One of my favorite blogs, Better in Emergency Medicine, by Dr. Rob Cooney reviewed the 1991 article entitled “The Ten Commandments in Emergency Medicine”. These commandments are timeless and still hold true today. Rob gives a helpful review of each commandment’s relevance in today’s ED.

TEN EM Commandments

  1. Secure the ABC’s
  2. Consider or give naloxone, glucose, and thiamine
  3. Get a pregnancy test
  4. Assume the worst
  5. Do not send unstable patients to radiology
  6. Look for common red flags
  7. Trust no one, believe nothing (not even yourself)
  8. Learn from your mistakes
  9. Do unto others as you would do to your family (and that includes coworkers)
  10. When in doubt, always err on the side of the patient


Michelle Lin, MD
ALiEM Founder and CEO
Professor and Digital Innovation Lab Director
Department of Emergency Medicine
University of California, San Francisco
Michelle Lin, MD


Professor of Emerg Med at UCSF-Zuckerberg SF General. ALiEM Founder @aliemteam #PostitPearls at https://t.co/50EapJORCa Bio: https://t.co/7v7cgJqNEn
Michelle Lin, MD