Medical students' participation in the 2009 novel H1N1 influenza vaccination administration: Policy alternatives for effective student utilization to enhance surge capacity in disasters

Heather E. Kaiser, Daniel J Barnett, Awori J. Hayanga, Meghan E. Brown, Andrew T. Filak

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


As cases of 2009 novel H1N1 influenza became prevalent in Cincinnati, Ohio, Hamilton County Public Health called upon the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine to enhance its surge capacity in vaccination administration. Although the collaboration was well organized, it became evident that a system should exist for medical students' involvement in disaster response and recovery efforts in advance of a disaster. Therefore, 5 policy alternatives for effective utilization of medical students in disaster-response efforts have been examined: maintaining the status quo, enhancing the Medical Reserve Corps, creating medical school-based disaster-response units, using students within another selected disaster-response organization, or devising an entirely new plan for medical students' utilization. The intent of presenting these policy alternatives is to foster a policy dialogue around creating a more formalized approach for integrating medical students into disaster surge capacity-enhancement strategies. Using medical students to supplement the current and future workforce may help substantially in achieving goals related to workforce requirements. Discussions will be necessary to translate policy into practice.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)150-153
Number of pages4
JournalDisaster Medicine and Public Health Preparedness
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2011



  • 2009 H1N1 influenza
  • Disaster workforce
  • Immunization
  • Medical student
  • Surge capacity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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