What is emergency medicine?
Emergency medicine is a medical specialty where physicians are trained to diagnose and treat unexpected injuries or illnesses. Those who practice emergency medicine treat those who require immediate medical attention and most commonly work in emergency departments or emergency rooms at hospitals or urgent care facilities.
A critical role of the emergency medicine doctor is to evaluate if the patient can be treated and released from the healthcare facility or if they need to be admitted to the hospital and assessed by other specialists.
Some ways that an emergency doctor may approach the situation, which varies by the health concern, can include:
- patient consultation
- physical examination
- blood test
- imaging tests
Why is emergency medicine important for healthcare?
In unexpected medical situations, emergency medicine is the first step in receiving healthcare. Emergency medicine doctors have a primary goal of stabilizing the patient as quickly as possible before moving on to the next phase of treatment.
Some reasons for seeing an emergency medicine doctor include:
- breathing difficulties
- heavy bleeding
- head, neck, and spine injuries
- stroke symptoms
- chest pain