In the Field With Israelis Prepping for Disaster

Pictured left - American physicians work on a training mannequin with simulated poison gas and blast injuries at Israel's National Simulation Center in Tel Hashomer. The author is second from the left.

I recently returned from Israel where I, along with a dozen other American physicians, witnessed Israelis hoping for the best while preparing for the worst.

The program, now in its eighth year, is run by the Disaster Management Division of Israel's Ministry of Health in collaboration with the Israel Defense Forces' Surgeon General and American Physicians and Friends for Medicine in Israel.

At the height of the Palestinian intifada, American physicians started going to Israel to learn from colleagues as they coped with terror. Since then, their trauma expertise has gone mainstream in journals, conferences and meetings, saving military and civilian lives around the world. An Israeli-developed "bandage," for example, stopped Rep. Gabrielle Giffords' bleeding after she was shot early this year....

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