Roadmap to EM Resources text-road-map-canstockphoto6514821With the start of the year, we welcomed a new group of faces into our respective residency programs. We can all still remember how daunting it was to tackle learning the immense volume of material to be a great emergency medicine physician. We have so many amazing resources, but no road maps for where to start. The purpose of this list is to help guide the new interns as well as to highlight some resources that even the more seasoned clinician may find useful.

Look Before You Step

There is no doubt that when resources are used wisely, they can help strengthen foundations and build from core content. Perhaps the best overview of the resources available can be found in a 2014 Annals of Emergency Medicine resident perspective. 1

As useful and expansive as online education has become, you must first critically evaluate the blogs and podcasts out there. To do this consider the quality checklist as published in the Winnower and featured on ALiEM. An alternative evaluation tool is the Social Media Index (SM-i), which measures how well-visited a website is based on its Alexa Rank, the number of Twitter followers of the most prominent editor, and the number of website’s Facebook page likes. The score ranges from 0 which is poor quality to 10 which is high quality. The SM-i can serve as a surrogate to help the resident better understand what qualifies as a more trustworthy and reputable site. You will see in this article the SM-i listed in parentheses for each website where available.

Lastly, before you go out and buy a bunch of textbooks and pay for subscriptions to a number of applications, it is important to keep a few points in mind:

  1. Does your residency already own a copy or a login to the particular resource that can be borrowed?
  2. Is this a resource you are able to obtain by being an EMRA or ACEP member?
  3. Does any other residents have a copy you can borrow?
  4. Is this something that you can use residency educational funds to purchase?

Building Your Foundation

It is important to start with a solid foundation from which to build your knowledge base. To ensure you are adequately trained for all that may present to the emergency department, start with these resources:

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Have you mastered the basics? What follows can be overwhelming for some. We are fortunate to have so many resources out there but this can also cause resource fatigue. Learn the basics first, then pick and choose what will help you continue to learn in the lists that follow.

Question Banks

These books can be helpful with preparation for inservice exams and the written boards.

Weekly or Monthly Updates

Looking for your weekly fix of emergency medicine? Here are a few blogs and a podcast that gives great summaries on a scheduled basis.

Journals & Publications

If you prefer journals and peer reviewed publications, here are a few of the most popular. You can subscribe to the abstracts using any RSS reader.

Searching for Specific Topics

A number of great websites publish medical content regularly, and are useful to search when you are looking for a specific answer to a clinical questions. Here are the most popular ones used with their Social Media Index included in parentheses.

Critical Care

We are fortunate to have so many great critical care resources out there. Here are ones specific to emergency department management of the critically ill with their Social Media Index included in parentheses.

Mastering the ECG

Are you looking to dive deeper into electrocardiography? Here are a number of resources to help strengthen your ECG skills.


Children are not little adults. There is much to learn in pediatric emergency medicine. Here is the list of pediatric resources, with two specific to pediatric emergency medicine.


Reading images is a requirement for the well-trained emergency physician. Here are a number of resources to help us become novice radiologists.


If you are looking for some practice simulation cases, you cannot pass up these websites.


Can’t get enough toxicology? Or perhaps you are on a toxicology rotation and looking for more resources. Here is a place to start.


There are a number of trauma resources that are geared more for surgical residents. Here are two specifically for emergency medicine.

Other Books

Looking for other books that have been particularly useful for residents? Here are some helpful ones:

  • Emergency Medicine Oral Board Review Illustrated [Amazon link]
  • Bouncebacks! Emergency Department Cases: ED Returns [Amazon link]
  • The Wills Eye Manual: Office and Emergency Room Diagnosis and Treatment of Eye Disease [Amazon link]


Below are some ultrasound podcasts that are helpful.

*Note that some of the best ultrasound resources are mobile apps, which we have included in the mobile applications lists just below this section.

Mobile Applications

A number of mobile applications are useful for our practice. Some of these resources are great for education and learning, while others are helpful directly on a shift. For additional information on any particular application, the iMedical Apps website can be useful.

  • 10 Second EM
    • iOS ($4.99), Android ($2.99)
  • ERres
  • WikEM
  • Basics of EM
    • iOS ($2.99), Android: Not available
  • Medscape
  • Epocrates
  • EMRA PressorDex
    • iOS ($16.99), Android: not available
  • EMRA Antibiotic Guide
    • iOS ($16.99), Android ($16.99)
  •  PediStat
  • Radiology 2.0 – One Night in the ED
    • iOS (free), Android: not available
  • Eye Emergency Manual
  • Eye MD
    • iOS (free), Android: Not available
  • Emergency Toxicology
    • iOS (free), Android: Not available
  • ACEP Toxicology Section Antidote App
  • CliniCalc Medical Calculator
    • iOS (free), Android (free)
  • MD Calc
    • iOS (free), Android: not available

Ultrasound Apps

  • SonoSupport
    • iOS ($9.99), Android: Not available
  • Pocket Atlas of Emergency Ultrasound
    • iOS ($69.99), Android ($69.99)
  • Emergency Medicine Ultrasound
    • iOS (free), Android: not available
  • Emergency Ultrasound Handbook
    • iOS (free), Android: Not available
  • One Minute Ultrasound
  • FATE Card

Where To Go From Here

The lists above are not meant to be all-encompassing and there is no doubt that new websites and applications are being produced all the time. Coming up with your own system and favorites will ensure you build on a great foundation.



Thoma B, Joshi N, Trueger NS, Chan TM, Lin M. Five Strategies to Effectively Use Online Resources in Emergency Medicine. Annals of Emergency Medicine. 2014;64(4):392-395. doi: 10.1016/j.annemergmed.2014.05.029
E. Liang Liu, MD

E. Liang Liu, MD

Emergency Medicine Chief Resident
Department of Emergency Medicine
Parkland Hospital, UT Southwestern Medical Center
Christian Rose, MD

Christian Rose, MD

Clinical Informatics Fellow
Stanford University;
Emergency Physician, Kaiser Permanente
Sean Dyer, MD

Sean Dyer, MD

M4 Clerkship Director
Department of Emergency Medicine
Cook County Health and Hospital System
Instructor, Department of Emergency Medicine
Rush Medical College