The role of doctors in prehospital care in the United Kingdom and the USA was compared using information obtained from a visit to the city of Houston emergency medical service (Houston, Texas) and from a review of published reports. The involvement of full time specialist emergency medical services physicians has been crucial to the development of improved standards of practice within American prehospital care. The specialty of accident and emergency medicine should support provision of medical advice to the ambulance services by closer liaison with ambulance service trusts and the formalisation of training in prehospital care to specialist registrars.
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