Center of Excellence – Homeland Security Emergency Management

November 6, 2012

What exactly is Disaster Medicine?

American Journal of Disaster Medicine

What exactly is disaster medicine?

Even to practitioners, the discipline’s definition can be fuzzy and somewhat confusing. If it appeared in dictionaries (which it doesn’t yet), it would look like this: med.i.cine (di zas’ tor med’i sin) n 1. the study and collaborative application of the professional skills of diverse medical and public health specialties to provide “crisis management” (altered standards of care) in mass casualty incidents 2. not the same as conventional medical care 3. requires a fundamental change in the approach to the care of patients in order to achieve the objective of providing the “greatest good for the greatest number of patients 4. requires knowledge of the fundamentals of disaster management, specific injury patterns commonly encountered in disasters and the ability to work as part of a multi-organizational response team

Independent and strictly peer-reviewed, guided by a internationally recognized editorial review board and accepted for inclusion in the National Library of Medicine’s prestigious PUBMED database, American Journal of Disaster Medicine is designed for those of us who will find ourselves on the frontlines of a major disaster. It offers practical, real time guidance as we seek to combine emergency medical and trauma skills with crisis management and new forms of triage in the effort to save lives.

To subscribe to the American Journal of Disaster Medicine at

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