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Disaster Medicine Education in Canadian Medical Schools before and after September 11, 2001. Open Access


Author or creator
Cummings, G. E.
Della Corte, F.
Cummings, G. G.
Additional contributors
emergency medical services
medical schools
nursing education
disaster medicine
Type of item
Journal Article (Published)
OBJECTIVE: To describe disaster medicine (DM) education in 16 Canadian medical schools before and after September 11, 2001 (9/11). METHODS: Email invitations and reminders to complete an Internet-based survey were sent to 48 undergraduate and fellowship representatives. RESULTS: A total of 24 responses were received from 15 of the 16 Canadian medical schools in operation at the time of the study, representing 10 undergraduate and 14 fellowship programs. Prior to 9/11, 22 programs at 9 schools taught DM compared with 14 programs post 9/11, a reduction of 37%. Six schools reported no DM teaching before 9/11; 7 reported no DM instruction after that date. Respondents from 12 schools felt that DM should be taught at the undergraduate level, and 9 of the 12 felt it should be included as core content. Respondents from all 15 responding schools felt that DM should be included as core content at the fellowship level. Twenty-two respondents (92%) indicated a belief that the public expects physicians to be prepared to deal with the consequences of disasters. The most frequently taught topics were emergency medical services and disasters, disaster management, hospital disaster planning, and bioterrorism. CONCLUSION: Despite support for DM instruction and increases in terrorism and global disasters, 46% of the responding medical schools do not teach this topic and there has been a downward trend in this regard since 9/11.
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© 2005 Canadian Association of Emergency Physicians. This version of this article is open access and can be downloaded and shared. The original author(s) and source must be cited.
Citation for previous publication
Cummings GE, Della Corte F, & Cummings GG. Disaster Medicine Education in Canadian Medical Schools before and after September 11, 2001. Canadian Journal of Emergency Medicine 7.6 (2005), 399:405.
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