The last one to fall down
“They say a doctor will be the last one to fall down”
A key motivation for going into medicine is to be part of a profession that makes a difference: to ease suffering; to remedy disease; and, of course, to save lives. Nowhere is this borne out with more immediacy than in the wake of a disaster when healthcare professionals’ skills and expertise are needed here, now.
How is it possible to prepare for a major natural disaster? And what of the ripple effect of a disaster—the immediate aftermath is obviously crucial, but what about the ongoing medical care and expertise required, stretching into weeks, months, and years. How does this affect day-to-day healthcare and the overall healthcare landscape? And what is the psychological effect of a disaster, both on patients and medics?
Mention natural disasters and the mind’s eye plays a slideshow of recent events: Hurricane Sandy; the Japanese tsunami and nuclear disaster; the devastating earthquakes in New Zealand; the floods