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Ann Emerg Med. 1998 Jan;31(1):116-20.

Emergency medicine in France.

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University of Connecticut School of Medicine, Farmington, CT, USA.


The Essonne region of France is situated to the south of Paris. A population of more than 1 million, heavy commercial traffic, and industrial centers mandate first-rate prehospital and hospital emergency medicine. Medical education in France comprises 3 years of basic medical science, followed by 3 years of hospital rotations and a residency of variable length. Emergency medicine is struggling for recognition as a specialty. The ED at the hospital center in Corbeil-Essonnes, France, has 21,000 visits per year, accounting for 30% of hospital admissions. The physical plant is modern and well-organized, with 13 beds. Attention is paid to quality improvement. Prehospital emergency care also receives due attention. A two-tiered system of BLS ambulances run by the fire department and ALS ambulances run by hospitals provide 24-hour emergency coverage. Because of aggressive triage, only 65% of requests for service result in dispatch of an ambulance. Tasks for physicians involved in emergency medicine in France today include further development of firemen's medical skills, development and use of telemedicine, and accreditation of emergency medicine as a recognized specialty.

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