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Basics of Emergency Medicine

By Emergency Medicine Residents' Association

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EMRA’s Basics of Emergency Medicine is the brainchild of an emergency medicine physician who became frustrated by other EM guidebooks, which were difficult to navigate and hard to use on-the-fly. Designed to be concise, not comprehensive, this app centers on the 20 most common chief complaints that present in emergency departments – from abdominal pain to alcohol intoxication.

Perfect for EM residents or anyone spending time in the emergency department – medical students, off-service rotators, NP’s, PA’s, nurses, and others – Basics of EM is an indispensable tool for identifying and treating the medical problems they’re confronted with every day. Divided by chief complaints, each section within the app is based on the same principle: give the same advice that a senior resident would give an intern, if he or she had just five minutes before a patient had to be seen.

The information in the app can be reviewed even before the patient is seen, allowing the user to hone the questions and exam. The app also can be used to solidify and confirm the differential and plan after the patient has been seen, but before information is presented to the attending physician.

The Basics of EM app has been extremely well-received. A blind study of beta users found that 95% felt the guide met its goal of being concise and differentiated; 85% felt it helped their differential; and 75% of users felt it helped them better answer questions from their attending physicians.

Features include:


Basics of EM is based on the 20 most common chief ED complaints, allowing users to review the page while reviewing the chart – and before seeing the patient. Highly organized and quick to process, the information takes just a minute or two to read.


The main page of Basics of EM features a “body” with tappable chief complaints on corresponding body parts. Each chief complaint features several different tabs, including a basic algorithm; a differential table, including key signs to look for in history and physical exam; a guide for which tests to order, and the initial treatment for each diagnosis. Most complaint categories include a pearls and pitfalls section, as well as a documentation section, which explains how to best document the pertinent positives and negatives of each treatment.


Basics of EM puts critical numbers at your fingertips with MDCalc-sponsored pop-up calculators, featured in sections such as the Canadian Head CT Rule, PERC Rule, NEXUS Criteria, and others.


In close partnership with the creators of The Number Needed to Treat (, Basics of EM features pop-up views that explain the evidence behind specific recommendations.

What's New in Version 1.4

-bug fixes
-content updates
-new ultrasound module

iPhone Screenshots

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Customer Reviews

Needs update...

Great app, but it sorely needs an update. UI needs to match current iOS flat look, and content could be rearranged to take advantage of the bigger screens. It's the future, let's keep this app relevant!

Waste of money

Terrible, dislike this apps set up, scant information. Not worth the $3

Basics of Emergency Medicine
View in iTunes
  • $2.99
  • Category: Medical
  • Updated:
  • Version: 1.4
  • Size: 76.6 MB
  • Language: English
  • Seller:
Rated 12+ for the following:
  • Infrequent/Mild Alcohol, Tobacco, or Drug Use or References
  • Infrequent/Mild Mature/Suggestive Themes
  • Infrequent/Mild Sexual Content and Nudity

Compatibility: Requires iOS 6.0 or later. Compatible with iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch.

Customer Ratings

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