Acute myocardial infarction is the leading cause of death in the industrialized world and the paramount goal is establishing early, complete, and sustained reperfusion at the myocardial tissue level. For hospitals without the capacity to perform emergent percutaneous coronary intervention, fibrinolytic therapy plays a critical role although it is limited by a 67% success rate. Despite promising pilot studies, reduced-dose fibrinolytic therapy with glycoprotein IIb/IIIa therapy (GUSTO-V) and full-dose fibrinolytic therapy with enoxaparin (ASSENT-3) or bivalirudin (HERO-2) provide only marginally improved clinical outcomes. Adjunctive in-hospital and secondary preventive measures should include an aspirin, a beta-blocker, an ACE inhibitor, and a statin, based on the Heart Protection Study, unless contraindicated. Patients should be risk stratified, participate in a cardiac rehabilitation program, cease smoking tobacco, and have an intracardiac defibrillator (ICD) implanted if their LV systolic function is < or = 30% at one month based on the MADIT-2 trial.