There are a few benefits to completing a prehospital emergency medicine course. First, many emergency medical services (EMS) providers lack the training necessary to provide optimal care for patients who are seriously injured or who have critical conditions. A prehospital emergency medicine course can help fill this gap in emergency medicine research training program knowledge. Second, paramedics and other emergency response personnel can often provide better care for patients when they have prior experience treating medical emergencies.
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Finally, a prehospital emergency medicine course can help prepare future emergency medical professionals for careers in EMS. The American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP) recently conducted a study of prehospital emergency medicine programs and found that 88% of responding curricula provide educational content in an applied way. This means that the curriculum focuses on providing clinical training to improve care in a real-world setting rather than on memorizing facts and techniques.
The remainder provided only generalized information about anatomy, physiology, pharmacology, etc. Although these studies support the use of prehospital emergency medicine for improving patient outcomes, they do not answer the question of whether a clinical fellowship program improves care. Another recent study compared attendings at one large academic medical center with attending physicians at allopathic hospitals and found no difference in outcomes between the groups.
Although the care provided to our patients differs from patient to patient, there is no formal training curriculum for residents in prehospital emergency medicine. Most American medical students will receive only 4 to 5 hours of actual practice in emergency medicine compared with 48 hours of general surgery and an additional 48 hours of anesthesia. Hop over this site for more information about emergency medicine programs.
This lack of exposure to trauma management has likely affected the quality of care provided to our patients as well as their willingness to admit themselves for evaluation by a physician trained in trauma. There are some notable exceptions, such as New York University (NYU) in the United States and University of Toronto in Canada, which have established trauma centers that include residents in the training program.
To our knowledge, this is the first time an emergency medicine consensus workshop has been conducted to identify gaps in current standards of emergency medical care and develop recommendations regarding possible courses of action to improve patient safety.