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Social emergency medicine: Principles and practice

H.J. Alter, P. Dalawari, K.M. Doran, M.C. Raven

Social Emergency Medicine incorporates consideration of patients’ social needs and larger structural context into the practice of emergency care and related research. In doing so, the field explores the interplay of social forces and the emergency care system as they influence the well-being of individual patients and the broader community. Social Emergency Medicine recognizes that in many cases typical fixes such as prescriptions and follow-up visits are not enough; the need for housing, a safe neighborhood in which to exercise or socialize, or access to healthy food must be identified and addressed before patients’ health can be restored. While interest in the subject is growing rapidly, the field of Social Emergency Medicine to date has lacked a foundational text – a gap this book seeks to fill.  

This book includes foundational chapters on the salience of racism, gender and gender identity, immigration, language and literacy, and neighborhood to emergency care. It provides readers with knowledge and resources to assess and assist emergency department patients with social needs including but not limited to housing, food, economic opportunity, and transportation. Core emergency medicine content areas including violence and substance use are covered uniquely through the lens of Social Emergency Medicine. Each chapter provides background and research, implications and recommendations for practice from the bedside to the hospital/healthcare system and beyond, and case studies for teaching. Social Emergency Medicine: Principles and Practice is an essential resource for physicians and physician assistants, residents, medical students, nurses and nurse practitioners, social workers, hospital administrators, and other professionals who recognize that high-quality emergency care extends beyond the ambulance bay.

Alter HJ, Dalawari P, Doran KM, Raven, MC. Social emergency medicine: Principles and practice. Springer; 2021. Available online.

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Social Determinant of Health
Built Environment
Economic Security
Housing Stability