The Evolution of Disaster Medicine in America

Disaster MedicineFew medical specialties have changed quite as much as disaster medicine since the term first entered the American lexicon in the 1950s. It’s not just a matter of disasters happening more often in recent years than decades past – it’s that the disasters themselves seem to be more varied. From tsunamis, hurricanes, and tornadoes to terror attacks, bio threats, and other man-made destruction, disaster medicine encompasses an incredible variety of incidents. Yet, this medical specialty is also one that tends to be taken for granted. We all obviously hope we won’t fall victim to a tragedy, but if a situation does arise, we expect that highly trained medical personnel and first responders will be available to help our community heal. However, as any emergency management professional will tell you, this coordinated response doesn’t happen by accident and disaster medicine has evolved from generations of successes and failures – starting first on the battlefield and eventually to our home towns.

Typically, disaster medicine physicians are specialists in other fields of medicine who make themselves available when disaster strikes. The troubling thing, though, is that many of these highly trained, board certified professionals are ill equipped to handle mass trauma, smallpox, anthrax, radiation poisoning, and other potential maladies. At the American Board of Physician Specialties, we recognize this shortcoming in the healthcare field and created the medical board certification in disaster medicine – the only such multi-specialty physician certification body to offer this certification. We believe that physicians experienced in disaster medicine should take a leadership role during times of unrest, and our board certification indicates their ability to rise to the challenge and take charge.

In order to become board certified in disaster medicine, physicians must meet our stringent requirements, which include firsthand experience in the field, FEMA course completion, relevant residency completion, and much more. While the steps toward becoming board certified in this essential field are significant, the importance of the certification is clear. To learn more about the eligibility requirements of becoming board certified in Disaster Medicine by ABPS, contact us today. The ABPS is the official board certifying body of the American Association of Physician Specialists, Inc.

Save the Date
House of Delegates & Annual Scientific Meeting
Innovation & Overcoming Challenges
June 10-15, 2022
Patient Care Is Our Priority

Medical organizations throughout North America understand that our rigorous certification standards prove that ABPS Diplomates are capable of delivering the best patient care possible.

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