• Length:
    10 Weeks
  • Effort:
    4–6 hours per week
  • Price:

    Add a Verified Certificate for $50 USD

  • Institution
  • Subject:
  • Level:
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  • Video Transcript:
  • Course Type:
    Self-paced on your time


No prerequisites are required for this course.

About this course

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Regardless of where physicians practice they are expected to be calm, cool, and collected when confronted with undifferentiated, critically ill patients. Medical education in most countries however, focuses on approaching patients in a methodical, time intensive manner. Although this approach can be effective for certain patients and settings, it can prove disastrous during those moments when time is of the essence. The specialty of Emergency Medicine (EM) centers on rapidly sorting, assessing, and stabilizing undifferentiated patients regardless of the etiology of their condition. Designed by educational leaders in the field of EM, this course is designed to teach healthcare providers the necessary skills to recognize and manage patients with life-threatening emergencies.

“What Every Provider Should Know: Clinical Fundamentals” features high quality video lectures, online case scenarios with questions, a discussion forum, and the chance to demonstrate your knowledge by testing to achieve a statement of accomplishment. A detailed syllabus is provided, which focuses on the most clinically relevant information. Lectures and materials are all online allowing students the flexibility to proceed at their own pace and schedule. Case-based discussions are initiated with a video presentation of an undifferentiated patient. Key decisions and studies are highlighted and student responses may also be posted for other course participants and faculty to review. Video discussions of the online cases with an expert clinician provide practical answers and insightful commentary. Emphasis is placed on a methodical approach to patient evaluation and the importance of time-sensitive emergency interventions. Common medical myths and pitfalls are also addressed throughout the course. This course can easily be taught to individual providers, or arranged for groups of providers or students within their hospitals, medical schools or universities. Providers working together and taking the course as a group have the advantage of institutional support, and the chance to reinforce key concepts during their clinical practice.

What you'll learn

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  • A systematic approach to evaluating and managing undifferentiated patients
  • Key differential diagnoses for common presenting complaints
  • How to efficiently interpret key diagnostic tests and studies such as ECGs and chest radiographs
  • Essential procedural skills
  • An introduction to differing medical conditions and approaches to treatment in both the US, as well as international healthcare systems

Lectures and video case studies will be available online. Students may review course material on their own schedule. Students will turn in the accompanying case question assignments to progress to the expert analysis video.

  • Week 1: Course Introduction / Pretest, Approach to undifferentiated patients
  • Week 2: Basic life support/Airway management
  • Week 3: Shock
  • Week 4: Abdominal Pain
  • Week 5: Triage / Personal Protective Equipment
  • Week 6: Chest Pain
  • Week 7: How to Read an ECG
  • Week 8: Shortness of Breath
  • Week 9: How to Read a Chest X-Ray
  • Week 10: Allergy and Anaphylaxis

Meet your instructors

Matthew Strehlow
Associate Professor, Emergency Medicine
Stanford Medicine
S.V. Mahadevan
Professor, Emergency Medicine
Stanford Medicine
Rebecca Walker
Assistant Professor of Emergency Medicine
Stanford University School of Medicine

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Frequently asked questions

Will this course help me save lives?

Yes. Following this course you will have the essential knowledge and skills to stabilize patients during emergency situations drawing on key concepts shared by EM experts.

Is a textbook required?

No. A textbook is not required for the course. An Introduction to Clinical Emergency Medicine however, serves as an excellent reference for this course by covering core concepts in a complaint-based manner.

Who can take this course?

Unfortunately, learners from one or more of the following countries or regions will not be able to register for this course: Iran, Cuba and the Crimea region of Ukraine. While edX has sought licenses from the U.S. Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) to offer our courses to learners in these countries and regions, the licenses we have received are not broad enough to allow us to offer this course in all locations. edX truly regrets that U.S. sanctions prevent us from offering all of our courses to everyone, no matter where they live.