Emergency medicine, as the name implies, refers to the treatment of patients whose illness or injury is an emergency. This usually means the illness or injury is serious and was unexpected. Emergency medicine includes disaster response teams, ambulance personnel such as EMTs and paramedics, and doctors or nurses at an ER.
Emergency medicine specialists are trained to deal with all kinds of different conditions affecting all kinds of different people, as just about any medical condition can become an emergency. An emergency medicine physician might treat patients with:
In a busy emergency room, staff could even potentially see all of these problems in the same day. Emergency medicine specialists work in a fast-paced environment, treating serious health issues. They must make decisions quickly. Because emergency care is the only point of access to health care for many Americans, emergency medicine physicians must also provide screening and referrals as well as treatment.
There are over 120 million ER visits in the United States every year. Emergency medicine is a very important part of the health care system, and the providers routinely save lives.