June Physician Focus: Disaster Medicine

The bombings at the Boston Marathon showed once again that disasters, whether man-made or natural, can happen at any time, with little or no warning, and that the key to successfully handling such events lies in the preparation.

The medical community’s response to the bombings, generally regarded as a model example of emergency response, provides the starting point for a discussion of emergency preparedness and the specialty of disaster medicine in the June edition of Physician Focus.

Paul Biddinger, M.D.,  (right, photo) Chief of the Division of Emergency Preparedness and Medical Director of Emergency Department Operations at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, and Mary-Elise Manuell, M.D., (center) Director of the Division of Disaster Medicine and Emergency Management at UMass Memorial Medical Center in Worcester, join host James Kenealy, M.D. (left) in describing the key elements to emergency preparedness and how disaster medicine is practiced.

Among a number of topics of conversation are the critical phase of planning and using a “whole community” approach to preparedness, the unique aspects of Boston that contributed to a successful response, how medical personnel and citizens can participate in response efforts, the contributions that battlefield experience in wars and cooperation with other countries have made to improved planning and response, and what smaller communities should consider in preparing for emergencies.

Physician Focus is available for viewing on public access television stations throughout Massachusetts and also available online at www.massmed.org/physicianfocus, www.physicianfocus.org and on iTunes at www.massmed.org/itunes.

Comments are closed.