In the not-so-distant past, a pediatric resident’s emergency medicine experience consisted of emergency room (ER) shifts with little or no faculty supervision, where education was provided largely by a dog-eared copy of a favorite general pediatrics textbook. How times have changed! The ER of old is today’s emergency department (ED), staffed 24 hours a day by a subspecialist in pediatric emergency medicine (PEM). Nearly everything in PEM is new.

There are more than 50 PEM fellowships in North America, and more than 500 physicians are board certified in the subspecialty. Three comprehensive textbooks and many shorter manuals are devoted solely to the care of pediatric emergencies. Courses such as Pediatric Advanced Life Support (PALS) and Advanced Pediatric Life Support (APLS) have filled a sizable gap in medical education by focusing solely on the recognition and resuscitation of the sick or injured child. The development of emergency medical services for children...

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