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Medical School for Everyone: Emergency Medicine

Medical School for Everyone: Emergency Medicine

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Medical School for Everyone: Emergency Medicine

Course No. 1991
Professor Roy Benaroch, M.D.
Emory University
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Course No. 1991
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  • Audio or Video?
  • You should buy audio if you would enjoy the convenience of experiencing this course while driving, exercising, etc. While the video does contain visual elements, the professor presents the material in an engaging and clear manner, so the visuals are not necessary to understand the concepts. The professor is a gifted storyteller who gives detailed and exacting language to follow the procedures for those already familiar with medical terms and diagnostics. Additionally, the audio audience may refer to the accompanying course guidebook for names, works, diagrams, illustrations, and examples that are cited throughout the course.
  • You should buy video if you prefer learning visually and wish to take advantage of the visual elements featured in this course. The video version features over 300 illustrations and images, including multiple patients, examination of symptoms, graphic elements of treatment, and additional images on specific ailments and wounds, as well as on-screen text to help reinforce material for visual learners.
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What Will You Learn?

  • Understand how emergency doctors prioritize a waiting room full of sick or wounded patients.
  • Get an inside look at how to handle dangerous situations, including a violent patient or a highly infectious disease.
  • Learn how doctors treat bites and wounds without accidentally injecting more venom into the body.
  • Discover the clues to distinguish between fevers from a viral infection and those signifying something more serious.
  • Go back in time to the American Civil War for a glimpse at how military doctors treated patients in the 1800s.

Course Overview

You’re a doctor 11 hours into your shift, and you’ve just walked into a waiting area packed with patients. There’s an elderly man complaining of mild chest pain, a teenage girl whose arms are swollen with bee stings, and an ambulance that is bringing in two unresponsive kids from a car crash. What do you do next?

Welcome to a typical day on the job for doctors in emergency departments: the most intense department in any hospital, and home to the kind of split-second decision making, high-stress troubleshooting, and rapid medical detective work that can make the difference between a patient’s life and death.

Unlike scheduled doctor appointments, no one actually plans to end up in an emergency room. Few of us think about the nature of emergency medicine: the grueling training medical students endure; the insights into ailments, injuries, and illnesses doctors must always keep in the back of their minds; the preternatural skills required to ferret out clues a patient might have overlooked (or might not want to share).

By following emergency doctors as they deal with patients and make accurate diagnoses, you can:

  • Get the same on-the-ground, case-by-case learning experience that medical students get when going through their emergency department rotations.
  • Learn how medical emergencies ranging from allergic reactions to concussions to heart attacks are diagnosed and treated.
  • Be better able to communicate with doctors and nurses in the unfortunate event that you, or a family member or friend, ends up in the emergency department.
  • Learn basic preventive health measures that could keep you out of an emergency room yourself.

With Medical School for Everyone: Emergency Medicine, The Great Courses gives you the chance to experience for yourself the high-stakes drama, scientific detective work, and medical insights of life in an everyday emergency department. Presented by board-certified physician and popular educator Dr. Roy Benaroch of Emory University’s School of Medicine, these 24 lectures are a thrilling introduction to emergency medicine and the emergency department educational experiences of medical students around the world. As you shadow Dr. Benaroch on his shifts, and sometimes even venture off-site, you’ll encounter patients coming in with a variety of symptoms and complaints—some of which are easily diagnosed and treated, and some of which are more life-threatening than they first appear. By the end of this 24-lecture rotation, you’ll have a stronger knowledge of, and greater respect for, emergency medicine and the brave doctors who practice it.

Discover How Emergency Doctors Work

Every lecture of Medical School for Everyone: Emergency Medicine keeps you on your toes and brings you up close and personal with the common and uncommon medical emergencies that emergency doctors encounter throughout their careers. At the heart of each emergency case are powerful examples of:

  • how emergency doctors think on their feet;
  • how emergency doctors determine what’s really wrong with a patient;
  • how emergency doctors rule in, or out, certain diagnoses; and
  • how emergency doctors counsel patients and families on improving health.

Emergency medicine, according to Dr. Benaroch, is about helping patients and making difficult decisions with information that is often insufficient or equivocal. These lectures invite you to peer over his shoulder as he meets with patients:

  • A schoolteacher named Claire has recurring bouts of abdominal pain that reveal how emergency doctors use the “OLD CAAAR” mnemonic device to remember the specific questions that need to be asked every time they evaluate someone complaining of generalized pain.
  • Individuals of various ages illustrate symptoms of different chest pain complaints, including myocardial infarctions (the medical term for a heart attack), myocarditis (a disease of the heart muscle), and pneumothorax (when air appears between the lung and the chest wall).
  • A three-week-old child helps you understand how emergency doctors risk-stratify fevers in newborns, where every fever (even a brief one) could be the sign of a serious infection that a newborn cannot easily fight off.
  • Mrs. Donahue, an elderly woman with dementia, whose mysterious case highlights a maxim that Dr. Benaroch lives by: If you still don’t know what’s going on with a patient after taking their history, investigate the medications (many of which often have adverse side effects or negative interactions).

