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Are Belgian military students in medical sciences better educated in disaster medicine than their civilian colleagues?

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  • Are Belgian military students in medical sciences better educated in disaster medicine than their civilian colleagues?

    J R Army Med Corps. 2016 Jan 11. pii: jramc-2015-000563. doi: 10.1136/jramc-2015-000563. [Epub ahead of print]
    Are Belgian military students in medical sciences better educated in disaster medicine than their civilian colleagues?

    Mortelmans LJ1, Lievers J2, Dieltiens G3, Sabbe MB4.
    Author information

    Abstract

    INTRODUCTION:

    Historically, medical students have been deployed to care for disaster victims but may not have been properly educated to do so. A previous evaluation of senior civilian medical students in Belgium revealed that they are woefully unprepared. Based on the nature of their military training, we hypothesised that military medical students were better educated and prepared than their civilian counterparts for disasters. We evaluated the impact of military training on disaster education in medical science students.
    METHODS:

    Students completed an online survey on disaster medicine, training, and knowledge, tested using a mixed set of 10 theoretical and practical questions. The results were compared with those of a similar evaluation of senior civilian medical students.
    RESULTS:

    The response rate was 77.5%, mean age 23 years and 59% were males. Overall, 95% of military medical students received some chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear training and 22% took part in other disaster management training; 44% perceived it is absolutely necessary that disaster management should be incorporated into the regular curriculum. Self-estimated knowledge ranged from 3.75 on biological incidents to 4.55 on influenza pandemics, based on a 10-point scale. Intention to respond in case of an incident ranged from 7 in biological incidents to 7.25 in chemical incidents. The mean test score was 5.52; scores improved with educational level attained. A comparison of survey data from civilian senior medical master students revealed that, except for influenza pandemic, military students scored higher on knowledge and capability, even though only 27% of them were senior master students. Data on willingness to work are comparable between the two groups. Results of the question/case set were significantly better for the military students.
    CONCLUSIONS:

    The military background and training of these students makes them better prepared for disaster situations than their civilian counterparts.
    Published by the BMJ Publishing Group Limited. For permission to use (where not already granted under a licence) please go to http://www.bmj.com/company/products-...and-licensing/


    KEYWORDS:

    ACCIDENT & EMERGENCY MEDICINE; EDUCATION & TRAINING (see Medical Education & Training); MEDICAL EDUCATION & TRAINING

    PMID: 26759501 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]
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