Following the shooting deaths of four individuals at Chicago’s Mercy Hospital & Medical Center on Nov. 19, the American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP) President Vidor Friedman, MD, FACEP, issued a statement expressing exasperation about gun violence but also pledging to redouble the organization’s efforts “at what is unfortunately becoming a regular occurrence in our nation.”
Friedman said ACEP would continue to work with others across the emergency response continuum to reduce potentially preventable deaths and disability from violent incidents. To that end, he said the organization supports research regarding the effectiveness of extreme risk protection orders and gun violence restraining orders as well as related legislation aimed at preventing gun violence. In fact, Friedman said ACEP will convene public health and injury prevention experts “to review the current state of research and legislation regarding firearm violence to make recommendations to our board of directors.”
New Resource for Providers
Also, the American Medical Association (AMA) is acting to address gun violence. On Dec. 12, the group unveiled a new continuing medical education online module aimed at providing physicians with the knowledge and preparation to effectively counsel patients on firearm safety.
Specifically, the module is targeted to emergency and primary care providers to help them recognize the risk factors that increase the potential for firearm injuries and deaths and understand how to communicate with patients to reduce such risks.
“Injury and death from firearms is a major public health crisis. Yet, while we know there is a very real need for firearm injury prevention among patients, the majority of physicians are not taught how to screen and counsel their patients on firearm safety,” noted AMA President Barbara L. McAneny, MD, in a statement released by the group. “The AMA developed this education module to ensure more physicians are prepared to confidently and effectively communicate with their patients about firearm safety. We encourage all physicians to openly talk with high-risk patients about firearm safety. Doing so will go a long way toward addressing this public health crisis, helping prevent unnecessary firearm-related injuries and saving lives.”
The AMA reports that the module presents three scenarios to help physicians determine the best approach for interacting with patients: a patient at risk of suicide, a patient dealing with domestic violence, and parents in pediatric settings.