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International Disaster and Emergency Medicine Program

The goals of the Division of International Disaster and Emergency Medicine (DIDEM) within the Department of Emergency Medicine at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center are to work with a broad spectrum of international partners to:

  • build local capacity for emergency medical care delivery and disaster medical response around the world
  • advance the specialties of disaster and emergency medicine worldwide
  • provide high-level continuing medical education in DM and EM for the international medical community

What are we all about?

Curriculum development

  • AIHA prehospital curriculum
  • AIHA FR curriculum
  • UNDMTP training module on Response to Terrorism - wrote and developed a new training module on responding to terrorist actions for use within the UN system for training in country personnel.
  • Italian Emergency Medicine Curriculum - collaboration with the Tuscany Ministry of Health and University of Florence Medical School to develop a prototype single-specialty emergency medicine curriculum and training program, based on the U.S. model, to replace the current multi-specialty EM model employed in Italy, 3-year program, DIDEM staff based in Florence w/ other faculty sent for short periods.
  • Short Immersion program in Emergency Medicine - one month curriculum developed in conjunction with the Italy program where small groups (12?) of decision makers, medical education leaders from countries interested in expanding their capacity for emergency medical care delivery receive an intensive exposure to all aspects of Academic emergency medicine department operations; clinical aspects of EM, education, research, administration, prehospital, etc.

Implementation of these curricula

  • Development of a network of 16 regional emergency medical and disaster training centers located in 11 countries throughout the former Soviet Union. Since the inception of this network in 1994, over 35,000 physicians, nurses, paramedics and first responders have been trained using this curricula. This on-going work has been carried out in conjunction with AIHA with funding from the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID).
  • TOT course for FR curriculum - T'bilisi, Georgia
  • Italian Emergency Medicine residency program

Educational Programming involving other curricula (ACLS, etc.)

  • Honduras ACLS program
  • Almaty, Khazakhstan training program in ACLS/ATLS)

Continuing medical education conferences - an important tool for expanding emergency medical care delivery and promoting the specialty of emergency medicine is the CME/professional conference. We routinely work with conference organizers to insure high quality educational conferences

  • Stresa 2001
  • Iceland 2002
  • Florence disaster conference
  • Torino disaster conference
  • Barcelona 2003
  • Rome airway conference

Leadership / Advocacy

  • Commander - DMAT-MA-2
  • Steering Committee - International section, American College of Emergency Physicians
  • EMS/Disaster medicine task force - AIHA

Research interests

  • Characterizing the nature of emergency medical care delivery systems in different countries around the world.
  • Developing research tools to assess quality of care and effectiveness of different strategies for emergency medical care delivery.

DIDEM has also collaborated with the International Atomic Energy Agency on educational projects.

What Services do we Provide?

  1. Development of specialized educational curricula in the areas of disaster and emergency medicine
  2. Short courses in EM topics (i.e. ACLS, ATLS, PALS, etc. or customized courses in areas where we have expertise, i.e. difficult airway management) - we can run these courses at the client's facility, or alternatively can bring course participants to our training facilities here at BIDMC/Harvard and run courses here.
  3. Immersion Program in EM - at BIDMC/Harvard where your group can receive intensive exposure to all aspects of EM in an academic setting.
  4. Large programs - collaboration with governmental/regional educational institutions to develop large scale EM training programs (similar to Florence program).
  5. Fellowship/-observer-ship- programs in EM - for non-U.S. physicians who wish to gain advanced training/exposure to EM at a leading academic medical center in the U.S. (all cases are handled on individual basis, with opportunities for clinical exposure dependent on the individuals medical licensure status in the U.S.).
  6. Medical student electives - we offer opportunities for medical students from outside the U.S. to participate in our medical student electives (dependent on approval of Director of Medical student electives).
  7. Continuing medical education conferences - we can assist in developing national or regional CME conferences, assist in obtaining high profile speakers.

We continue to seek collaborative relationships with other organizations and institutions committed to these same goals.