Importance of Bioterrorism Preparedness for Family Physicians

Published in: American Family Physician, Vol. 67, No. 9, May 1, 2003, Editorial, p. 1877-1878

Posted on RAND.org on January 01, 2003

by Helga Rippen, Elin Gursky, Michael A. Stoto

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The article points out that family physicians may be well positioned to recognize bioterrorist attacks and expedite response. In the event that these agents are used, family physicians' clinical knowledge and skills can make the difference between a localized outbreak and widespread disease transmission, between lower and higher rates of morbidity and mortality, and between panic and an effective community response. Family physicians and other primary care clinicians have a critical responsibility to the community in terms of prevention, detection, treatment, and education before, during, and after a terrorist event. To fulfill their responsibilities, family physicians should cooperate with local health departments to ensure a proper medical response to such outbreaks.

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