Brief Comparative Analysis of Trauma Care Specialties in Europe and the United States

Capt Christopher D. Biedrzycki, Lt Col Harald P. Bergmann, COL Kyle N. Remick, Zaffer Qasim, COL Jay B. Baker

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Understanding the variation in training and nuances of trauma provider practice between the countries in Europe and the United States is a daunting task. This article briefly reviews the key specialties of trauma care in Europe including emergency medical services (EMS), emergency medicine, anesthesia, trauma surgery, and critical care. The authors hope to inform U.S. military clinicians and medical planners of the major differences in emergency and trauma care that exist across Europe. Emergency medicine exists as both a primary specialty and a subspecialty across Europe, with varying stages of development as a specialty in each country. There is heavy physician involvement in EMS in much of Europe, with anesthesiologists having additional EMS training typically providing prehospital critical care. Because of the historical predominance of blunt trauma in Europe, in many countries, trauma surgery is a subspecialty with initial orthopedic surgery training versus general surgery. Intensive care medicine has various training pathways across Europe, but there have been great advances in standardizing competency requirements across the European Union. Finally, the authors suggest some strategies to mitigate the potential negative consequences of joint medical teams and how to leverage some key differences to advance life-saving medical interoperability across the North Atlantic Treaty Organization alliance.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)305-309
Number of pages5
JournalMilitary Medicine
Issue number11-12
StatePublished - 1 Nov 2023
Externally publishedYes


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