The American Medical Association has received a $1 million grant from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to help train physicians and other healthcare professionals to deal with natural and man-made disasters.
The AMA, which has about 250,000 physician members, says it will use the federal funds to help develop and expand its "Core Disaster Life Support" course, which provides healthcare workers with integrated training to help coordinate responses to emergencies involving mass casualties.
"We need to be thinking of standardization and what is required in terms of basic skills and knowledge to make physicians and other responders better prepared to respond to natural and man-made disasters," says James James, M.D., head of the AMA's Center for Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Response.
The AMA's course covers issues such as natural and man-made disasters, explosions, nuclear and radiological weapon attacks and biological crises.
The grant, announced at a press conference at AMA headquarters, comes a little more than a month after the doctors' organization kicked off a collaboration on disaster preparedness with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.