Primary Care Physicians: an Untapped Resource for Disaster Response

  • Michelle Pintea
  • Deanna Dahl GroveEmail author
Disaster Medicine (M Anderson and M Dingeldein, Section Editors)


Purpose of review

The importance of the primary care physicians (PCP) role in disaster preparedness can often be overlooked by communities, organizations, and physicians themselves. Understanding how PCP is currently trained to respond to a disaster can help to ensure knowledge in disaster preparedness and their response to disasters in the future.

Recent findings

Even as disasters continue to be a part of daily life, studies have shown that there continues to be a lack of preparedness on the physician’s part to respond due to insufficient training. The willingness and eagerness of physicians to help exists; however, there is a disconnect between the larger federal organizations, local organizations and the physician’s role in the planning, implementation, and response to a disaster.


It continues to be imperative that physicians, starting in their training years, become familiar with disaster preparedness and build the confidence to lead or take part in response. Moving forward, medical schools, residency programs, and continuing medical education courses need to focus and capitalize on the sense of responsibility physicians have toward patients and families and give them the tools that they need to become familiar and confident in creating a role for themselves in disaster preparedness.


Primary care physicians Disaster preparedness Disaster response Training 


Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Human and Animal Rights and Informed Consent

This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects performed by any of the authors.

References and Recommended Reading

Papers of particular interest, published recently, have been highlighted as: • Of importance •• Of major importance

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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University Hospitals Rainbow Babies and Children’s HospitalCase Western Reserve University, School of MedicineClevelandUSA

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