In an upcoming issue of the Academic Emergency Medicine journal, there is a glowing review of a collaborative project that I was involved in. If you are a medical student about to do an EM rotation, or serve as a faculty advisor for an EM medical student, feel free to distribute this EM Clerkship Primer (FREE book!) for them to read. [Update 11/21/13: New link for free download PDF] This was the first official project to come out of the Clerkship Directors in Emergency Medicine (CDEM). It was written by 22 established medical educators in EM, led by our fearless leader/ editor-in-chief, Dave Wald. Go, Dave!


Edited by David A. Wald, DO

The Emergency Medicine Clerkship Primer is a unique and authoritative introduction for medical students entering the specialty of emergency medicine (EM). It has been prepared by physicians who are nationally recognized for their dedication to medical student education. The guide provides a thorough, yet succinct, primer that introduces the steps to not only have a successful clerkship, but also to understand issues central to the practice of EM.

The primer has 24 chapters, including introductions to EM and the clerkship, unique aspects of EM and ED workups, complaint-directed history taking, formulation of differential diagnoses, enhancing oral case presentation skills, diagnostic testing, whether obtaining a diagnosis is important, and appropriate disposition and discharge instructions. There are also helpful chapters on topics such as ED documentation pearls, interacting with consultants, meeting patient expectations, and procedural skills.

This primer has been prepared for all medical students rotating in EM, regardless of their chosen specialty. It begins by providing some background into EM and then transitions into how to perform well in an EM clerkship. The medical student, by reading these well-organized and concise chapters, will develop an understanding of the skill set that is utilized by emergency physicians. In addition, the medical student will learn that the presentation and assessment of an undif- ferentiated patient in the ED is distinct from that of the patient with a known diagnosis in the inpatient ward.

For the medical student planning a career in EM, the Emergency Medicine Clerkship Primer provides a single, inclusive resource that contains references for articles that are essential to emergency physicians. It also provides insight into the background of EM residency education via a review of the core competencies required for residency training.

Overall, the Emergency Medicine Clerkship Primer is an exceptional guide for medical students. Its concise style and valuable content make it a distinctive and irreplaceable resource. Reading it is a highly recommended first step for a successful entrance into a career in EM.

Kapil Dhingra, MD, MBA
Erik Laurin, MD ([email protected])
University of California, Davis Medical Center
Sacramento, CA

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 Bio:
Michelle Lin, MD