative effects of sleep deprivation and reviews methods to
counteract it, including caffeine, alertness-enhancing agents, and better sleep
Dorevitch S, Forst L. The
occupational hazards of emergency physicians. American Journal of Emergency
Medicine. 18(3):300-311, 2000 May
Focuses on common occupational hazards
including bloodborne illnesses, latex allergies, workplace violence, shift
work, and emotional stress.
DM, Ross CS, McQueen L. Violence against emergency department workers. Journal
of Emergency Medicine. 31(3):331-337, 2006 October
Study of violence in 5 EDs over six months
found that there were 319 assaults by patients and 10 assaults by visitors, of
which 65% went un-reported.
Work Hours and Moonlighting
MJ, Wolf S, et al. Duty hours in emergency medicine: balancing patient
safety, resident wellness, and the resident training experience: a consensus
response to the 2008 institute of medicine resident duty hours recommendations.
Academic Emergency Medicine. 2010 Sep;17(9):1004-11
This consensus report addresses the effects of
duty hour restrictions on emergency medicine resident training. The effect of
duty hour restrictions on patient safety, resident wellness, the resident
training experience, and the appropriate length of an EM residency are
J, Tabor R, Martinez M. Survey of moonlighting practices and work requirements
of emergency medicine residents. American Journal of Emergency Medicine.
18(2):147-151, 2000 March
This article found that there is great
variation in required work hours for EM residencies, with an average of 204
hours per month. Moonlighting is typically as a solo ED physician in an
outside hospital, and doubles a resident’s salary, mostly used to pay off debt.
C, Hedges J, Kazzi AA. EMRA’s policy on unsupervised resident moonlighting: A
time to refocus indeed. Academic Emergency Medicine. 9(5) 354-356, 2002 May
This paper disagrees vigorously with EMRA’s
policy supporting resident moonlighting. The authors argue that residents
should be given “dependent” medical licenses that do not permit unsupervised
practice, and that moonlighting should be curtailed.
LG, Sadosty AT, Decker WW. Academic career development for emergency medicine
residents: A road map. Academic Emergency Medicine. 12(5):412-416, 2005 May
This article outlines
the expectations for residents who want an academic career, including research,
scholarly writing, reading the literature, joining committees, competing for
awards, teaching, and pursuing a fellowship.
John, Terry Kowalenko, and William Meurer. "Academic career selection in
American emergency medicine residents." Academic Emergency
Medicine 18.s2 (2011): S48-S53
Residency characteristics associated with
academic careers include program size, location and amount of research
S. Fellowship training: a necessity in today's academic world. Academic
Emergency Medicine. 9(7):713-716, 2002 July
This article argues that fellowship training
is essential for the academic emergency physician, enhances career
satisfaction, and allows the development of strong mentoring relationships.
MP, Itagaki MW. Characteristics and trends of published emergency medicine
research. Academic Emergency Medicine. 14(7):635-640, 2007 July
This article takes a global view of all
articles published by EM departments from 1996-2005, finding that 59% were
published in the US, followed by the UK with 8% and Japan with 4%. Only
4.5% of EM studies were NIH-funded.
DP, Lichenstein R. A survey on the graduates from the combined emergency
medicine/pediatric residency programs. Journal of Emergency Medicine.
32(2):137-140, 2007 February
This survey found a very high satisfaction
rate with combined EM/Peds residency. The majority of EM/Peds trainees
work in an academic institution.
TT, Hampers LC, et al. Job market survey of recent pediatric emergency medicine
fellowship graduates. Pediatric Emergency Care. 23(5):304-3077, 2007 May
This survey found that Pediatric EM
specialists received an average of 5 job offers at completion of fellowship,
with 60% of those positions being research-oriented and 40% clinical
Berger, E. Emergency
medicine goes global: specialty steps up humanitarian role. Annals of Emergency
Medicine. 47(4):344-347, 2006 April
This great article highlights stories of EPs
working in difficult disaster recovery situations, outlines the demographic
forces shaping EP involvement in global health, and also touches ethical and
personal risks faced by humanitarian workers.
Foran, Mark, et al. "International emergency medicine: a
review of the literature from 2009." Academic Emergency
Medicine 18.1 (2011): 86-92.
The top 24 articles published in international
emergency medicine in 2009. Good place to begin the current research in the
EM / IM
CS, Stallings LA, et al. Combined residency training in emergency medicine and
internal medicine: An update on career outcomes and job satisfaction. Academic
Emergency Medicine. 16(9):894-899, 2009 SeptemberThe experiences, career outcomes, and satisfaction of combined
EM/IM program graduates are explored in this article.
ED, Katz JT. Careers of graduates of combined emergency medicine/internal
medicine programs. Academic Emergency Medicine. 9(12):1457-1459, 2002 December
This survey of combined EM/IM graduates found
that 30% of graduates practice both EM and IM. Half are involved in
research, and most reported high career satisfaction, with most reporting that
their reason for pursuing combined training was to be a better physician.
Other career paths
SB, Stroup DF, Sencer DJ. Epidemic Assistance by the Centers for Diseaes
Control and Prevention: Role of the Epidemic Intelligence Service, 1946-2005.
American Journal of Epidemiology. 174(supl 11):S4-S15, 2011 December
The Epidemic Intelligence Service (EIS) is a
2-year post-residency fellowship program of the CDC, which is popular among
emergency physicians. Although the EIS is a non-clinical fellowship, some
emergency medicine graduates find creative ways to keep up their clinical
skills. It provides the best quantitative preparation for fieldwork and
investigation of acute disease outbreaks.
M, Burg MD. Emergency medicine career paths less traveled: cruise ship
medicine, Indian health, and critical care medicine. Annals of Emergency
Medicine. 44(1):79-83, 2004 July
This article provides information for
residents on the career opportunities in cruise ship medicine, the Indian
Health Service, and critical care medicine, and charts ways to begin pursuing
these routes early in residency.
C, Poirier V. Career options in aerospace and aviation medicine. Annals of
Emergency Medicine. 43(5):652-656, 2004 May
This article discusses the career paths and fellowship opportunities in aerospace medicine, in the US and abroad.
List revised and compiled in October 2013 by Jimmy Corbett-Detig. Thanks to previous authors and contributors for all their hard work.