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Evaluation of the association between disaster training and confidence in disaster response among graduate medical trainees: A cross-sectional study

Andrew Grock, MD, Adam R. Aluisio, MD, MSc, Elizabeth Abram, MD, Patricia Roblin, MS, Bonnie Arquilla, DO


Objective: Disasters by definition overwhelm the resources of a hospital and may require a response from a range of practitioners. Disaster training is part of emergency medicine (EM) resident curricula, but less emphasized in other training programs. This study aimed to compare disaster educational training and confidence levels among resident trainees from multiple specialties.

Design: A structured questionnaire assessed graduate medical training in disaster education and self-perceived confidence in disaster situations. Cross-sectional sampling of resident trainees from the departments of surgery, pediatrics, internal medicine, and EM was performed.

Setting: The study took place at a large urban academic medical center during March 2013.

Participants: Among 331 available residents, a convenience sample of 157 (47.4 percent) was obtained.

Main Outcome Measures: Outcomes investigated include resident confidence in various disaster scenarios, volume of disaster training currently received, and preferred education modality.

Results: EM trainees reported 7.3 hours of disaster instruction compared to 1.3 hours in non-EM trainees (p < 0.001). EM residents reported significantly more confidence in disaster scenarios compared to non- EM residents except for overall low confidence levels for mega mass casualty incidents. The preferred education modality for both EM and non-EM residents was simulation exercises followed by lecture.

Conclusions: This study demonstrated relatively lower confidence among non-EM residents in disaster response as well as lower number of disaster education time. These data report a learner preference for simulation training.


disaster education

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