Emergency preparedness for residency/fellowship programs: Lessons learned during Hurricane Katrina and applied during Hurricane Ike

Fred G. Donini-Lenhoff, Paul H. Rockey, Patricia M. Surdyk, Jeanne K. Heard, Thomas A. Blackwell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Scopus citations


When it struck the US Gulf Coast in 2005, Hurricane Katrina severely disrupted many graduate medical education residency/fellowship programs in the region and the training of hundreds of residents/fellows. Despite the work of the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education in responding to this natural disaster and facilitating communication and transfer of residents/fellows to other unaffected training programs, the storm exposed the gaps in the existing system. Subsequently, the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education, with the aid of its member organizations, including the American Medical Association, developed a new disaster recovery plan to allow for a more rapid, effective response to future catastrophic events. These policies were instrumental in the rapid relocation of 597 residents/fellows from the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston after the landfall of Hurricane Ike in September 2008. As a further accommodation to affected trainees, medical certification boards should be as flexible as possible in waiving continuity requirements in the event of a disaster that affects residency/fellowship programs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)S71-S74
JournalDisaster Medicine and Public Health Preparedness
Issue numberSUPPL. 1
StatePublished - Sep 1 2010



  • Accrediting agency
  • Emergency preparedness
  • Graduate medical education
  • Residency/fellowship

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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