Maintaining lifelong learning is challenging, especially when trying to keep up with all of the journal publications in emergency medicine (EM). In 2013, we published a compilation of 52 journal articles, which interns could read over a 52-week period, at an average pace of 1 journal article per week. In the list below, we present an updated compilation for the “52 Articles in 52 Weeks” initiative.

Methodology for Article Selection

Candidate articles were collected via suggestions from U.S. EM residency program directors and assistant program directors via the CORD listserve and from previously existing lists (first edition of the 52 Articles in 52 Weeks List, Colorado Compendium [PDF]1). Articles were then rated by a ‘Selection Committee’ comprised of 9 EM faculty with an academic niche in evidence-based medicine. Each member evaluated the following for each candidate article:

  1. Best Evidence in Emergency Medicine (BEEM) score — a published, validated score to determine how practice-changing an article is (see below table)
  2. Is the article practice-changing in EM?
  3. Should EM graduates know the article?
  4. Should the article be included in the final ’52 Articles in 52 Weeks’ list?

Best Evidence in Emergency Medicine (BEEM) Scoring2

Assuming that the results of this article are valid, how much does this article impact on EM clinical practice?
BEEM ScoreDescription
1Useless information
2Not really interest, not really new, changes nothing
3Interesting and new, but doesn’t change practice
4Interesting and new, has the potential to change practice
5New and important: this would probably change practice for some emergency physicians (EP’s)
6New and important: this would change practice for most EP’s
7This is a “must know for EPs


Evaluations were summarized descriptively, then used to rank the order of most essential knowledge for EM interns. The top-ranked articles are provided below to be consumed throughout the EM intern year.



  1. Andersen HR, Nielsen TT, Rasmussen K, Thuesen L, et al; DANAMI-2 Investigators. A comparison of coronary angioplasty with fibrinolytic therapy in acute myocardial infarction. N Engl J Med. 2003 Aug 21;349(8):733-42. PMID: 12930925
  2. Backus BE, Six AJ, Kelder JC, Bosschaert MA, et al. A prospective validation of the HEART score for chest pain patients at the emergency department. Int J Cardiol. 2013 Oct 3;168(3):2153-8. PMID: 23465250
  3. McCullough PA, Nowak RM, McCord J, Hollander JE, et al. B-type natriuretic peptide and clinical judgment in emergency diagnosis of heart failure: analysis from Breathing Not Properly (BNP) Multinational Study. Circulation. 2002 Jul 23;106(4):416-22. PMID: 12135939
  4. Nichol G, Leroux B, Wang H, Callaway CW, et al; ROC Investigators. Trial of Continuous or Interrupted Chest Compressions during CPR. N Engl J Med. 2015 Dec 3;373(23):2203-14. PMID: 26550795
  5. Quinn J, McDermott D, Stiell I, Kohn M, Wells G. Prospective validation of the San Francisco Syncope Rule to predict patients with serious outcomes. Ann Emerg Med. 2006;47(5):448-54. PMID: 16631985
  6. Sgarbossa EB, Pinski SL, Barbagelata A, Underwood DA, et al; GUSTO-1 (Global Utilization of Streptokinase and Tissue Plasminogen Activator for Occluded Coronary Arteries) Investigators. Electrocardiographic diagnosis of evolving acute myocardial infarction in the presence of left bundle-branch block. N Engl J Med. 1996 Feb 22;334(8):481-7. PMID: 8559200
  7. Wyse DG, Waldo AL, DiMarco JP, Domanski MJ, et al; Atrial Fibrillation Follow-up Investigation of Rhythm Management (AFFIRM) Investigators. A comparison of rate control and rhythm control in patients with atrial fibrillation. N Engl J Med. 2002 Dec 5;347(23):1825-33. PMID: 12466506


  1. Palamidessi N, Sinert R, Falzon L, Zehtabchi S. Nasogastric aspiration and lavage in emergency department patients with hematochezia or melena without hematemesis. Acad Emerg Med. 2010 Feb;17(2):126-32. PMID: 20370741

Infectious Disease

  1. de Almeida JR, Al Khabori M, Guyatt GH, Witterick IJ, et al. Combined corticosteroid and antiviral treatment for Bell palsy: a systematic review and meta-analysis. JAMA. 2009 Sep 2;302(9):985-93. PMID: 19724046
  2. de Gans J, van de Beek D; European Dexamethasone in Adulthood Bacterial Meningitis Study Investigators. Dexamethasone in adults with bacterial meningitis. N Engl J Med. 2002 Nov 14;347(20):1549-56. PMID: 12432041
  3. Marik PE, Flemmer M, Harrison W. The risk of catheter-related bloodstream infection with femoral venous catheters as compared to subclavian and internal jugular venous catheters: a systematic review of the literature and meta-analysis. Crit Care Med. 2012 Aug;40(8):2479-85. PMID: 22809915
  4. Weiss EA, Oldham G, Lin M, Foster T, Quinn JV. Water is a safe and effective alternative to sterile normal saline for wound irrigation prior to suturing: a prospective, double-blind, randomised, controlled clinical trial. BMJ Open. 2013 Jan 16;3(1). PMID: 23325896
  5. Wong CH, Khin LW, Heng KS, Tan KC, Low CO. The LRINEC (Laboratory Risk Indicator for Necrotizing Fasciitis) score: a tool for distinguishing necrotizing fasciitis from other soft tissue infections. Crit Care Med. 2004 Jul;32(7):1535-41. PMID: 15241098


