Medical Training During the 2008/2009 Attack On Gaza

Start Page: 
End Page: 
Wednesday, June 27, 2012
Sunday, July 22, 2012
Dr. Haytham Qosa
Prof. Reg. Dennick
Catherine Hanies

Background: Medical education during wars and in conflict zones is not straightforward. On December 27th, 2008, Israel launched an attack on the Gaza Strip which lasted 22 days. At the end of the attack, aid agencies reported that Gaza ‘looks like an earthquake zone’. Doctors’ experiences during the attack on Gaza deserve special attention and research. Methods: In this study I explored perceptions of doctors in training about the work during the attack on Gaza. I surveyed nearly all trainers and trainees in training rogrammes of General Surgery and Anesthesia, with the help of the Palestine Medical Council in Gaza and by using an electronic questionnaire.Results: 71 doctors were surveyed and the general response rate was 67.6%. 84.3% of the surveyed doctors reported that they had had no communications with their programme directorates during the attack. Trainers and trainees agreed that the large number of injuries was the main problem they confronted. 71% of respondents considered that the attack had had a positive impact on their willingness to work and learn more.Conclusion & recommendation: Experience of Gazan doctors during the attack on Gaza has no significant difference from the experiences of doctors in other conflict areas. Some suggestions (administrative and educational) for future studies are recommended to improve the performance of the health sector in emergency situations in the Gaza Strip in particular and in the Palestinian Territories in general.