Primary Care Physicians: an Untapped Resource for Disaster Response
- 3 Downloads
Purpose of review
The importance of the primary care physicians (PCP) role in disaster preparedness can often be overlooked by communities, organizations, and physicians themselves. Understanding how PCP is currently trained to respond to a disaster can help to ensure knowledge in disaster preparedness and their response to disasters in the future.
Even as disasters continue to be a part of daily life, studies have shown that there continues to be a lack of preparedness on the physician’s part to respond due to insufficient training. The willingness and eagerness of physicians to help exists; however, there is a disconnect between the larger federal organizations, local organizations and the physician’s role in the planning, implementation, and response to a disaster.
It continues to be imperative that physicians, starting in their training years, become familiar with disaster preparedness and build the confidence to lead or take part in response. Moving forward, medical schools, residency programs, and continuing medical education courses need to focus and capitalize on the sense of responsibility physicians have toward patients and families and give them the tools that they need to become familiar and confident in creating a role for themselves in disaster preparedness.
KeywordsPrimary care physicians Disaster preparedness Disaster response Training
Compliance with Ethical Standards
Conflict of Interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
Human and Animal Rights and Informed Consent
This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects performed by any of the authors.
References and Recommended Reading
Papers of particular interest, published recently, have been highlighted as: • Of importance •• Of major importance
- 1.The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies. What is a disaster? Retrieved from http://www.ifrc.org/en/what-we-do/disaster-management/about-disasters/what-is-a-disaster/. Accessed 6 Oct 2018.
- 3.• Peters RM, Hipper TJ, Chernak ED. Primary care medical practices: are community health care providers ready for disaster? Disaster Med Public Health Prep. 2018:1–5. https://doi.org/10.1017/dmp.2018.13 This article highlights the areas for improvement by primary care practices during public health emergencies.
- 4.Huntington MK, Gavagan TF. Disaster medicine training in family medicine: a review of the evidence. Fam Med. 2011;43(1):13–20.Google Scholar
- 6.Hamilton DR, Gavagan TF, Smart KT, Upton LA, Havron DA, Weller NF, et al. Houston’s Medical Disaster Response to Hurricane Katrina: Part 1: The Initial Medical Response from Trauma Service Area Q. Ann Emerg Med. 2009;53(4):505–14. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.annemergmed.2008.10.014.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- 8.Needle S. A disaster preparedness plan for pediatricians: Am Acad Pediatr; 2006. p. 1–20. Retrieved from https://www.aap.org/en-us/advocacy-and-policy/aap-health-initiatives/children-and-disasters/Documents/DisasterPrepPlanforPeds.pdf. Accessed 27 Dec 2018.
- 9.• Hashikawa M, Gold KJ. Disaster preparedness in primary care: ready or not? Disaster Med Public Health Prep. 2018:1–5. https://doi.org/10.1017/dmp.2018.136 This reference highlights the misconception of future disasters among outpatient clinics and the lack of personal disaster planning.
- 10.• Grock A, Aluiso A, Abram E, Roblin P, Arquilla B. Evaluation of the association between disaster training and confidence in disaster response among graduate medical trainees: a cross-sectional study. American Journal of Disaster Medicine. 2017;12(1):5–9. https://doi.org/10.5055/ajdm.2017.0253 This article discusses the amount of emergency response education and the type of training that residents received and their confidence level in responding to a disaster.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- 11.• Bank I, Khalil E. Are pediatric emergency physicians more knowledgeable and confident to respond to a pediatric disaster after an experiential learning experience? Prehospital Disaster Med. 2016;31(5):551–6. https://doi.org/10.1017/S1049023X16000704 This citation highlights that simulation workshops are better at training advanced learnings to manage patients during a disaster scenario and increased confidence levels.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- 14.Gebbie KM, James JJ, Subbarao I. What to do before, during, and after An emergency or disaster: a preparedness toolkit for office-based health care practices: American Medical Association; 2009.Google Scholar
- 18.•• SAMHSA Disaster Technical Assistance Center Supplemental Research Bulletin: Disaster Behavioral Health Interventions Inventory. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. May 2015. Retrieved from https://www.samhsa.gov/sites/default/files/dtac/supplemental-research-bulletin-may-2015-disaster-behavioral-health-interventions.pdf. Accessed 16 Dec 2018. This source compiled disaster specific behavioral health resources that are available to assist people after a traumatic event.
- 19.•• Schonfeld DJ, Demaria T, et al. Providing psychosocial support to children and families in the aftermath of disasters and crises. Pediatrics. 2015;136(4):e1120–30. https://doi.org/10.1542/peds.2015-2861 This reference outlines how pediatricians can identify children that need help coping after a disaster as well as discussing the importance of professional self care.CrossRefGoogle Scholar