How Disaster Medicine Board Certification Helps Rural Physicians Better Serve the Community

Rural PhysiciansAn innate desire to serve the community is one of the foundational values espoused by physicians who achieve board certification through a Member Board of the American Board of Physician Specialties (ABPS). This quality is particularly powerful for physicians who practice in rural settings, where the patient-physician relationship is often far more significant than an impersonal annual checkup or an occasional emergency department visit for a broken bone or bad cut. There is a certain level of personal trust engendered by a physician who is embedded in a rural community, trust that complements the natural leadership role a physician must play in cases of disasters.

While disaster preparation, response, and recovery in many cities, towns, and rural communities are viewed as a functions of the government, the fact is the government plays little, if any, role in training civilian physicians in how to respond to disasters that place a large segment of the population at risk.

In times of disaster, or for disaster preparation advice, the community often looks to physicians, especially those who have achieved board certification with the American Board of Disaster Medicine (ABDOM). Because tornadoes, hurricanes and other disasters put a great of the population at medical risk, physicians are the logical candidates to take on leadership roles. ABDOM board certified physicians have proven that they possess a mastery of the core skills and knowledge necessary to take a lead role in disaster situations.

The ABPS is the only nationally recognized 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 focuses on a physician’s role in disaster preparation, with an emphasis on the potential consequences of disaster on a hyper-local level.

Board certification through the ABODM 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.

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