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It is with great pleasure that I initiate this new blog -- "Straight Talk from the ER." When I chose, many years ago, to go into Emergency Medicine as my specialty, like many students, I chose it largely for the "adrenaline rush" that comes when you "snatch someone from the brink of death." What I soon learned, however, is that an Emergency Physician must be knowledgeable about a wide array of topics. He or she must be equally comfortable caring for a patient with a sprained ankle or a victim with multiple severe injuries from a horrendous car crash... a child with a painful ear infection at 3 o'clock in the morning or an elderly woman having a heart attack at noon. And, for me, that is another great attraction of Emergency Medicine - the opportunity to stay "up-to-date" on a wide spectrum of topics, because you never know "what will walk (or roll) through those doors!" And after 15 years at Stanford University's Emergency Room, most of that as its Chief, I guess I've seen or heard just about everything... but, as soon as I begin to think that, something completely new comes along!

I enjoy the fact that my friends, family and neighbors know that they can contact me about any medical question they might have or any illness or injury they might be dealing with. With this blog, I hope to expand my circle of "friends and neighbors," and to answer your questions, and provide practical general advice on staying healthy, and preparing for and handling emergencies. It has been said "once you prepare for an emergency, it ceases to be an emergency." Here's to our preparing together...

Stay alert and stay safe.

- Dr. Bob
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About the Author

The Stanford Emergency Room is the center of emergency care at Stanford University.