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Emergency medicine - Medical

Emergency medicine is a medical specialty in which physicians care for patients with acute illnesses or injuries which require immediate medical attention. While not usually providing long-term or continuing care, emergency medicine physicians diagnose a variety of illnesses and undertake acute interventions to stabilize the patient. Emergency medicine physicians practice in hospital emergency departments, in pre-hospital settings via emergency medical services, other locations where initial medical treatment of illness takes place, and recently the intensive-care unit. Just as clinicians operate by immediacy rules under large emergency systems, emergency practitioners aim to diagnose emergent conditions and stabilize the patient for definitive care.

Physicians specializing in emergency medicine in the US can enter fellowships to receive credentials in subspecialties. These are palliative medicine, medical toxicology, wilderness medicine, pediatric emergency medicine, sports medicine, and undersea and hyperbaric medicine.

Emergency Medicine encompasses a large amount of general medicine and surgery including the surgical sub-specialties. Emergency physicians are tasked with seeing a large number of patients, treating their illnesses and arranging for disposition—either admitting them to the hospital or releasing them after treatment as necessary. The emergency physician requires a broad field of knowledge and advanced procedural skills often including surgical procedures, trauma resuscitation, advanced cardiac life support and advanced airway management. Emergency physicians must have the skills of many specialists—the ability to resuscitate a patient (Critical Care Medicine), manage a difficult airway (Anesthesia), suture a complex laceration (Plastic Surgery), reduce (set) a fractured bone or dislocated joint (Orthopedic surgery), treat a heart attack (Cardiology), work-up a pregnant patient with vaginal bleeding (Obstetrics and Gynecology), stop a bad nosebleed (ENT), place a chest tube (Cardiothoracic Surgery), and to conduct and interpret ultrasounds (Radiology).

In India, many private hospitals and institutes have been providing emergency medicine training for doctors, nurses & paramedics since 1994. The certification programs varied from 6 months to 3 years. Emergency medicine was recognized as a separate specialty by Medical Council of India (MCI) only from July 2009. After this many medical colleges are about to start postgraduate training i.e. MD in Emergency Medicine. It will be at least a few years until the specialty gets streamlined in India.