The Role of Disaster Medicine Board Certification in Community Disaster Preparation

Disaster PreparationDisaster preparation in many communities is viewed as a function of the government, or of a loose coalition among various local, state, and federal government agencies. However, the government plays little, if any, role in training civilian physicians in how to respond to disasters such as hurricanes, earthquakes, or any kind of unforeseen occurrence that puts a large segment of the population at risk.

Who, then, is best prepared for taking a lead role when it comes to disaster preparation, response, and recovery? Because widespread disasters, by their very nature, put a great of the population at medical risk, the logical candidates to lead are physicians. And the most effective way for physicians to demonstrate their mastery of the core skills and knowledge necessary to take a lead role in those situations is for them to achieve board certification in disaster medicine from the American Board of Physician Specialties (ABPS).

The ABPS is the only multi-specialty physician certification body to offer disaster medicine certification and recertification, which is administered through the American Board of Disaster Medicine (ABDOM). We are committed to helping physicians prepare themselves in case of earthquakes, hurricanes, tornadoes, pandemic outbreaks, terrorist attacks, and other natural and manmade disasters. While hospitals may already have disaster plans in place, they often are developed only to meet the bare minimum requirements of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), and  they might not deal directly with the specific perils that might be unique to a physician’s home area. Physician board certification in disaster medicine helps bring focus to a physician’s role when it comes to disaster preparation, with an emphasis on the potential consequences of disaster on a hyper-local level.

Certification allows a physician to demonstrate that he or she has achieved a thorough understanding of:

  • The National Incident Management System and the Incident Command System
  • The importance of safety in disaster preparation and response, including protective equipment, decontamination, and site security
  • The principles of triage in a disaster setting
  • The clinical competence to provide effective care with extremely limited resources
  • The importance of psychological first aid and care for disaster responders

Contact the ABPS today for information about eligibility requirements for disaster medicine board certification. The ABPS is the official certifying body of the American Association of Physician Specialists, Inc.

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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