  1. Stiell IG, Greenberg GH, McKnight RD, Nair RC, et al. Decision rules for the use of radiography in acute ankle injuries. Refinement and prospective validation. JAMA. 1993 Mar 3;269(9):1127-32. PMID: 8433468


  1. Hacke W, Kaste M, Bluhmki E, Brozman M, et al; ECASS Investigators. Thrombolysis with alteplase 3 to 4.5 hours after acute ischemic stroke. N Engl J Med. 2008 Sep 25;359(13):1317-29. PMID: 18815396
  2. Hasbun R, Abrahams J, Jekel J, Quagliarello VJ. Computed tomography of the head before lumbar puncture in adults with suspected meningitis. N Engl J Med. 2001 Dec 13;345(24):1727-33. PMID: 11742046
  3. Hypothermia After Cardiac Arrest Study Group. Mild Therapeutic Hypothermia to Improve the Neurologic Outcome after Cardiac Arrest. N Engl J Med. 2002 Feb 21;346(8):549-56. PMID: 11856793
  4. Johnston SC, Rothwell PM, Nguyen-Huynh MN, Giles MF, et al. Validation and refinement of scores to predict very early stroke risk after transient ischaemic attack. Lancet. 2007;369(9558):283-92. PMID: 17258668
  5. Kattah JC, Talkad AV, Wang DZ, Hsieh YH, Newman-Toker DE. HINTS to diagnose stroke in the acute vestibular syndrome: three-step bedside oculomotor examination more sensitive than early MRI diffusion-weighted imaging. Stroke. 2009 Nov;40(11):3504-10. PMID: 19762709
  6. The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke rt-PA Stroke Study Group. Tissue plasminogen activator for acute ischemic stroke. N Engl J Med. 1995 Dec 14;333(24):1581-7. PMID: 7477192
  7. Nielsen N, Wetterslev J, Cronberg T, Erlinge D, et al; TTM Trial Investigators. Targeted temperature management at 33°C versus 36°C after cardiac arrest. N Engl J Med. 2013 Dec 5;369(23):2197-206. PMID: 24237006
  8. Perry JJ, Stiell IG, Sivilotti ML, Bullard MJ, et al. High risk clinical characteristics for subarachnoid haemorrhage in patients with acute headache: prospective cohort study. BMJ. 2010 Oct 28;341:c5204. PMID: 21030443


  1. Bjornson CL, Klassen TP, Williamson J, Brant R, et al; Pediatric Emergency Research Canada Network. A randomized trial of a single dose of oral dexamethasone for mild croup. N Engl J Med. 2004 Sep 23;351(13):1306-13. PMID: 15385657
  2. Holmes JF, Mao A, Awasthi S, McGahan JP, et al. Validation of a prediction rule for the identification of children with intra-abdominal injuries after blunt torso trauma. Ann Emerg Med. 2009 Oct;54(4):528-33. PMID: 19250706
  3. Kocher MS, Mandiga R, Zurakowski D, Barnewolt C, Kasser JR. Validation of a clinical prediction rule for the differentiation between septic arthritis and transient synovitis of the hip in children. J Bone Joint Surg Am. 2004 Aug;86-A(8):1629-35. PMID: 15292409
  4. Kuppermann N, Holmes JF, Dayan PS, Hoyle JD Jr, et al; Pediatric Emergency Care Applied Research Network (PECARN). Identification of children at very low risk of clinically-important brain injuries after head trauma: a prospective cohort study. Lancet. 2009 Oct 3;374(9696):1160-70. PMID: 19758692
  5. Pieretti-Vanmarcke R, Velmahos GC, Nance ML, Islam S, et al. Clinical clearance of the cervical spine in blunt trauma patients younger than 3 years: a multi-center study of the american association for the surgery of trauma. J Trauma. 2009 Sep;67(3):543-9; discussion 549-50. PMID: 19741398
  6. Spiro DM, Tay KY, Arnold DH, Dziura JD, et al. Wait-and-see prescription for the treatment of acute otitis media: a randomized controlled trial. JAMA. 2006 Sep 13;296(10):1235-41. PMID: 16968847


