Hurricane Katrina: medical students and trainee doctors caught up in chaos
The devastation unleashed by hurricanes Katrina and Rita plunged many peoples' lives into chaos. The training of medical students and doctors was not spared. Douglas P Olson investigates
More than 2000 medical students, doctors in training, and graduate students were among those affected on 29 August as hurricane Katrina hit the US coast near New Orleans, Louisiana, as a category 4 storm. Katrina is the strongest hurricane to hit the US mainland since 1969. The hurricane brought 140 mile an hour (225 km an hour) winds and considerable flooding to the city and its environs, causing extensive damage to people and property.
Although New Orleans's well known sobriquet the Big Easy suggests capricious times and enjoyment, the weeks after the storm have been anything but easy at Tulane and Louisiana State universities. Medical trainees lost nearly everything books, cars, clothes, and a year of medical education.
Students and junior doctors,