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Family physicians are often the first, and sometimes the only, point of contact for many patients within the health care system. The standard 12-lead electrocardiogram is one of the most common tests obtained and interpreted by the family physician, with most of the physicians reading their own recordings and basing clinical decisions on their findings. It has been shown that family physicians can achieve proficiency in the interpretation of over 95 percent of all electrocardiogram findings seen in the primary care setting. Although computerized interpretation is widely available, it is considered unreliable in up to 20 percent of the cases, making competency and interpretation by family physicians an essential skill. This book provides the necessary skills for family physicians to use in interpreting electrocardiograms, both in their offices and in the emergency rooms of their hospitals. It also should prove of value to other primary care physicians, as well as medical students and residents of nearly all medical specialties. As the subtitle states, this book is about the essential elements involved in electrocardiographic interpretation. It is not all inclusive. However, it does cover the abnormalities most likely to be seen by family physicians in their everyday practice of medicine.
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H. Thomas Milhorn, M.D., Ph.D is the author of well over 100 research papers, medical education articles, and chapters in books. Additionally, he has published four nonfiction books and one novel. In 1992 he retired from the faculty of the University of Mississippi School of Medicine as Professor of Family Medicine, Professor of Physiology and Biophysics, and Associate Professor of Psychiatry and Human Behavior. In the Department of Family Medicine he taught an electrocardiography course for the family practice residents and subsequently published a series of five articles on the subject in Family Practice Recertification. After five years of private practice and four years on the medical staff of East Mississippi State Hospital he is now permanently retired except for writing, reading, dabbling in computers, website design, and occasionally delivering a lecture. As a medical staff member at Laurel Wood Center he had electrocardiography privileges and interpreted EKGs for the hospital.
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