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Am J Disaster Med. 2012 Winter;7(1):48-60.

Bioterrorism and disaster preparedness among medical specialties.

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  • 1Public Health Preparedness, Penn State College of Medicine, Hershey, Pennsylvania, USA.



A core priority of all medical specialties includes information for members regarding inherent priorities and principles. The authors sought to investigate the priority and contribution of various medical specialties to the fields of bioterrorism, terrorism, disaster preparedness, and emergency preparedness.


A mixed study design (quantitative and qualitative) was used to identify pertinent characteristics of various medical specialties. A scored survey analysis of resources available from the representative organizations and/or societies of the primary medical specialties and select subspecialties was examined and scored based on availability, ease of accessibility, updated status, and content. A MEDLINE search completed through PubMed using the medical subject headings bioterrorism, terrorism, disaster preparedness, and emergency preparedness coupled with specific medical specialties was conducted to assess the involvement and contribution of each to the medical literature.


The primary study outcome was to evaluate the priority of and existing resources available to members for bioterrorism/terrorism and disaster/emergency preparedness among various medical specialties as reflected by their representative organizations and scientific publication.


The search of individual medical specialties and of the medical literature (2000-2010) revealed that these topics (via keywords bioterrorism, terrorism, disaster preparedness, and emergency preparedness) are indeed a priority topic for the majority of medical specialties. A number of specialties with expectant priority in these topics were confirmed. All seven primary care specialties demonstrated a core priority of these topics and offered resources. The MEDLINE (PubMed) search yielded 7,228 articles published from 2000 to 2010.


Bioterrorism/terrorism and disaster/ emergency preparedness are priority topics of most medical specialties. This core priority is demonstrated by both the medical specialty resources in addition to the contribution of scientific articles from these medical specialties. This reflects the diverse medical care that is necessary for terrorist threats and the collaborative efforts that will help to make the medical response to these threats more cohesive.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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