State requirements for physician emergency medical services providers

Fullagar, Christopher Jason, Prasad, N. Heramba, Brown, Lawrence H., and Anaya, Nelson (2010) State requirements for physician emergency medical services providers. Prehospital Emergency Care, 14 (2). pp. 164-166.

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Abstract

Objective To describe requirements of physicians wishing to function as primary field emergency medical services (EMS) providers and variation of these requirements among states.

Methods A simple mailed survey was developed and distributed to all 50 U.S. state EMS directors. The survey gathered information about each state’s regulations concerning physicians performing as a primary EMS crewmember. Data were entered into a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet and reported using simple descriptive statistics, including proportions and 95% confidence intervals (CIs).

Results Forty-four (88%) of the states responded. In 32 states (73%), physicians can work as a primary member of either a basic life support (BLS) or an advanced life support (ALS) ambulance crew without any specific additional training. In 30 states (68%), physicians can work as a primary member of either a BLS or an ALS ambulance crew without any specific prehospital certification. All of the reporting states will allow a physician to become certified as an emergency medical technician (EMT) or paramedic and then work as a primary member of a BLS or ALS ambulance crew. Seventy-nine percent allow the provision of physician-level care on BLS ambulances, and 81% on ALS ambulances. There was no meaningful difference between the training requirements for becoming a certified BLS provider vs. a certified ALS provider. States were significantly less likely to require a skills examination of physicians wishing to become certified as a BLS provider (9%) compared with those wishing to become certified as an ALS provider (82%).

Conclusion Most states allow physicians to become certified prehospital care providers, although few states require physicians wishing to work as a primary EMS provider to do so, or even to undergo any specific EMS training. There is no national standardization of the preparatory requirements of physicians wishing to provide in-field EMS.

Item ID: 15939
Item Type: Article (Refereed Research - C1)
Keywords: emergency medical services; physician’s role; certification; ambulances
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ISSN: 1545-0066
Date Deposited: 28 Apr 2011 03:49
FoR Codes: 11 MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES > 1103 Clinical Sciences > 110305 Emergency Medicine @ 50%
11 MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES > 1117 Public Health and Health Services > 111708 Health and Community Services @ 50%
SEO Codes: 92 HEALTH > 9202 Health and Support Services > 920299 Health and Support Services not elsewhere classified @ 50%
92 HEALTH > 9204 Public Health (excl. Specific Population Health) > 920499 Public Health (excl. Specific Population Health) not elsewhere classified @ 50%
Citation Count from Web of Science Web of Science 2
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