t is vital in today’s world, where natural and man-made disasters are a frequent global concern, that medical students be trained to respond to bioterrorism, nuclear bomb explosion or destructive weather events. It has been said that no matter how devastating an event, it will always begin in someone’s neighborhood, and the local medical and health care establishment will always be part of the initial response team. Natural Disasters have become a more frequent occurrence and medical students must be prepared to effectively respond to these devastating events with minimal resources available. VCOM recognized this need. The first accreditation application was submitted on Sept. 12, 2001, just one day following the world trade center attack. More recently, disaster occurred in VCOM’s neighborhood.
The United States, like most nations, is ill prepared to cope with a bioterrorism attack. Whether the goal of any attacking agency is to disrupt the dynamics of the United States by introducing a highly contagious disease organism, or a nuclear weapon attack, the likelihood of a national attack remains high. In the words of Cham Dallas, CMAAD of the CDC director and professor at the University of Georgia College of Pharmacy, “We need to substantially increase our preparation.”