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 on January 01, 2003

by Helga Rippen, Elin Gursky, Michael A. Stoto

Read More

Access further information on this document at

This article was published outside of RAND. The full text of the article can be found at the link above.

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.

This report is part of the RAND Corporation External publication series. Many RAND studies are published in peer-reviewed scholarly journals, as chapters in commercial books, or as documents published by other organizations.

Our mission to help improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis is enabled through our core values of quality and objectivity and our unwavering commitment to the highest level of integrity and ethical behavior. To help ensure our research and analysis are rigorous, objective, and nonpartisan, we subject our research publications to a robust and exacting quality-assurance process; avoid both the appearance and reality of financial and other conflicts of interest through staff training, project screening, and a policy of mandatory disclosure; and pursue transparency in our research engagements through our commitment to the open publication of our research findings and recommendations, disclosure of the source of funding of published research, and policies to ensure intellectual independence. For more information, visit

The RAND Corporation is a nonprofit institution that helps improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis. RAND's publications do not necessarily reflect the opinions of its research clients and sponsors.