About

Mission

EM Topics exists to improve patient care by concisely summarizing current and landmark Emergency Medicine research to make it accessible, efficient, and easy to learn for EM providers.

Or more simply...

BETTER PATIENT CARE THROUGH SPOON-FEEDING


The Story of EM Topics

During residency, I wished there was a quick way for me to keep up with current literature in the midst of the insane schedule that existed prior to the 80-hour work week rules.  But I couldn't find one.  After residency I joined the faculty at Vanderbilt and, on a whim, put together a resident lecture on the top trauma articles of 2007.  It seemed to be well received by the residents.  One of them asked if I could do this for all the major subject areas in EM.  Inspired by her desire to learn more, this concept blossomed into a website, blog, and podcast called Keeping Up and a companion mobile app, Upshot.  The focus of that venture was to highlight current EM articles in summary format and provide critique and commentary.  But to search 50 journals, come up with the ten best each week, do a comprehensive analysis of the article in a concise format, keep up with 10 emergency physician authors, record the audio, edit written and audio material, and manage the website was not family friendly!  To top it off, in 2013 the site got hacked by Iranians...no I am not joking.  Keeping Up effectively ended at that point.

I tried to find another niche, like research, but it wasn't a good fit for me.  I really missed the creative side of managing the website and the way Keeping Up forced me to stay current.  Finally, I had an idea one day while jogging to make lists of the best articles on various subjects in EM.  Thus, this project was born.  It started as a way to provide a repository of landmark articles and important published guidelines in various topic areas relevant to EM.  That's why I originally called it EM Topics.  But I realized that there were so many important current articles, that it had to be more than just be a site that housed classic EM articles.  So I started summarizing long lists of current articles in an ultra-brief way.  Even with that, it was still too much to digest.  Plus no one wanted to read it.  Who could blame them?  So I had the idea to send one article a day with a very terse summary plus the abstract by email.  The concept of spoon-feeding Emergency Medicine was born.  I started by sending it to our EM residents.  The feedback was encouraging!  So I emailed some of the former Keeping Up subscribers.  And they signed up, liked it too, and told their friends.  So that's what EM Topics now is - a growing community of busy people who provide emergency care and want a quick way to learn a little more each day to take better care of their patients.  I am trying to keep it simple and stay on mission - simple, spoon-fed EM literature summaries.  That way it's sustainable and I can maintain family life and my full-time "real job" in the ED.  Here is what you will find on EM Topics:

  • A curated list of current EM articles from the past month with a brief short-attention-span summary
  • Landmark articles in each EM Topic
  • LLSA Articles and a link to learn more about the LLSA Quick Study Guides

Please help me make the site better for others by contacting me and suggesting landmark articles or current articles I have missed.  The most accurate way to make sure I get the right article in to use the PubMed ID (PMID) number.

If you're interested in how I choose articles to include on the site, see Methodology.  There is a method to the madness.


About Me

I am an Emergency Physician at Vanderbilt University Medical Center and work full time in the Adult and Pediatric Emergency Departments (see Disclaimer).  I enjoy seeing patients and teaching our medical students and residents the practice of EM.  I am married to Joy, and we have 7 amazing kids.  The most important aspects of my life are my Christian faith, my family, the consumption of large amounts of coffee, and the practice of Emergency Medicine for the people of Nashville and the people of Haiti.

Enjoy the site.  And please tell your colleagues.  Together we can improve the care of our patients by knowing the Articles that Matter in Emergency Medicine - Better Patient Care through Spoon-Feeding!

Clay Smith

 
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