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Disaster medicine curriculum

DocRickFry at aol.com DocRickFry at aol.com
Sun Oct 23 21:58:59 BST 2005

In a message dated 10/23/2005 2:54:12 P.M. Eastern Daylight Time,  
gflores911 at yahoo.com writes:

Could  anybody send me or point me where to find a curriculum for the
disaster  medicine component of an emergency medicine residency? I did a
google  search with very limited results.

Very simple--it does not exist in any emergency medicine or any other  
medical specialty residency training curriculum.  This is a major part of  our 
problem.  In fact such a knowledge and skill set does not exist  whatsoever in any 
medical school curriculum with one or two exceptions.  In  Israel, all medical 
students have disaster education--not at all in this  country.  It reflects 
the values and priorities of those in the leadership  of med school curriculums 
and specialty RRC's, including that of surgery.   We cannot whine about why 
we do so poorly when it is we who have chosen to  abrogate this knowledge base 
to other medical specialties and mainly to other  nonmedical organizations, 
personnel and agencies. Same goes for nursing school  and training.  Altho 
prehospital personnel do participate to a greater  extent in disaster preparedness, 
my take from the many community prehospital  groups I have spoken to is that 
there in fact is no organized system of  education in the principles and 
planning or training in the response to  disasters.  The most basic knowledge tends 
to be lacking in these groups.  The best demonstration of this is the 
question prompting this reply, which came  from a prehospital person!  You can see 
this in the actual response of our  own major urban preshospital units in actual 
events, such as Oklahoma City and  New York City among many others.
There are some curricula you can obtain however--one place to start is to  go 
to the American College of Surgeons website at _www.facs.org_ 
(http://www.facs.org) , look under the Trauma Programs  section and hit on the Disaster 
webpage where you will find two downloadable  CD's that can be presented as courses 
or just studied on your own--a Basic  Medical Response to Terrorism course, 
and a med student curriculum template from  the Defense Institute of Medical 
Operations.  Also can be found a report on  Unconventional Weapons Disaster 
Response and links to many other sites.

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