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Emergency Preparedness: Addressing a Residency Training Gap

Uddin, Sayeedha Ghori MD, MPH; Barnett, Daniel J. MD, MPH; Parker, Cindy L. MD, MPH; Links, Jonathan M. PhD; Alexander, Miriam MD, MPH

doi: 10.1097/ACM.0b013e3181637edc
Residents' Education

As the importance of physician involvement and leadership in crisis preparedness is recognized, the literature suggests that few physicians are adequately trained to practice effectively in a large-scale crisis situation. A logical method for addressing the emergency preparedness training deficiency identified across several medical specialties is to include disaster and emergency preparedness training in residency curricula.

In this article, the authors outline the development and implementation of an emergency preparedness curriculum for the Johns Hopkins General Preventive Medicine Residency (JHGPMR) from 2004 to 2006. The curriculum consists of two components. The first was developed for the academic year in the JHGPMR and includes didactic lectures, practical exercises to apply new knowledge, and an opportunity to integrate the knowledge and skills in a real-world exercise. The second, developed for the practicum year of the residency, includes Web-based lectures and online content and culminates in a tabletop preparedness exercise. Topics for both components include weapons of mass destruction, risk communication and personal preparedness, aspects of local emergency response planning, and mental health and psychological aspects of terrorism.

On the basis of the emergency preparedness training gap that has been identified in the literature, and the success of the three-year experience in implementing a preparedness training curriculum in the JHGPMR, the authors recommend incorporation of competency-based emergency preparedness training for residencies of all specialties, and offer insights into how the described curriculum could be adapted for use in other residency settings.

Dr. Uddin is instructor, Department of Gynecology and Obstetrics, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland.

Dr. Barnett is instructor, Department of Environmental Health Sciences, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, Maryland.

Dr. Parker is instructor, Department of Environmental Health Sciences, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, Maryland.

Dr. Links is professor, Department of Environmental Health Sciences, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, Maryland.

Dr. Alexander is assistant professor, Department of Population and Family Health Sciences, and director, Johns Hopkins General Preventive Medicine Residency, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, Maryland.

Correspondence should be addressed to Dr. Uddin, Johns Hopkins Women's Health Clinic, 601 N. Caroline Street, Eighth Floor, Room 8050, Baltimore, MD 21205; telephone: (410) 502-0110; fax: (410) 614-8640; e-mail: (suddin@jhsph.edu).

© 2008 Association of American Medical Colleges