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Am J Disaster Med. 2015 Winter;10(1):51-9. doi: 10.5055/ajdm.2015.0188.

Development of a disaster preparedness curriculum for medical students: a pilot study of incorporating local events into training opportunities.

Author information

1
Medical Student, The Ohio State University College of Medicine, Columbus, Ohio.
2
Department of Emergency Medicine, The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, Columbus, Ohio.
3
Battelle Memorial Institute, Columbus, Ohio.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

Contemporary disasters, like the outbreak of Ebola in West Africa, have piqued the interest of medical students in disaster preparedness. The topic is also a requirement of undergraduate medical education.(1) Yet current literature suggests that disaster preparedness education is lacking. Our objective was to pilot a curriculum to augment medical students' disaster preparedness education by marshalling local resources to provide practical hands-on experiences.

DESIGN:

This pilot curriculum consisted of lectures; simulations; asynchronous learning materials; a large-scale, regional disaster exercise; and preparation for and participation in a real-time mass gathering. Outcomes were measured by student performance on written tests and evaluations of each activity.

SETTING:

Academic Health Center with associated medical school.

PARTICIPANTS:

Fifty-two medical students participated in at least one of the six activities during this voluntary pilot program. Premedical students and residents (n=57) participated in some activities.

RESULTS:

Forty-one medical students took either the pretest or the post-test over the curriculum. Only eight students took both. A paired t test comparing pretest to post-test scores using imputed missing data (t=-11.72, df=40, p≤0.001) was consistent with an analysis using only complete data (t=-2.35, df=7, p=0.05), implying that student scores improved significantly over time. Evaluations indicated a student preference for hands-on over didactic or independent learning activities.

CONCLUSIONS:

This pilot curriculum was designed to capitalize on practical hands-on training opportunities for our medical students, including participation in a disaster exercise and a mass-gathering event. These opportunities provided effective and engaging disaster preparedness education.

PMID:
26102045
DOI:
10.5055/ajdm.2015.0188
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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