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Family medicine capability in medical disaster response

Abdulmajeed M. AlShowair, MD, Jean Bail, EdD, RN, MSN, CEN, EMT-P, Steven Parrillo, DO, FACOEP, FACEP


Every disaster often holds a potential for significant impacts on human health and life. Every new threat presents new challenges to health risk management. However, family medicine faces an uncertainty on the specific roles it can assume to support urgent efforts at disaster surge response. Its preparedness level remains unknown. This research project, designed to explore issues of family medicine competency in this changed disaster response environment, conducted a disaster preparedness and response workshop among 28 family medicine physicians, testing their learning rate using a pre-test-post-test data collection method. Pre-test results (38.11 percent, x = 10.67) indicate that family medicine practitioners as a group were not ready by competency to respond to a disaster event and may instead increase the life risks of disaster victims. Post-test results (x = 21.67, 77.39 percent) showed an average doubling of their learning levels, indicating the workshop effectiveness in improving their disaster preparedness and response competency.


family medicine, disaster response, Preparedness

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