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Brief history of the specialty of emergency medicine
  1. David John Williams
  1. Correspondence to Dr David John Williams, Royal College of Emergency Medicine, London SW200DG, UK; djwilliams01{at}


This is a brief overview of the development of the specialty of Emergency Medicine from small beginnings fifty years ago. It describes how the specialty evolved simultaneously in the UK and the USA and later in Australasia and Europe.

  • emergency departments

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  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.