I wanted to talk about my favorite books for my emergency medicine clinical rotation. There are so many sources out there, it’s hard to narrow it down to what you actually need. I guarantee you’ll be doing a lot of running around and looking up information on the fly during your emergency medicine rotation, so here are my favorite books to have in my white coat for quick access:
1) Tintinalli’s Emergency Medicine Manual (7th edition)
This book was my holy grail during my ER rotation. I used it multiple times a day. There are two forms of this book. One is a standard sized hard cover textbook with over 2000 pages that would be great as a shelf reference book. The problem with that is during your ER rotation, lugging around a huge textbook won’t cut it. I opted for this smaller version. It still has tons of information, and pretty much anything I needed to look up was in there. It’s a little less than 1000 pages, and the best part . . . it fits perfectly into your white coat pocket! It’s well written and there isn’t a lot of fluff. Just straight to the point. It is organized by system and gives clinical features, diagnosis and differential, and emergency department care and disposition for each disease. Quick and dirty, just like life in the ER.
The Emergency Medicine Resident’s Association puts this quick reference book out and it is a must have. It’s small, about the size of your hand, and slips perfectly into your coat pocket. Color coded into systems then broken down into infections. It lists drug names with dosages, frequency and durations. It also gives you the common organisms and some clinical pearls about each infection. Super simple to use. There have been many times when I walked out of my patient’s room on the way to give report to my attending and was able to look up a treatment I couldn’t remember before I got there using this little guy. If you will be prescribing antibiotics, you need this book.
EKGs are something that takes a lot of practice to nail down. I suggest reading as many of them as you can get your hands on. This book is a great review that I think anyone could find helpful. Let’s be honest, after all the millions of things we’ve learned during didactic year, you probably don’t remember the difference between a junctional escape rhythm and a Mobitz II. Ok, well I didn’t. I bought the 2nd edition to save a few bucks. I cant imagine that much has changed between the two versions. This is also a pocket sized book. It’s spiral bound at the top. The pages are durable and waterproof so you don’t have to worry about them ripping out or the book falling apart. There are tabs at the bottom which break the book down into sections. It includes basics, ECGs, 12-lead, meds, skills, CPR, ACLS, and PALS. This book really has everything you need in relation to the reading of EKGs and treatment of the causative conditions.
This book comes in handy for all the stuff that you will probably forget during rotations. How to do a complete and focused H&P, how to write admit orders, what you need in an HPI and ROS, etc. There is also a lab values section and a review of ACLS.
Ok, so this technically isn’t a book. It’s a clipboard that folds up and you guessed it . . . fits into your white coat pocket. For my rotations I like to print out SOAP note templates and keep them in the clipboard so I can keep track of my patients for the day. It also has some quick reference values, scales, and equations on it. I have used this for all my rotations so far. It comes in a few colors: black, silver, wine, teal, lilac, blue, forest green, and pink.
What are your favorite books for the emergency medicine rotation? Let me know if you have any questions, and good luck out there!