Experience Everyday Life in an Emergency Department

Dr. Benaroch’s lectures are filled with fascinating insights into the experiences of emergency department doctors. These insights will broaden your understanding of what it takes to save a human life, break down preconceived notions about how emergency medicine works, and strengthen your appreciation for what it takes to perform one of the most stressful jobs on the planet.

Some of the fascinating revelations that are uncovered include:

  • You don’t want to be someone who’s rushed through an emergency department without having to wait. The only way to get to the “front of the line” during triage is to be the sickest patient in the department—and to make sure no one sicker than you shows up while you’re being evaluated. Been waiting for hours to see a doctor? It’s a great sign you’re not in mortal danger.
  • Any time an emergency doctor encounters an unresponsive patient, the first thing he or she does is perform a rapid scan of the “ABCs”: assess the patient’s airway (and open it up if it’s closed), assess the patient’s breathing (and give rescue breaths if there’s no breathing), and check the patient’s blood circulation (and give chest compressions if there’s no heartbeat).
  • Snake bites, contrary to popular belief, should not be treated with the “cut and suck” method. By cutting up the wound and trying to suck out the poison, you’ll only increase tissue damage and further contaminate the wound. A better form of treatment is rinsing the snake bite under running water for several minutes.

Displaying masterful storytelling prowess, detailed medical knowledge, and personal experiences as a practicing physician, Dr. Benaroch makes these lectures a unique way for you to experience life in an emergency department—without having to visit one yourself. You’ll feel like you’ve donned the white coat and stepped into the well-worn shoes of an emergency doctor at the top of his or her game.

Whether he’s discussing how doctors treat patients with highly infectious diseases, how they determine when patients are suffering from a hidden trauma (like an eating disorder), or how they inform family members in the event of a patient’s death, Dr. Benaroch treats these and many other real-world scenarios with candor. Medical School for Everyone: Emergency Medicine reveals the everyday adventure, mystery, and fascination of emergency medicine, showing you why it’s one of the most exciting and rewarding branches of medicine to work in.

