The 2018 Global Emergency Medicine Literature Review

The 2018 Global Emergency Medicine Literature Review

The Global Emergency Medicine Literature Review Group

The Global Emergency Medicine Literature Review Group ( is a team of students and physicians from around the world that work together each year to review and highlight the published literature related the practice of emergency medicine in resource-constrained settings. The Global Emergency Medicine Literature Review (GEMLR) started in 2005 and has been published annually (you can review past editions of the GEMLR: here,  

Annual Systematic Review

The review group completes their annual systematic review of scholarly work around international emergency medicine, which screens for and then reviews relevant peer-reviewed and gray literature. The authors of this years review note that the term international emergency medicine is quite subjective, but the research of interest is generally related to “the practice and development of emergency medicine in settings without the robust or mature systems commonly seen in resource-rich western countries.”

The 2018 Review

The 2018 review was just recently published online in Academic Emergency Medicine (, and this edition was put together by a team of 7 editors, 5 editorial board members, and 27 reviewers (of note, I was one of the reviewers for 2018). Interestingly, a number of reviewers are tasked with reviewing literature in other languages with which that reviewer is fluent in order to include any relevant studies from around the world. Articles are screened for appropriateness and then grouped into three main categories: the development of emergency medicine, disaster and humanitarian response, and emergency care in resource-limited settings.

The GEMLR group screened over 19,000 articles for the 2018 review, and of these 517 were found to be of appropriate quality and content for a full review. Each screened article is then obtained in full-text format and both categorized and scored by two independent reviewers. This edition of the GEMLR found the screened articles fell into each category as follows: 15% in the development of emergency medicine, 25% in disaster and humanitarian response, and 60% in emergency care in resource-limited settings. After scoring, a total of 25 articles (approximately 5% of all of the scored literature is selected for a full summary and critique. This year’s publication included the full summary and the critical appraisal of each of the highest-scoring articles in Supplement 7. 

The 2018 GEMLR authors found that this year’s edition included “studies and reviews focusing on pediatric infections, several new and traditionally under-represented topics, and landscape reviews that may help guide clinical care in new settings represented the majority of top-scoring articles. A shortage of articles related to the development of EM as a specialty was identified.”

The body of published work around international emergency medicine continues to grow; 7.3% more studies were identified as compared to 2017. I would encourage you to looking through the most recently published GEMLR reviews to find content areas that are currently gaps in the peer-reviewed literature and consider finding ways to help prepare and publish relevant work. The great news is that the body of work in international emergency medicine is expanding.

Ongoing Scholar Work Around International Emergency Medicine

This and other recent GEMLR publications are a great resource and can be a really helpful starting point in looking at ongoing scholarly work around international EM. This is also a great resource to consider as content to be used in your next journal club. I strongly recommend you take a look at this year’s publication and then go look at a few of the articles; there is a lot of great work being done and published!

Although applications to be a reviewer for the 2019 review have just recently closed, keep your eyes on the GEMLR team (@gemlrgroup) for the latest in IEM research, and for the opportunity to join the GEMLR team for next year.

Cite this article as: J. Austin Lee, USA, "The 2018 Global Emergency Medicine Literature Review," in International Emergency Medicine Education Project, August 20, 2019,, date accessed: September 21, 2023

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.