Recommended Reading

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Finally a Kindle We Can Recommend:

This is the most incredible way to read books. Forget Paper, buy a kindle!

General Emergency Medicine

Rosen’s Emergency Medicine
-The first and in my opinion the best. I think this book is quite readable and probably the most authoritative of the texts. While it offers a historical perspective, it is actually not as comprehensive as Tintinalli on certain topics (for instance compare the sickle cell anemia sections). It is available on the web through, which we get free through the Sinai library.

Tintinalli Emergency Medicine
-Billed as a review book for the boards, this book is actually one of the more complete textbooks. Though it’s only one volume, the paper grade is much cheaper and the print smaller, so it actually contains more words than Rosen’s. This is the one I would go to if I need to look something up during a shift. We have copies in the ED at both sites.

Emergency Department Resuscitation of the Critically Ill
-Mike Winters gathered some fantastic ED crit care folk to create a definitive guide to ED resuscitation. And I’m not just saying that b/c I wrote the first chapter : )


APLS: 5th Edition
-I hate merit badge courses, but this is a markedly superior course to PALS. This textbook is the book you want to read through before your peds ED rotations.

Procedure Texts

Clinical Procedures in Emergency Medicine by Roberts and Hedges
-This is an incredible book! It describes in exhaustive detail almost every procedure you will need to know in your career in EM. This might be one to actually buy with your CME money. It is also available free through mdconsult, but lacking some of the photos. There are copies at both sites if you need to brush up on procedures during a shift. Just remember, it does not inspire all that much confidence when your moribund patient sees you reading the how to intubate chapter.

Emergency Medicine Procedures
-I thought no book would surpass Roberts and Hedges, but this one has done it. Diagrams instead of photos are a far more effective teaching tools. Absolutely complete. So expensive, but so good; this is my recommended procedure text.

Wounds and Lacerations by Trott
-The bible on wound repair

Manual of Emergency Airway Management by Walls
-The definitive monograph on EM airway management. Get through this one during your orientation month. You’ll want to know the basics of intubation before your first ed shift. It is one of the few procedures we do where you can’t really take your time.

The Airway Cam Guide to Intubation
-While Wall’s text teaches the skills of airway management, this book teaches laryngoscopy and the skills of placing plastic between the cords. You need to read both.


Cope’s Early Diagnosis of the Acute Abdomen-
If you have not read it during med school, pick it up during your surgery block from the library. Make sure it is the newest addition where they emphatically recommend pain meds for abd pain pts (and it is written by a surgeon)

Essential Emergency Trauma
-Edited by my friend and colleague, Kaushal Shah. This is a perfect introductory text for residents. Covers Trauma from A to Z in a easy to read format.

-The be-all end-all of trauma management. Geared towards the surgeon so be prepared to skim.


Emergency Orthopedics
-Pick it up from Elmhurst library during your ortho block and read it cover to cover. It is written by and for EM docs, so no boring crap, just the important stuff we need to know.
Available on Itunes
Common Hand Injuries by Carter
-20 years old and still the best hand book out there. You need to know the hand; this book is the way to learn. It even has cartoons. Out of print forever, it has just been released in a 2nd edition as an ebook. ACEP put out a new book on the hand; I read it, but I was not impressed. Carter still has them beat.


Toxicology Secrets
-Hate to recommend review books, but this series keeps coming through.


Accident and Emergency Radiology
-Written by Brits, but still a good book. : ) Has all the essential x-rays you need to know. No UTS or CT.



The ECG in Acute MI
You’ve probably already read Dubin, and may even have glanced at Marriot, but the book that should be required reading for ER Docs is this one. You think you know the signs of an MI on EKG, but you are only at level I, grasshopper.

Electrocardiography in Emergency Medicine
-Until Dr. Smith’s book returns to
print, this incredible work edited by the master, Amal Mattu, is the one I

Emergency Ultrasound

Emergency Ultrasound
-Long awaited: before this there was no good book for EM UTS, now there is.