  1. The Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome Network. Ventilation with lower tidal volumes as compared with traditional tidal volumes for acute lung injury and the acute respiratory distress syndrome. N Engl J Med. 2000 May 4;342(18):1301-8. PMID: 10793162
  2. Bauer TT, Ewig S, Marre R, Suttorp N, Welte T; CAPNETZ Study Group. CRB-65 predicts death from community-acquired pneumonia. J Intern Med. 2006 Jul;260(1):93-101. PMID: 16789984
  3. Brochard L, Mancebo J, Wysocki M, Lofaso F, et al. Noninvasive ventilation for acute exacerbations of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. N Engl J Med. 1995 Sep 28;333(13):817-22. PMID: 7651472
  4. Konstantinides S, Geibel A, Heusel G, Heinrich F, Kasper W; Management Strategies and Prognosis of Pulmonary Embolism-3 Trial Investigators. Heparin plus alteplase compared with heparin alone in patients with submassive pulmonary embolism. N Engl J Med. 2002 Oct 10;347(15):1143-50. PMID: 12374874
  5. Kline JA, Courtney DM, Kabrhel C, Moore CL, et al. Prospective multicenter evaluation of the pulmonary embolism rule-out criteria. J Thromb Haemost. 2008 May;6(5):772-80. PMID: 18318689
  6. Masip J, Roque M, Sánchez B, Fernández R, et al. Noninvasive ventilation in acute cardiogenic pulmonary edema: systematic review and meta-analysis. JAMA. 2005 Dec 28;294(24):3124-30. PMID: 16380593
  7. Wells PS, Anderson DR, Rodger M, Stiell I, et al. Excluding pulmonary embolism at the bedside without diagnostic imaging: Management of patients with suspected pulmonary embolism presenting to the emergency department by using a simple clinical model and D-dimer. Annals Intern Med 2001;135:98-107. PMID: 11453709


  1. De Backer D, Biston P, Devriendt J, Madl C, et al; SOAP II Investigators. Comparison of dopamine and norepinephrine in the treatment of shock. N Engl J Med. 2010 Mar 4;362(9):779-89. PMID: 2020038
  2. Jones AE, Shapiro NI, Trzeciak S, Arnold RC, et al; Emergency Medicine Shock Research Network (EMShockNet) Investigators. Lactate clearance vs central venous oxygen saturation as goals of early sepsis therapy: a randomized clinical trial. JAMA. 2010 Feb 24;303(8):739-46. PMID: 20179283.
  3. ProCESS Investigators, Yealy DM, Kellum JA, Huang DT, et al. A randomized trial of protocol-based care for early septic shock. N Engl J Med. 2014 May 1;370(18):1683-93. PMID: 24635773.
  4. Rivers E, Nguyen B, Havstad S, Ressler J, et al; Early Goal-Directed Therapy Collaborative Group. Early goal-directed therapy in the treatment of severe sepsis and septic shock. N Engl J Med. 2001 Nov 8;345(19):1368-77. PMID: 11794169.


  1. Weaver LK, Hopkins RO, Chan KJ, Churchill S, et al. Hyperbaric oxygen for acute carbon monoxide poisoning. N Engl J Med. 2002 Oct 3;347(14):1057-67. PMID: 12362006


  1. Bickell WH, Wall MJ Jr, Pepe PE, Martin RR, et al. Immediate versus delayed fluid resuscitation for hypotensive patients with penetrating torso injuries. N Engl J Med. 1994 Oct 27;331(17):1105-9. PMID: 7935634
  2. CRASH-2 trial collaborators, Shakur H, Roberts I, Bautista R, et al. Effects of tranexamic acid on death, vascular occlusive events, and blood transfusion in trauma patients with significant haemorrhage (CRASH-2): a randomised, placebo-controlled trial. Lancet. 2010 Jul 3;376(9734):23-32. PMID: 20554319
  3. Hendey GW, Wolfson AB, Mower WR, Hoffman JR; National Emergency X-Radiography Utilization Study Group. Spinal cord injury without radiographic abnormality: results of the National Emergency X-Radiography Utilization Study in blunt cervical trauma. Lancet J Trauma. 2002 Jul;53(1):1-4. PMID: 12131380
  4. Hoffman JR, Wolfson AB, Todd K, Mower WR. Selective cervical spine radiography in blunt trauma: methodology of the National Emergency X-Radiography Utilization Study (NEXUS). Ann Emerg Med. 1998 Oct;32(4):461-9. PMID: 9774931
  5. Karounis H, Gouin S, Eisman H, Chalut D, et al. A randomized, controlled trial comparing long-term cosmetic outcomes of traumatic pediatric lacerations repaired with absorbable plain gut versus nonabsorbable nylon sutures. Acad Emerg Med. 2004 Jul;11(7):730-5. PMID: 15231459
  6. Moore EE, Knudson MM, Burlew CC, Inaba K, et al; WTA Study Group. Defining the limits of resuscitative emergency department thoracotomy: a contemporary Western Trauma Association perspective. J Trauma. 2011 Feb;70(2):334-9. PMID: 21307731
  7. Stiell IG, Wells GA, Vandemheen KL, Clement CM, et al. The Canadian C-spine rule for radiography in alert and stable trauma patients. JAMA. 2001 Oct 17;286(15):1841-8. PMID: 11597285
  8. Stiell IG, Wells GA, Vandemheen K, Clement C, et al. The Canadian CT Head Rule for patients with minor head injury. Lancet. 2001 May 5;357(9266):1391-6. PMID: 11356436