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24 lectures
 |  29 minutes each
Year Released: 2015
  • 1
    Triage in Emergency Medicine
    Start the course learning about the first critical step of emergency care: triage. When faced with a waiting room full of patients, how does a capable emergency department doctor decide whom to treat first? What happens when a patient's condition changes? Or when more patients show up? x
  • 2
    Emergency Medicine Means Thinking Fast
    Dr. Benaroch takes you along with an ambulance crew to give you a three-dimensional understanding of emergency care as experienced by first responders. Topics covered in this lecture include the ABCs of a rapid scan, appropriate bystander response, and the rule of 9" for estimating burn size." x
  • 3
    Emergency Medicine Means Thinking Again
    Welcome to the night shift at an emergency department, where anything can happen. Through the patient cases in this lecture, you'll get a deeper understanding of how emergency doctors think twice about a young man having a heart attack, a college student who is vomiting, and an elderly man who is having trouble walking. x
  • 4
    The Story Is the Diagnosis
    Discover how emergency doctors use OLD CAAAR: a simple mnemonic to accurately - and quickly - pinpoint the location and characteristics of a patient's pains. Also, learn what happens when a doctor has to think fast and doesn't have the time to ask each of the OLD CAAAR questions. x
  • 5
    Hidden Clues in the Emergency Department
    Take a closer look at three emergency department cases - a urinary tract infection, a broken leg, and a bellyache - with a twist. How were these diagnoses determined? Not through expensive tests or advanced imaging, but through paying attention to the story, even when it isn't truthful. x
  • 6
    Treat the Patient, Treat the Family
    According to Dr. Benaroch, to best treat a patient, you sometimes have to treat the patient's family. See this principle in action through a 16-year-old complaining of chronic bronchitis and a 60-year-old found unresponsive with low blood sugar - both of whom have families to help support a doctor's efforts to diagnose and heal. x
  • 7
    Chest Pain
    This lecture focuses on patients with chest pain, which might be either a sign of a mild illness or an actual heart attack. Why is it so difficult to identify every serious cause of chest pain? What questions should doctors - and patients - ask? What's the difference between myocarditis, pneumothorax, and other medically serious cases? x
  • 8
    Treat the Cause, Not the Symptom
    Definitive emergency care requires, first and foremost, a diagnosis. Visit a community emergency department that shares space with an urgent care center, and learn how patients like a 2-year-old with a persistent cough and a 49-year-old with a stuffy nose illustrate the importance of treating the cause - not the symptoms. x
  • 9
    Who Needs the Emergency Department?
    Not all emergency department patients need to be there. In this lecture, meet several pairs of patients - each with the same symptoms, but only one of whom would be best served in the emergency department. Then, get some general tips for you to consider the next time you're contemplating going to the emergency department. x
  • 10
    Altered Mental Status
    How do you handle patients in altered mental states, suffering from unusual thoughts and behaviors? How do you figure out their story and make an accurate diagnosis? Discover how, in cases like these, doctors rely more than ever on signs and clues from a patient's family and friends. x
  • 11
    Simple Symptoms, Serious Illness
    Discover why sometimes a quick patient history isn't enough to help diagnose a problem. In addition to walking you through patient cases, Dr. Benaroch offers insights into fascinating tools that help doctors uncover serious illnesses hidden behind basic symptoms, including complete blood count tests and air contrast enemas. x
  • 12
    In an Emergency, Protect Yourself First
    Doctors are commanded to do no harm to their patients. What's equally important is protecting themselves in those rare instances where a patient may do them harm. Get an inside look at how emergency doctors handle dangerous situations, including a patient acting violently and a patient suffering from a highly infectious disease. x
  • 13
    Treating Insect and Animal Bites
    Meet several emergency patients who've been bitten by various creatures, from snakes and spiders to ticks and raccoons. Along the way, you'll learn how doctors treat allergic reactions to bites, how they treat wounds without accidentally injecting more venom into the body, and more. x
  • 14
    The Missing Piece in an Emergency Diagnosis
    Emergency department patients often aren't ready to trust the doctors attending them, since they have just met. In this lecture, learn how doctors work with patients who aren't completely forthcoming to build trust and coax out embarrassing - or seemingly irrelevant - details to arrive at the right diagnosis and get them the treatment they need. x
  • 15
    Healthy Paranoia in Emergency Medicine
    Emergency department doctors should always assume every patient has a life-threatening illness - even though only 10% to 20% actually do. How do doctors manage this healthy "paranoia"? And how do they prepare themselves and their patients for the worst outcome while planning for the best? x
  • 16
    Fever: Friend or Foe
    Are fevers your friend or your foe? In this lecture, learn the best clues to help distinguish between fevers that are signs of a viral infection and those that herald something much more serious. Then, learn some of the common triggers of fevers, as well as doctor-recommended treatments. x
  • 17
    Always Treat Pain
    Pain is a frequent chief complaint in emergency departments. This lecture brings you up close with patients suffering from acute and chronic pain, including the common complaint of back pain. These cases help you better understand everything from pain medications - and the dangers of overuse - to how pain affects the way the brain works. x
  • 18
    An Ounce of Prevention
    No one wants to go to an emergency department. While you can never protect yourself 100%, there are ways to help avoid having to make a trip there. Here, learn about the importance of cancer screenings, vaccinations, and taking medication. A little prevention, it turns out, makes a big difference. x
  • 19
    The Big Picture in Emergency Medicine
    A fever that's actually a sign of a very dramatic, potentially deadly disease. Abdominal pain that's not caused by illness or injury. Dr. Benaroch uses these and other eye-opening cases as a window into how doctors arrive at the big picture when a patient's chief complaints fail to reveal the truth. x
  • 20
    Is Exercise Good for Your Health?
    This lecture's cases illustrate how sports-related injuries are treated in emergency departments. You'll encounter a softball player suffering from a concussion, a young boy's dangerous eye injury from a haphazard game of lawn darts, a teen rescued from a near-drowning event, and a golfer's stubborn poison ivy rash. x
  • 21
    Stay Safe in the Emergency Department
    Gain insights into tips and practices that emergency department doctors and patients should know to ensure their safety. Topics include the risks of conscious sedation (which is less safe than general anesthesia), the importance of knowing your allergies, and the dangers involved in handing off a patient to another provider. x
  • 22
    Emergency Medicine for Travelers
    Emergency department doctors have to stay especially vigilant when dealing with patients who have traveled abroad - especially in the developing world. Find out how they handle uncommon diseases and infections transmitted by mosquitoes, sexual activity, and more. Then, visit a ski clinic for a peek at some other travel-related emergencies. x
  • 23
    Emergency Medicine Lessons from the Past
    What was emergency medicine like in the 1800s? Go back in time to the American Civil War for a glimpse at how military doctors and surgeons treated wounds and combatted infection. Compare these injuries and treatments to those of the Boston Marathon bombing. Also, contrast the medical treatment given to President Garfield after he was shot with the treatment Reagan received after his attempted assassination. x
  • 24
    Lessons from the Emergency Department
    It's time for your last shift in the emergency department. In this closing lecture, Dr. Benaroch uses several case studies to help you review the big-picture lessons of good emergency care you've learned throughout the course - lessons that have opened your eyes to the excitement and challenges of emergency medicine and that can help you take better care of yourself and your loved ones. x

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  • 24 lectures on 4 DVDs
  • 208-page printed course guidebook
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  • Closed captioning available
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  • Audio tracks are taken directly from the video. Your 12 CDs include all 24 lectures of this course.
  • 208-page printed course guidebook
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  • 208-page printed course guidebook
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Your professor

Roy Benaroch

About Your Professor

Roy Benaroch, M.D.
Emory University
Dr. Roy Benaroch is Adjunct Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at the Emory University School of Medicine. He earned his B.S. in Engineering at Tulane University, followed by his M.D. at Emory University. He completed his residency through Emory University’s affiliated hospitals in 1997, serving as chief resident and instructor of pediatrics in 1998. Board certified in general pediatrics in 1997, Dr. Benaroch practices...
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