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Emergency Room Diary

C. Akers, PhD
JAMA. 1973;223(5):563. doi:10.1001/jama.1973.03220050063041.
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Emergency Room Diary is a quick and humorous account of four months' internship in the emergency ward of a Los Angeles hospital, as experienced 20 years ago by Dr. Theodore Isaac Rubin. Dr. Rubin currently practices as a psychiatrist and author. His diary is very revealing of himself personally as well as of the realities encountered in any situation where disaster, trauma, life, and death have to be dealt with—not just day by day but from moment to moment. The Dr. Rubin of 20 years ago emerges as a sincere, naive, but open-minded young intern who is dramatically torn between his love of general medicine (emergency room medicine in particular), and his drive to become a psychiatrist. This conflict, when considered in relation to the account of his internship as given in the diary, seems to have been born of Dr. Rubin's personal search for a way to help his


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