Emergency medicine is the medical specialty dedicated to the diagnosis and treatment of unforeseen illness or injury. It encompasses a unique body of knowledge as set forth in the “Model of the Clinical Practice of Emergency Medicine.” The practice of emergency medicine includes the initial evaluation, diagnosis, treatment, coordination of care among multiple providers, and disposition of any patient requiring expeditious medical, surgical, or psychiatric care.

Emergency medicine is not defined by location but may be practiced in a variety of settings including hospital-based and freestanding emergency departments (EDs), urgent care clinics, observation medicine units, emergency medical response vehicles, disaster sites or via telemedicine.

Emergency medicine encompasses planning, oversight and medical direction for community emergency medical response, medical control and disaster preparedness. Emergency medicine professionals provide valuable clinical, administrative and leadership services to the emergency department and other sectors of the health care delivery system.