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Viewpoint |

Physician Counseling on Firearm Safety A New Kind of Cultural Competence

Marian E. Betz, MD, MPH1; Garen J. Wintemute, MD, MPH2
[+] Author Affiliations
1Department of Emergency Medicine, University of Colorado School of Medicine, Denver, Colorado
2Violence Prevention Research Program, Department of Emergency Medicine, University of California-Davis, Sacramento, California
JAMA. 2015;314(5):449-450. doi:10.1001/jama.2015.7055.
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This Viewpoint discusses the need for physicians to develop cultural competence in firearm safety counseling as a strategy to improve patient and public health.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that 33 636 deaths and 84 258 nonfatal injuries from firearms occurred in the United States in 2013.1 Physician counseling concerning gun safety has been identified as a key component of the prevention of firearm injury and deaths.2 However, recently proposed or enacted state laws that are perceived as restricting physicians’ conversations with patients about firearms have spurred debates about the role of physicians in preventing firearm injury and death. In response, medical, legal, and public health organizations published a statement defending freedom in the physician-patient relationship and the right for physicians to be able to speak openly with patients about firearm safety.3

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The American Medical Association is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education to provide continuing medical education for physicians. The AMA designates this journal-based CME activity for a maximum of 1 AMA PRA Category 1 CreditTM per course. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity. Physicians who complete the CME course and score at least 80% correct on the quiz are eligible for AMA PRA Category 1 CreditTM.
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