Emergency Medicine

Emergency physicians are doctors who specialise in diagnosing and managing any acute disorder that can affect the human body.

Medical Conditions

  • Any medical, surgical or psychiatric emergency can present to an emergency physician.
  • Common examples of syptoms people present with include headache, chest pain, abdominal pain and trauma.

Specialty Areas of Interest

  • Paediatric emergency medicine
  • Trauma
  • Toxicology
  • Emergency ultrasound
  • Research / academic emergency medicine
  • Disaster medicine
  • Intensive care and critical care

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Associated Tests

Emergency phsyicians must have a number of investigations readily available.

  • Bedside tests:
  • Laboratory tests:
    • The laboratory will analyse blood samples, urine samples, stool samples, other fluids like joint fluid, cerebrospinal fluid (CSF), wound swabs as requested by the emergency physician.
  • Radiology tests:


  • Treatment given by an emergency physician depends on the disease process occurring.
  • Treatment may involve the administration of medication, may involve procedures or operations and often involes discussing cases with other specialty doctors.
  • The spectrum of interventions offered by the emergency physician ranges all the way from advanced life support to simple analgesia (pain relief) and suturing.

What to expect


The Emergency Department visit usually begins at triage. An experienced nurse quickly sees each patient and sorts them into priority of urgency. You may go straight through to the department or have to wait in the waiting room – depending on the level of urgency of your condition.
When a doctor sees you they will concentrate their history on the current illness and presentation, however relevant past medical history, medications and family history are also important.


Your emergency phsyician will tailor your examination to the presentation. If you are short of breath they will cooncentrate on your heart and lungs, if you have hurt your knee they will focus on that.

Training and Qualifications



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This article is for informational purposes only and should not be taken as medical advice. If in doubt, HealthEngine recommends consulting with a registered health practitioner.

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