Terrorist Event Training in US Medical Schools. A Survey of Chemical, Biologic, Radiologic, Nuclear, and High-Yield Explosives Training in US Medical Schools.

Authors:
James M Feeney
James M Feeney
Saint Francis Hospital and Medical Center
United States
Kristina Ziegler
Kristina Ziegler
Saint Francis Hospital and Medical Center
David Shapiro
David Shapiro
University of Illinois
United States

Conn Med 2015 Nov-Dec;79(10):581-5

Unlabelled: September 11, 2001 saw the dawn of the US-led global war on terror, a combined diplomatic, military, social, and cultural war on terrorist activities. Chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear, and high-yield explosives (CBRNE), as a group of tactics, are often the preferred weapons of terrorists across the globe. We undertook a survey of US medical schools to determine what their self-reported level of training for terrorist events encompasses during the four years of undergraduate medical education.

Methods: We surveyed 170 medical schools in the US and Puerto Rico using a five-question, internet-based survey, followed by telephone calls to curriculum offices for initial nonresponders. We used simple descriptive statistics to analyze the data.

Results: A majority of US medical schools that completed the survey (79 schools or 65.3%) have no required lecture or course on CBRNE or terrorist activities during the first or second year (preclinical years). Ninety-eight out of the 121 respondents (81.0%), however, believed that CBRNE training was either very important or somewhat important, as reflected in survey answers.

Conclusions: Most physician educators believe that training in CBRNE is important; however this belief has not resulted in widespread acceptance of a CBRNE curriculum in US medical schools.

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February 2016
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