Lessons in Disaster Medicine Learned from Recent Acts of Terror

Disaster MedicineFirst responders serve a critical role in the immediate aftermath of disaster situations, running toward the chaos to provide life-saving care to those who need it. It is easy to take for granted that physicians trained in disaster medicine will be available to help treat patients in various conditions after an attack, but this response doesn’t happen without incredible coordination among highly trained individuals. Disaster medicine is a medical specialty that was developed relatively recently, in 1980, and the coordinated response of these highly trained physicians is the product of ongoing training. At the American Board of Physician Specialties® (ABPS), we are all too familiar with how irreplaceable physicians with disaster medicine training truly are, which is why we developed the American Board of Disaster Medicine® (ABODM). In fact, we are the only national multi-specialty physician certification body to offer board certification in disaster medicine.

The recent terror attacks in France horrified the world, but if there is a modicum of a silver lining, it is the incredible work that the first responders in Paris did with their rapid response to the crisis. This was due, in part, to the tremendous work that the city of Paris has done in preparing their infrastructure for of an attack of this nature. Hospitals were prepared to treat patients who had experienced gunshot wounds and/or had been hit by shrapnel, while the physicians on duty had the advanced training to provide top flight care to their trauma patients. Field hospitals were also rapidly set up to accommodate patients in need of immediate care before it was safe to transport them to nearby medical facilities. While it is still too early to fully analyze the response to this disaster, it is evident that there was a system in place to respond to a terror attack, and the system worked. This is the core concept of disaster medicine. Physicians need to be trained to treat trauma patients, but it is equally important that a protocol is developed to try and bring order to the chaotic aftermath of an attack.

At the ABODM, our Diplomates include physicians with extensive firsthand experience and training in disaster medicine who have sufficiently demonstrated the mastery of the core concepts that define the specialty. This also entails a commitment to ongoing training in disaster medicine and an enthusiasm to work with like-minded peers in the field. In short, our physician Diplomates represent some of the most highly qualified disaster medicine specialists in the world. To learn more about becoming board certified through the ABODM, contact us today.

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.

I feel truly blessed and grateful to be an internal medicine board-certified diplomate with the American Board of Physician Specialties. Their ongoing, steadfast commitment to physician board(s) enhancement, forward focused vision, and tenacity is second to none. ABPS has become a recognized choice in Physician Board Certification.

Adam Rench, MD
Internal Medicine
To be the best, you must measure yourself against the best. Achieving Board Certification in Emergency Medicine by the ABPS gave me the opportunity to demonstrate mastery of the art of EM in an objective way. The high bar that ABPS sets for candidates to be allowed to take both the written and oral exam is a testament to ABPS's rigorous vetting of one's ability to practice Emergency Medicine at a high level. By maintaining these credentials, I've been able to instill confidence in my abilities at the department/employer level and ultimately with the patients that choose to seek emergency care at the facilities at which I practice.

Royce Mathew Joseph, MD
Emergency Medicine
The American Board of Physician Specialties has supported the entire field of Integrative Medicine in sponsoring our board. It has been so validating of the importance of prevention-oriented and holistic approaches to care while emphasizing the scientific basis of this specialty to have it recognized by ABPS. I am proud to have been one of the first groups to be board certified by ABPS in Integrative Medicine, leading the way for others committed to training in this specialty.

Myles Spar, MD
Integrative Medicine