Original Article

The Knowledge Levels of Emergency Physicians: Whom to Care About? Physicians or Patients?


  • Abdullah Cuneyt Hocagil
  • Hilal Hocagil
  • Tuğba Akkaya

Received Date: 06.03.2013 Accepted Date: 17.08.2013 Eurasian J Emerg Med 2014;13(4):187-193


Emergency physicians, with their life-saving roles in critical diseases’ initial evaluation, are essential for patient safety within the health system. The aim of the study is to evaluate whether the practitioners working in the ER and expert physicians (in disciplines other than emergency medicine) consider themselves competent regarding the frequent life-threatening diseases that are encountered and the accuracy of their notions.

Material and Methods:

A survey of 20 questions was given to ER physicians working in hospitals.


Of the physicians that took the survey, 82.7% considered their knowledge regarding the initial treatment of a patient admitted to the ER as sufficient or very sufficient; 65.3% of the physicians stated that four or less symptoms that would raise suspicion in an EKG of patients admitted to the ER with myocardial infarction, while 34.7% stated that there may be five or more symptoms. Additionally, 53.8% of the physicians consider themselves competent/very competent in recognizing bleeding and ischemia in brain tomography. Furthermore, 81.6% of the physicians considered their ability to apply initial treatment to a patient with diabetic ketoacidosis as sufficient or very sufficient, while the percentage of physicians who stated that the fluid deficit of a patient with diabetic ketoacidosis is 5 L or more was 55.4%.


With this study, we found evidence indicating a serious lack of knowledge among practitioners treating patients in the ER and expert physicians not related to emergency medicine regarding crucial matters related to patients admitted to the ER.

Keywords: Emergency department, emergency medical training, level of knowledge of medical doctors