The Relationship Between Disaster Medicine and Active Duty Military Physicians

Disaster MedicinePhysicians are well known for their willingness to respond during times of crisis. When disasters occur, we trust that highly trained and experienced medical professionals will be on hand to assist in recovery and relief efforts. And the United States Armed Forces, in particular, features countless physicians with disaster medicine training and expertise. These men and women put themselves at risk every day to enter war zones, terrorist attack sites, and areas hit by natural disasters to offer the care and comfort that the injured require. At the American Board of Physician Specialties, we are well aware of how invaluable these specialized active duty military physicians are, and we are extremely proud to provide the most qualified among them the opportunity to become board certified in disaster medicine.

As the only nationally recognized multi-specialty physician certifying body to offer disaster medicine board certification, the ABPS has made it clear that we understand and value the essential role of disaster medicine specialists during times of crisis, and we believe that physicians with substantial disaster medicine experience deserve the opportunity to have their expertise formally recognized in this high profile, essential field of medicine.

The world has a shortage of physicians who are trained in disaster medicine, and active duty physicians who are board certified in disaster medicine are especially well suited to assume leadership positions in disaster planning and preparedness. For this reason, eligible active duty physicians should be encouraged to consider a formalized second specialty in disaster medicine – one that will serve them well in the military and civilian life as well.

At the ABPS, our disaster medicine board certified physicians are experts in:

  • The principles of triage during a disaster
  • Providing effective care with limited resources
  • Offering psychological first aid and care to first responders
  • Ensuring safety during disaster responses for all responders
  • The National Incident Management System and the Incident Command System

Of course, disaster medicine isn’t a specialty that is exclusively reserved for active duty personnel. Any physician who meets the eligibility requirements outlined by the American Board of Disaster Medicine is encouraged to pursue board certification in this essential and increasingly relevant medical specialty. To learn more about becoming board certified in disaster medicine, contact the American Board of Physician Specialties today.

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On October 18, 2007, President George W. Bush released Homeland Security Presidential Directive 21 (HSPD-21), calling on our nation, among other initiatives, to “collectively support and facilitate the establishment of a discipline of disaster health”. It is a great testament to the wisdom and foresight of the American Board of Physician Specialties that it immediately set to work and created, within the short span of only one year, an educational blueprint and set of certification examinations, both written and oral, for a new subspecialty of disaster medicine—and it is why I chose to be part this vital initiative and this wonderful organization. This is but one of the many innovative programs initiated by the American Board of Physician Specialties over the years, and why I am proud to support its work on behalf of our nation’s public health.

Art Cooper, MD
Disaster Medicine
When the American Board of Physician Specialties offered to host the American Board of Integrative Medicine, ABPS became a landmark organization working to move medicine into the twenty first century. Certifying physicians who have completed rigorous academic training in Integrative Medicine ensures that the field of Integrative Medicine will continue to develop academically, clinically, and professionally. The leadership of ABPS continues to impress me - they are diligent in constantly innovating to provide certifications for physicians who want to advance their careers and their areas of expertise. I am honored to be a part of this organization.

Ann Marie Chiasson, MD
Integrative Medicine
There are many ways board certification advances a physician career. ABPS Board examination verifies your accuracy, precision, and reflects your mastery of your residency training verifying your expertise. ABPS Board certification demonstrates your level of expertise beyond your practice experience, primary education degrees, and training which are necessary for insurance reimbursement and practice privilege requirements. Attaining your ABPS Board Certification will clarify your purpose, secure your practice growth, and expand into leadership positions. Board certification can serve as an indication of a physician’s commitment to medicine, beyond the minimal standards and competency of training, their measurement to quality of care, and attaining an award for excellence.

Chris Kunis MD
Internal Medicine
When I think historically, advancement in medicine and patient safety and care has been driven by the diversity of people and scientific thought. That’s what I found at the ABPS and more. For over 60 years that is just who we are. I found a physician certifying body that provides a choice and voice to all physicians ensuring that patients are always placed first.

Jerry Allison, MD
Emergency Medicine
When I decided to pursue a full time role as a physician executive it was important to me to obtain additional professional training, education and work experience. Board certification through the ABPS in Administrative Medicine is validation of my efforts and a demonstration of dedication to professional development. We need more physicians to become full time health care executives, knowing there is a board certification option in Administrative Medicine encourages physicians to take the leap from full time clinical practice to healthcare organizational leadership.

Richard Paula, MD
Administrative Medicine
The American Board of Physician Specialties has provided me with the opportunity to demonstrate mastery of internal medicine through board certification. As a hospitalist, board certification is an expected credential, and hospitals recognize the American Board of Physician Specialties (ABPS) as one of the three standard credentialling bodies for Internal Medicine. Additionally, the ABPS has helped me develop leadership skills as a Board member and Committee Chairperson. ABPS has also helped me sharpen critical thinking skills as a test question developer and reviewer. The Allopathic (MD) and Osteopathic (DO) physicians in the ABPS are lifelong learners and frequently pursue multiple board certifications. I enjoy the camaraderie of my peers in ABPS.

Loren Jay Chassels, DO
Internal Medicine