The scientific basis underlying the subspecialty of EMS - a systematic review of the literature

Millin, Michael G., Craven, Catherine K., Brown, Lawrence H., Hawkins, Seth C., Tan, David K., Piazza, Gina M., and Sattin, Richard W. (2009) The scientific basis underlying the subspecialty of EMS - a systematic review of the literature. In: Abstracts for the 2009 NAEMSP Scientific Assembly (13) p. 131. From: National Association of EMS Physicians 2009 Annual Meeting, 22 - 24 January 2009, Jacksonville, Florida.

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Introduction. Since the 1966 publication Accidental Death and Disability: The Neglected Disease of Modern Society, emergency medical services (EMS) has emerged as a necessary discipline to improve the health and safety of the public. Much of this improvement is due to the input, guidance, direction, and research from physicians who practice EMS as a subspecialty of emergency medicine. The purpose of this systematic review is to identify the scientific basis of the physician subspecialty of EMS in support of formal recognition of this area of expertise.

Methods. A total of 27 search terms were used to define the conglomerate term “EMS.” Using PubMed, these terms were combined using different strategies to identify articles reporting three roles of the physician in EMS: 1) the physician as a leader, 2) the practice of EMS medicine, and 3) the clinical science of EMS. Two independent reviewers evaluated each citation to identify those that met the inclusion criteria. Discrepancies between the two reviewers were resolved by a third reviewer. Included papers were those that addressed the science and practice of EMS and the role of the physician in EMS. Results. A total of 1,505 citations were initially identified, with 172 peer-reviewed citations and 43 non–peer-reviewed citations subsequently included in the data set. When examining publications in five-year increments from 1978 to 2008, both the raw number and the proportion of peer-reviewed papers (compared with non–peer-reviewed papers) have increased steadily. Many of the papers also demonstrate the impact of EMS on other specialties, including pediatrics, general surgery, trauma, cardiology, and public health. Conclusion. This systematic review demonstrates that over the past 30 years, there has been constant growth in articles published identifying the role of the physician in the development of EMS. Additionally, the growing body of literature also demonstrates the impact that EMS has had on the broader practice of medicine in general. Such data support the contention that EMS represents a discrete physician subspecialty.

Item ID: 5381
Item Type: Conference Item (Abstract / Summary)
ISSN: 1545-0066
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Date Deposited: 07 Jun 2010 01:04
FoR Codes: 11 MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES > 1199 Other Medical and Health Sciences > 119999 Medical and Health Sciences not elsewhere classified @ 100%
SEO Codes: 92 HEALTH > 9299 Other Health > 929999 Health not elsewhere classified @ 100%
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