Preparedness is an outstanding goal, but it is difficult to truly be prepared for a mass-casualty situation regardless of its nature. It is important to realize that no two training centers are the same. Residents are exposed to a large variety of surgical pathology in any surgical residency program. However, the amount of exposure they get to any specific specialty varies greatly between programs.
Our residents have the benefit of training in the setting of a busy Level One Trauma Center where they are routinely exposed to a high volume of critically injured patients. This experience teaches them the ability to triage and leads to confidence and competence in managing the acutely ill and injured patient. In addition to the hands-on direct patient care, we involve our residents in numerous simulation-based training exercises. We have weekly trauma drills with a simulated patient working with prehospital providers, the emergency department and the various support services. In addition, yearly we have a regional mass-casualty drill where we focus on preparing the trauma system for a variety of disaster situations. Our residents are directly involved in all of these training events. The residents’ involvement in simulated trauma training is essential to building teamwork, leadership, confidence and competence.