Conversations in disaster medicine and public health: The profession

Frederick M. Burkle

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Using historical and research examples of disaster and crisis science, I argue here for the professionalization of disaster medicine and public health as a unique and essential discipline in support of global public health security. Questions about clinical competencies of providers and reports of unacceptable practices and the limited scope of guidelines for foreign medical teams have persisted for years. The professionalization movement endorses a standard route to certification through the completion of a competency-based curriculum, demonstrating competency through examination or experience to produce a learning and development portfolio, document competency through the acquisition of experience and added training, and develop professional associations. These programs devise certification criteria for entry, mid-level, and higher level candidates who serve in domestic and global humanitarian crises.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)5-11
Number of pages7
JournalDisaster medicine and public health preparedness
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • crisis and disaster science
  • disaster medicine
  • foreign medical teams
  • professionalization
  • public health

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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