Critical Care Ultrasonography
-This book will take your ultrasound skills to
the next level to be able to optimally manage the critically ill patient.


APLS: The Pediatric Emergency Medicine Resource, 4th Ed.-This is a must-own book for Peds Emergency Medicine.


Minor Emergencies
-Covers all the emergencies that need to be treated but don’t need to come in by ambulance, ie. finger lacs and epistaxis. Basically everything you will see on a fast track shift. Of course our patients call ambulances for back pain for the past 7 years, but that is another story. A slightly abbreviated version of this book is available on the web at:

Sapira’s Art and Science of Bedside Diagnosis
-this is your medical school physical diagnosis class taken to the next level. All the skills and tricks of the old time docs who could diagnose without the benefit of labs and x-rays (of course they did not have the benefit of any useful treatment one they diagnosed, sort of reminds me of the neuro folks.) I keep going back to this one to learn new skills as I get more comfortable with the old ones. Available in Sinai’s library

Wilderness Medicine
-If you are interested in wilderness and expedition medicine, save up for this book.
Avoiding Common Errors in the Emergency Department-This book provides help with the most important question in EM: suite ’em or street ’em.

An Introduction to Clinical Emergency Medicine
-How about a book to recommend to rotating med students.

Emergency Medicine Decision Making
-Can’t help but place this plug for a familiar author.

Critical Care

Irwin and Rippe’s Intensive Care Medicine
-The big daddy; my favorite crit care text.

The ICU Book
-So much incredibly good stuff packed into an easily readable text. Should be required reading during an EM residency.

The NeuroICU Book
-Kiwon Lee goes deep into the intricacies of Neurocritical Care and performing in the NeuroICU.

Principles and Practice of Mechanical Ventilation
-You need to really love vents to love this book. I do and I do.
Principles and Practice of Intensive Care Monitoring-Unfortunately out of print; but this is the bible of monitoring technology.
Diagnostic Bronchoscopy-This book taught me how to bronch; good luck finding it though.
A good book to supplement a resident rotation along with the ICU Book.

Board Review

Emergency Medicine Oral Board Review-Best oral board review book I have come across.



Still need more to read? These are the ones:

  • Annals of Emergency Medicine

  • Emergency Medicine Journal

  • Journal of Emergency Medicine

  • Academic Emergency Medicine

(Listed in order of descending relevance to a resident)

And of course, I can recommend the publications of EB Medicine (in my opinion, the best evidence-based EM publications out there–note I am biased as I am on the editorial board of two of their journals). Check out their publications. I especially recommend EM Critical Care for readers of EMCrit, but of course, EM Practice is the best general EM EBM publication out there, and if I treated kids, I’d be reading Pediatric EM Practice.

Want to see what journals I read each month? Beware the path to madness lies here.

For some reason, people are curious what I read when I am not reading the 60 journals, if you are one of those people check out the EMCrit Shelf.



  1. Ivana Rajcan, M.D. says

    These are great books, I especially like the oral board review book, I’d also recommend it’s the source I have been using for board prep this year, and it’s pretty great and helps to sort of assess where you are as far as board readiness too.

  2. says

    Excellent list, thank you. Many of those books fill in gaps in my library! Thank goodness for Amazon Wish List!

    Even better – the Common Hand injuries book is available on kindle for £6.49 – bargain price!

  3. James says

    Hi Scott,

    PR Carter’s “Common Hand Injuries” is now in its second edition on itunes for 9.99. It’s not in print and it doesn’t seem to be in digital form anywhere else. Thanks for the recommendation, it is great. The best books are so often single author books.

  4. Stowens says

    Hey Scott,
    Any good recommendations (books or other) for those of us with a mild aptitude and understanding of bio-statistics looking to get better at tearing research papers apart?

  5. Dr Zeeshan Ghani says

    Hey Dr Scott,
    I’m an EM 1st Year Resident, what do you think of the Textbook of Adult Emergency Medicine and Textbook of Pediatric Emergency medicine by Peter Cameron ?
    Are they good?

    PS- Any idea about the Tintinalli’s 8th edition release date?


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