Emergency medicine focuses on the immediate decision making and action necessary to prevent death or any further disability both in the pre-hospital setting by directing emergency medical technicians and in the emergency department. The emergency physician provides immediate recognition, evaluation, care, stabilization, and disposition of a generally diversified population of adult and pediatric patients in response to acute illness and injury. A high-pressure, fast-paced, and diverse specialty, emergency medicine requires a broad base of medical knowledge and a variety of well-honed clinical and technical skills. The practice is primarily hospital emergency department-based, but with extensive pre-hospital responsibilities for emergency medical systems. The care provided by the emergency physician is episodic in nature and involves a full spectrum of physical and behavioral conditions.