tintinalli cover 







This is the quintessential “tome” of Emergency medicine.  It is as thick as 2 telephone books and at 1,918 pages of text, trying to read the whole thing, cover to cover, is a mammoth undertaking.  Even if you gave yourself a whole year, it works out to 5 & 1/4 pages per day, EVERY DAY for a year (ie it’s impossible), which would leave little time for anything else, such as eating or sleeping (or working). 

Do you need to read the whole thing? Absolutely not. 

Do you need to at least be familiar with every topic listed in the index? Pretty much yes. 

Should you read/summarise every topic listed as requiring “Expert” level knowledge in the syllabus? Probably a good idea. 

In short – you have to get this book.  The new edition was due out 2-3 years ago, so check the College website & the publishers site before forking out the dough, as you don’t want to waste your money on the old edition.

Detailed coverage of all the major areas of Emergency Medicine.

Due to the high word-volume its good for improving your understanding of the concepts behind most topics, making a good text to refer to if you don’t quite “get” a certain topic, although beware, as sometimes the explanations can make things more confusing.

iphone version available: 

A recent addition to the iTunes app store, and published by SkyScape, there is now an iphone version of Tintinalli available.  If you purchase via the SkyScape website you can choose how long you subscribe for (1 year is only $21.95). If you go via the Apple website/iTunes store they’ll charge you $54.95 (which should get you 3 years worth). Either way it’s a very cheap way to get your hands on this book.  Clearly it is NOT the FULL TEXT version, but it’s still an excellent resource to have in your pocket. 

If you are (god forbid) a palm OS or Windows mobile user, you can get it via Unbound Medicine.


Summarised Versions Available
“Emergency Medicine: Just The Facts” is a summarised version of Tintinalli which as its title suggests, is all of the relevant factual content without a lot of the waffle.  It is less useful for conceptual understanding, but far quicker and easier to read than the standard textbook.  At around 650 pages you could easily digest this in a year before the exam. Definitely worth a look for those who are put off by the size of the full version. You can get it in paperback from Amazon or the Publisher (McGraw-Hill).  There is also an E-Book version from various sites (it comes in various formats: Adobe Digital Editions, iphone/ipad, mobipocket, epub… and more), just Google “Emergency Medicine: Just The Facts ebook” and pick a publisher. You don’t really have an excuse not to get it!

It is out of date – This is a problem

The last edition was published in 2004, (meaning it was written a couple of years before that) making it over 7 years old. This also means a lot of the recent advances and “landmark” papers aren’t quoted.  Certain “hot topics” such as thrombolysis in stroke, aren’t well canvassed. Stuff you hear on EMRAP & EMA may even directly contradict what you read in Tintinalli.  If the examiners write the question from the old book, how do you know what’s right? The simple answer is – know both.
It’s American
The units for many path results (eg glucose) are in American units making conversion difficult (but you can always get Convertbot). Also the management of certain conditions differs significantly in Australia, & you need to know the local way things are done. Other things like certain drug treatments – for example Labetalol for Thoracic Aortic Dissection have important Australian provisos – in this case only some hospitals stock IV Labetalol… or some of the drugs used for control of AF differ in Australia.
It’s too wordy
If you are after simple “lists of causes” of certain conditions, or point form summaries of topics you already have a conceptual understanding of this is not the book to go to, use Dunn.  If you need more words, go to Rosen (all 3 Volumes). If you have insomnia this isn’t a bad cure. 

In Summary: 

You have to get this book. But don’t beat yourself up over not being able to read the whole thing. 

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