Massachusetts Medical Society: Resident and Fellow Survey on Emergency Response Programs

Resident and Fellow Survey on Emergency Response Programs

The Massachusetts Medical Society's Committee on Preparedness was recently interested in ascertaining resident and fellow physician interest and involvement in volunteering for a public health emergency or disaster. In order to get a better understanding of residents and fellows interest and involvement in volunteering for emergency response programs, the Society conducted an email survey to residents and fellows this past October. A total of 208 residents and fellows responded to the survey, representing more than 15 different medical specialties.  Several important conclusions can be drawn from the responses to the survey. 

First, although many residents and fellows are not currently involved with emergency response programs, more than 80 percent of respondents indicated that they have interest in being part of a volunteer emergency response system in Massachusetts.  As the following chart shows, the two most important factors that residents and fellows consider when deciding to volunteer are flexibility with their work schedule and the scale or scope of an emergency.

Figure 1: What factors are most important to you when considering volunteering?


While the majority of survey respondents indicated a desire to participate in emergency response programs, 36 percent indicated that they would be interested in administering seasonal flu vaccines in clinics.  Furthermore, just over half, 55 percent, of respondents indicates that they would be interested in assisting with point of dispensing exercises in a mass clinic setting. 

Additionally, despite the high level of interest in participating in emergency response programs, 88 percent of respondents were not currently registered with a program at the time of the survey, as shown below.

Figure 2: Are you currently a registered volunteer for an emergency response program?


Of those respondents who were not registered with a program, 86 percent indicated that they were unaware of current programs, 29 percent indicated that their work schedules and time constraints prevented their involvement, and 12 percent indicated that they were unsure of how to get involved.  Despite the low level of involvement, 93 percent of respondents indicated that they would like to receive training for emergency preparedness and disaster response. Of those who would like to receive training, 58 percent expressed an interest in receiving training through both online courses or webinars and live events. 





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