Exam room conversations on reductions in AIDS/HIV and car crash deaths in previous decades gives Dr. Marian Betz hope that they can be a powerful force in firearm violence prevention. Betz, MD, MPH, an emergency physician and associate professor of emergency medicine at the University of Colorado School of Medicine, spoke recently to a crowd of physician advocates at the 2017 AMA State Legislative Strategy Conference attended by five OSMA physicians and staff leaders.

“Thinking about your [patients’] and what matters to them and what the firearm culture [in your area] is will be important in how you craft interventions,” Dr. Betz said. There are risk factors that indicate someone has an increased risk of experiencing a firearm-related injury and they can be addressed through interventions.  Dr. Betz shared these examples of the right questions when patients are at risk:

  • “What do you think about storing your guns offsite until the situation improves?”
  • “Have you thought about how to keep your kids safe around your guns?”
  • “Let’s talk about how to lower the risk of your boyfriend hurting or killing you.”
  • “I’m not saying you have to give up or dispose of your gun; we’re talking about safety.”

Read the full report from presentation at https://wire.ama-assn.org/delivering-care/gun-violence-use-public-health-approach-exam-room.  Last June, the AMA House of Delegates adopted policy declaring gun violence a “public health crisis”.

Source:  AMA Wire