Literature for the Resuscitationist

A premed asked what literature should one read to develop the mindset and tiger’s eye of a resuscitationist. Knowing when to consult my betters, I threw the question to @precordialthump. And Nickson responded thusly:

My advice
These days less and less is learnt from books… however there are some books mentioned in what follows.

Learn about Osler – the ultimate role model for how to succeed as human being and where all good medicine begins:

Read “Blood of Strangers” by Frank Huyler – the best tales from the ER by a great writer

Check out these talks:

Read anything by croskerry on cognitive errors such as

Read LITFL :-):

Oh, and listen to EMCrit too!

Lots of martial arts, stoic and eastern philospohy, military works, and mountaineering/ survival books have obvious parallels to what we do (at least to some of us).


I would add that reading Sherlock Holmes would probably serve you well as well. This BMJ article summarizes why…

White coats and fingerprints: diagnostic reasoning in medicine and investigative methods of fictional detectives


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  1. Denis Colares says

    Great stuff, Scott! I listeaned to Peter Rosen’s talk and have to tell you that althought times have changed, people did not. He went through a lot of the same sh*t that is happening right now here in Brazil . Emergency Medicine has not yet been recognized as a specialty in my country and the other specialties tend to repel us at every chance they get. Why? Afraid to lose costumers, I guess… The situation in our EDs is caotic as I’m sure you can imagine given the dificulties that a wealthy country like the US still faces daily in your small county hospitals… I’m part of a small group of crazy people that decided to fight for the recognition of Emergency Medicine. I actually just joined the fight, but it has not been easy and I thank you for the job you do. I’m sure that you, as you’re recording the podcast, never thought that you would be helping save lives in the City of Fortaleza, the State of Ceará in Brazil. But believe me, you do. Thanks.
    P.S.: Please don’t take long to come back to the Airway topics! They’re the best…

  2. Patrick Burkhardt says

    I would add Patrick O´Briens´ “Aubrey/Maturin” series.
    “Seamanship” is a time-honored concept of the mindset and logistics necessary to master a crisis with limited ressources and on your own wits.
    The books are also extremely well written.

  3. says

    Thanks for the shout-out. As to the Aubrey/Maturin series, I loved it but never thought about it as a parallel to EM. Maybe I should read it again.


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