Emergency Medicine is a branch of medicine that is practiced in hospital emergency departments. Emergency Medicine focuses on diagnosis and treatment of acute illnesses and injuries that require immediate care. Emergency Physicians rarely provide long-term care, however they can still provide treatment in the aim of improving long-term patient outcome.
Emergency Physicians often are tasked with administering quick treatment to large numbers of patients, treating their illnesses and admitting them to the hospital as necessary. To this extent, Emergency Physicians base their practice on triage – a system where the onus is on the physician to make diagnosis and judgments as to which patient is more critical and requires more immediate care.
The field requires a broad field of knowledge and requires advanced procedural skills often including surgical procedures, trauma resuscitation, advanced cardiac life support and advanced airway management.
The academic unit of Trauma and Emergency plays a major role in the educational development of medical undergraduates of University of Malaya (Faculty of Medicine). Medical students undergo a 2-week rotation at the Trauma and Emergency Department during the Phase 3 of the medical undergraduate programme.
The learning objectives in Emergency Medicine at the undergraduate level are:
- To acquire basic life support skills and cardiopulmonary resuscitation including the use of an automatic external defibrillator (AED), and to recognize and initiate first aid for airway obstruction. To acquire the knowledge of recognizing shock and treatment of shock, and demonstrate the basic application of these principles.
- To demonstrate the capacity to differentiate and treat common acute problems.
- To be able to provide rapid stabilization with intravenous access and fluid/blood administration.
- To understand the principles of wound care and demonstrate basic wound care techniques.
- To understand and be able to demonstrate the principles of basic trauma management. Recognize life-threatening illness or injury and apply basic principles of stabilization to the early management of these entities.
- To demonstrate the capacity to prioritize attention to those patients with more urgent conditions. To be able to describe the importance of the ED as a key link between the general population and the health care system. To understand the role of the situations which are unique to Emergency Medicine: acute critical illness, intoxicated patients, prehospital care, sudden deaths, disaster, environmental illness or injury, injury prevention, assessment of complex and undifferentiated patients.
The Master of Emergency Medicine programme is a four-year integrated training programme in Emergency Medicine at the University of Malaya (Faculty of Medicine). This is accomplished with a focus on the particular needs of Malaysia with its multicultural environment and configuration of rural and urban communities, with particular emphasis on improving the geographic distribution of Emergency Physicians as one of the Primary Care Specialists and providing excellent Emergency Physicians for Malaysia’s underserved areas.
The goals of the Master programme are:
- To afford the opportunity for Emergency Medicine residents to acquire the necessary knowledge base and core curriculum, technical skills, judgement, maturity, attitudes and values needed for the quality practice of Emergency Medicine.
- To contribute to the overall improvement in total medical services in Malaysia and to increase the cooperation and linkages with this system to include pre-hospital care, disaster management, emergency department care, trauma intensive care, and community based programmes, which promote health and prevent disease and injury.
- To afford emergency medicine residents the opportunity to acquire an international perspective in emergency medicine problems by building on existing linkages between the University of Malaya (Faculty of Medicine) and medical schools in other countries with similar programmes of medical education that are problem-based and community oriented.
- To further the frontiers of knowledge in Emergency Medicine, and to establish the University Malaya (Faculty of Medicine) and it’s Trauma and Emergency Centre of University Malaya Medical Centre as a resource centre of excellence for education, consultation, referral, administration and research.