Academic Psychiatry

, Volume 40, Issue 5, pp 821–824 | Cite as

What is Taught on Firearm Safety in Undergraduate, Graduate, and Continuing Medical Education? A Review of Educational Programs

  • R. Puttagunta
  • T. R. CoverdaleEmail author
  • J. Coverdale
In Brief Report



Because there have been no published formal reviews on teaching of firearm safety, we set out to systematically locate and review the literature on curricula that educated physicians and other health care providers, residents across specialties, and medical students on how to counsel on firearm safety.


We searched for all papers with outcomes that described firearm safety training programs for healthcare providers and trainees. Studies were identified through PubMed, Scopus, Google Scholar, PsychInfo, EMBASE, and MedEdPortal databases and electronically searched using combinations of words from general topic areas of firearms, learners, and education.


We found four programs that met inclusion criteria. These targeted a narrow range of learners including medical students, pediatric residents, practicing pediatricians, and nurse practitioners. Teaching methods included lectures, case-based learning, group discussions, and audiotape training. There were two randomized controlled trials, one cohort design, and one posttest design. One of the randomized controlled trials was an office-based high quality multisite national study, although the focus of teaching was not on firearm safety alone. All studies used different outcomes, and only one study validated the outcome measures. There were no studies targeting psychiatrists or psychiatry residents.


These results underscore a priority for developing firearm safety education programs in undergraduate, graduate, and continuing medical education settings.


Firearm safety Teaching Medical professionals and trainees Gun violence 


Compliance with Ethical Standards


On behalf of all authors, the corresponding author states that there is no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Academic Psychiatry 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Baylor College of MedicineHoustonUSA
  2. 2.Trinity UniversitySan AntonioUSA

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