Sajid Khan, M.D. ’05, clinical assistant professor of medicine, wrote The Ultimate Emergency Medicine Guide: The Only Book You Need to Succeed to fill a void he saw in existing review books — many of which become outdated by the time they are released and which he found were not reflective of actual test content. “There is no book that incorporates practice questions, mnemonics and pictures,” he said. “And why does it take three paragraphs to say something that can be written in one?”
The Ultimate Emergency Medicine Guide addresses these issues and more. It is organized around the different aspects of emergency medicine — cardiology, neurology, trauma, etc. — and concludes with a practice test. It contains dozens of illustrations, photographs and X-rays, which Khan presents clearly and supports with conversational language.
“I’m more of a visual learner,” he said. “If you hand me a paper on stroke and ask me to memorize it, I know there are better ways for me to learn.”
Emergency medicine residents take an in-service exam every year, something Khan likens to a practice test for the American Board of Emergency Medicine qualifying exam, which is taken the first year after graduating from residency. Another exam is taken every 10 years to maintain their emergency physician certification. Khan designed his guide to better prepare physicians for each of those steps.
Khan said residents preparing for the boards often make a mistake by focusing on exotic cases. In reality, he said, residents are more likely to face uncommon questions about common diseases. “To be a good EM physician, you have to know a little bit about everything, and each of those subjects are covered in this book. But those zebras aren’t the things you’re going to miss on the test,” he said.
The Ultimate Emergency Medicine Guide includes some of Khan’s favorite mnemonic devices. “AEIOU summarizes the indications for emergency dialysis,” he explained. “It stands for acidosis (refractory), electrolyte abnormalities (hyperkalemia), ingestion, overload and uremia. Taking that one step further, another helpful mnemonic is I-STUMBLED, which refers to ingestions that can be dialyzed: isopropyl alcohol, salicylates, theophylline, uremia, methanol, barbiturates, lithium, ethanol/ethylene glycol, depakote. That’s a hard list to memorize without a mnemonic.”
Khan used a publishing company which allows him to make regular updates based on feedback received from residents and test takers, ensuring that it is always up to date. The book is available at Amazon and other online sources.
The Ultimate Emergency Medicine Guide is Khan’s second book. In 2013, he published Khan’s Cases: Medical Ethics 101 with his wife and co-author, Maryam Arshad, M.D. That book addresses the ethical principles featured in the Step 1 exam and provides real-world cases — many drawn from Khan’s personal experiences.
“Ethical scenarios are never black or white,” he said, “but using the AMA’s Code of Medical Ethics, you can have a framework for how to make difficult decisions.”
Khan completed his residency in emergency medicine at UMKC/Truman Medical Center in 2008 and joined the Department of Emergency Medicine faculty in 2010. His clinical experiences include a period of service as the medical director of the emergency department at Golden Valley Memorial Hospital in Clinton, Missouri. He is currently the assistant medical director of the emergency department at Cartersville Medical Center in Cartersville, Georgia.