The 2023 Model Core Content of Disaster Medicine

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date



Prehospital and disaster medicine




Disaster Medicine; curriculum; education


INTRODUCTION: Disaster Medicine (DM) is the clinical specialty whose expertise includes the care and management of patients and populations outside conventional care protocols. While traditional standards of care assume the availability of adequate resources, DM practitioners operate in situations where resources are not adequate, necessitating a modification in practice. While prior academic efforts have succeeded in developing a list of core disaster competencies for emergency medicine residency programs, international fellowships, and affiliated health care providers, no official standardized curriculum or consensus has yet been published to date for DM fellowship programs based in the United States. STUDY OBJECTIVE: The objective of this work is to define the core curriculum for DM physician fellowships in the United States, drawing consensus among existing DM fellowship directors. METHODS: A panel of DM experts was created from the members of the Council of Disaster Medicine Fellowship Directors. This council is an independent group of DM fellowship directors in the United States that have met annually at the American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP)'s Scientific Assembly for the last eight years with meeting support from the Disaster Preparedness and Response Committee. Using a modified Delphi technique, the panel members revised and expanded on the existing Society of Academic Emergency Medicine (SAEM) DM fellowship curriculum, with the final draft being ratified by an anonymous vote. Multiple publications were reviewed during the process to ensure all potential topics were identified. RESULTS: The results of this effort produced the foundational curriculum, the 2023 Model Core Content of Disaster Medicine. CONCLUSION: Members from the Council of Disaster Medicine Fellowship Directors have developed the 2023 Model Core Content for Disaster Medicine in the United States. This living document defines the foundational curriculum for DM fellowships, providing the basis of a standardized experience, contributing to the development of a board-certified subspecialty, and informing fellowship directors and DM practitioners of content and topics that may appear on future certification examinations.


Emergency Medicine