Augmenting the Disaster Healthcare Workforce
The problem is addressing various medical staffing challenges during COVID-19 such as: How many staff will we need? How do we provide them with emergency licenses and credentials to practice? What interstate licensing compacts and registration systems exist to facilitate the process? What caveats are there to using retired healthcare professionals and healthcare students? How can we best avoid attrition among and increase the numbers of international medical graduates? Which non-clinical volunteers can we use and in what capacities?
Who- Healthcare workers in the United States, specifically retired practitioners, medical students, volunteers, and internationally educated professionals
What- Emergency registration, licensing, and credentialing of medical staff needed for the COVID-19 response. Additionally, the use of emergency medical teams/ military to supplement healthcare workers
When- Early in the pandemic (Feburary-April, 2020)
Where- United States
How- Re-certification of retired doctors, fast-tracking graduation for medical students, use of non-medical volunteers to support health systems
  • Return of retirees
  • Fast-track trainees
  • Licensure flexibility
  • Draw upon internationally educated health personnel
  • Cross-sector staff deployments
  • Fast-track internationally educated health personnel
  • Interjurisdictional mobility
  • Cross-sector deployment
  • Nurse Practitioners*
  • Nurse Specialists*
  • Nurses - Licensed Practical
  • Nurses - Registered
  • Paramedics
  • Physicians - Emergency
  • Physicians - Intensive Care
  • Physicians - Primary/Family
  • Physicians - Specialists
  • Respiratory Therapists
  • Students
  • Volunteers
No specific setting- overview of various locations within the United States and their response to emergency situations such as COVID-19
  • Emergency Medical Services
  • Hospitals
As of 2020, 18 states and the District of Columbia have enacted UEVHPA, which allows them to recognize out-of state licenses for a variety of health practitioners during a state of declared emergency. FSMB is offering free access to its PDC
Interstate licensing issues, lack of sufficient staffing
Informal Strategy
Iserson, K. (2020). Augmenting the Disaster Healthcare Workforce. WestJEM 21.3 May Issue, 21(3).
Kenneth V. Iserson
The University of Arizona
United States
Published Literature

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