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Physician volunteers needed to support Haiti relief efforts

CHICAGO – The American Medical Association announced today its new Web site registry supported by the National Disaster Life Support (NDLS) that can easily coordinate the deployment of physicians who are willing to volunteer with federal and private sector response organizations in Haiti. Web site can be accessed and physicians can sign up at www.ama-assn.org/go/haiti-volunteer.

“While hospitals in Haiti have reported a decrease in emergency patients and hospitalizations since a week ago, the need for continued medical assistance is still significant,” said AMA President J. James Rohack, M.D. “As a result, the need for all physicians—within the disciplines of primary care, surgery and rehabilitation—will continue over the following months.”

The information physicians provide through the registry will be used specifically for disaster response deployment to Haiti, and it may also be used should future disasters occur around the world.

To help physician volunteers prepare for service, a free online training program from the AMA and the NDLS Education Consortium titled “Medical and public health responders: Prepare for the Haitian earthquake disaster relief efforts” is available. It will help physician volunteers gain a better understanding of the essential clinical and public health skills needed to manage individuals and populations affected by the earthquake. The program can be viewed at:http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/news/news/haiti-earthquake-response.shtml.

Also, physician volunteers may find value in the AMA’s Disaster Medicine and Public Health Preparedness journal. Several relevant articles are available to the public on the journal’s Web site www.dmphp.org. A webinar is also available for viewing.

“I encourage physicians to consider how they can help with this effort,” said Dr. Rohack. “Your efforts are deeply appreciated.”

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