  1. Melniker LA, Leibner E, McKenney MG, Lopez P, Briggs WM, Mancuso CA. Randomized controlled clinical trial of point-of-care, limited ultrasonography for trauma in the emergency department: the first sonography outcomes assessment program trial. Ann Emerg Med. 2006 Sep;48(3):227-35. PMID: 16934640
  2. Nagdev AD, Merchant RC, Tirado-Gonzalez A, Sisson CA, Murphy MC. Emergency department bedside ultrasonographic measurement of the caval index for noninvasive determination of low central venous pressure. Ann Emerg Med. 2010 Mar;55(3):290-5. PMID: 19556029


  1. Smith-Bindman R, Aubin C, Bailitz J, Bengiamin RN, et al. Ultrasonography versus computed tomography for suspected nephrolithiasis. N Engl J Med. 2014 Sep 18;371(12):1100-10. PMID: 25229916


  1. Hagan PG, Nienaber CA, Isselbacher EM, Bruckman D, et al. The International Registry of Acute Aortic Dissection (IRAD): new insights into an old disease. JAMA. 2000 Feb 16;283(7):897-903. PMID: 10685714
Druck J, Pearson D, Claud J. The colorado compendium: an article-based literature review program. West J Emerg Med. 2009;10(1):21-22. [PubMed]
Worster A, Kulasegaram K, Carpenter C, et al. Consensus conference follow-up: inter-rater reliability assessment of the Best Evidence in Emergency Medicine (BEEM) rater scale, a medical literature rating tool for emergency physicians. Acad Emerg Med. 2011;18(11):1193-1200. [PubMed]
Emily Junck, MD

Emily Junck, MD

Helicopter EMS Fellow
Auckland City Hospital
Auckland, New Zealand
Emily Junck, MD

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Patrick Bender, MD

Patrick Bender, MD

Emergency Medicine Resident
Division of Emergency Medicine
University of Washington
Patrick Bender, MD

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Jonathan Ilgen, MD

Jonathan Ilgen, MD

Associate Professor
Division of Emergency Medicine
University of Washington
Jonathan Ilgen, MD

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David Diller, MD

David Diller, MD

Assistant Program Director
LAC+USC Emergency Medicine Residency Program
Keck School of Medicine of USC
David Diller, MD

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Jeffrey Druck, MD

Jeffrey Druck, MD

Assistant Dean for Student Affairs​
Associate Professor​
​Department of Emergency Medicine
​University of Colorado School of Medicine
Jeffrey Druck, MD

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Richard Hamilton, MD

Richard Hamilton, MD

Professor and Chair
Department of Emergency Medicine
Drexel University
Richard Hamilton, MD

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Bryan Kane, MD

Bryan Kane, MD

Assistant Program Director, Research
​ ​Lehigh Valley Health Network;
Associate Professor of Medicine​
​ Morsani College of Medicine, University of South Florida
Bryan Kane, MD

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David Pearson, MD

David Pearson, MD

Associate Professor
​Associate Residency Director
​Director of Cardiac Arrest Resuscitation​​
Department of Emergency Medicine
Carolinas Medical Center
David Pearson, MD

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Ramin Tabatabai, MD

Ramin Tabatabai, MD

Assistant Professor of Clinical Emergency Medicine
Assistant Program Director, LAC + USC Emergency Medicine Residency
Director, Medical Education Fellowship, LAC + USC Medical Center
Ramin Tabatabai, MD

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Taku Taira, MD

Taku Taira, MD

Assistant Professor of Clinical Emergency Medicine
Associate Program Director
LAC + USC Emergency Medicine Residency
Taku Taira, MD


Associate Program Director LAC+USC Emergency Medicine Residency
Graham Nichol, MD

Graham Nichol, MD

Leonard A Cobb Medic One Foundation Endowed Chair in Prehospital Emergency Care
Director, University of Washington-Harborview Center for Prehospital Emergency Care
Professor of Medicine, University of Washington
Graham Nichol, MD

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