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We have a passion for improving patient care. Our journey with The Atlas of Emergency Medicine began with an aggressive goal of producing the most comprehensive source of highquality emergency department images available. The emergency department is, perhaps, the most diverse melting pot of patient conditions in the hospital. Diagnostic accuracy and prognostic prediction often rely heavily on visual clues. Our efforts are directed toward maximizing this skill. We also strongly believe the visual experience is critical to education in medicine, and that great images are the next best tool besides actual bedside exposure. Images often teach faster and with greater impact than many pages of text or hours of lecture.

We continue our pursuit of these goals with a substantially updated, expanded, and improved third edition of The Atlas of Emergency Medicine. Nearly all of our changes and additions come from reader suggestions and criticisms, all of which we receive with sincere gratitude. First, we have changed the format to reduce text and allow for more images. Hence the text is more concise, providing only essential information. Each chapter item is now organized into: “Clinical Summary,” which includes pertinent differential diagnosis where appropriate, followed by “Emergency Department Treatment and Disposition” and, finally, “Pearls.” We have endeavored to provide “Pearls” that are more relevant and represent tips for diagnosis or unique aspects of a condition that are difficult to find in a typical text. Second, after extensive review and critique, hundreds of new and replacement images have been added.

Third, four new chapters grace the pages of this new edition: Tropical Medicine, Toxicology, Airway, and Electrocardiography. Our increased emphasis on worldwide delivery of healthcare and easier patient travel is represented with Tropical Medicine. Toxicology is one of our core skills and a welcome addition as a separate chapter. We have made a decision to expand beyond our main emphasis on pictorial presentations with the addition of the Airway and ECG chapters. We included these topics, beautifully displayed in an atlas format, as they represent critical areas of emergency medicine expertise and are extremely visual. We believe they significantly contribute to the Atlas' ability to provide important visual information in a single source. These new chapters also complement our greatly expanded and updated Emergency Department Ultrasound chapter.

The primary audience for this text is emergency medicine clinicians, educators, residents, nurses, prehospital caregivers, and medical students who provide emergency and primary care. We hope it will aid them in making diagnoses and help take the student “to the bedside.” Many have found it extremely useful as a review for the ABEM written examination. Other healthcare workers, such as internists, family physicians, pediatricians, nurse practitioners, and physician assistants will find the Atlas a useful guide in identifying and treating the many conditions for which visual cues significantly guide, improve, and expedite diagnosis and treatment.

We would also like to thank the many contributors and readers who have helped make this possible. Lastly, and most importantly, we express our gratitude to our patients who were willing to be a “great case” in the Atlas, thus ultimately paving the way for improved emergency care.

Kevin J. Knoop, MD, MS
Lawrence B. Stack, MD
Alan B. Storrow, MD
R. Jason Thurman, MD

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