EM1802I “The Internist’s Role in the Gun Violence Public Health Crisis” (IM GR-022318)

Approximately 96 people are killed every day in the United States with a firearm. Firearm-related death is the third leading cause of death for children and adolescents and the 13th leading overall cause of death. The majority of firearm deaths are suicides followed by homicides and unintentional injury. Firearm-related death and injury cost an estimated 42 billion dollars per year in medical costs and lost wages. This presents a public health crisis and merits a physician response. Internists have a role in better understanding firearm violence through research, identifying patients at risk of firearm violence, counseling patients on firearm violence with a specific focus on reducing lethal means in suicide and providing patients with practical knowledge on firearm safety. Finally, internists have a potential role providing evidence-based information to inform public policy on firearms.

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Target Audience

UT Southwestern faculty, fellows, residents, and medical students, community physicians, nurse clinicians, physician assistants and nurses.

Learning Objectives

At the conclusion of this activity, the participant should be able to:

  • Identify firearm public health crisis.
  • Understand the role of firearms in suicide and the importance of lethal means reduction.
  • Describe potential roles for internists in addressing the firearm public health crisis including: research, identification of patients at risk of firearm violence, providing firearm counseling with practical knowledge to decrease firearm harm risk and participation in firearm public policy formation.
Course summary
Available credit: 
  • 1.00 AMA
  • 1.00 Ethics
Course opens: 
Course expires: 

Photo: Catherine Chen, M.D. Stephanie Brinker, M.D. 
Assistant Professor of Internal Medicine
Division of General Internal Medicine

Dr. Stephanie K. Brinker graduated from UT Houston Medical School in 2008, and then completed her internal medicine residency training at Southwestern in 2011. She stayed at Southwestern for a research fellowship in Hypertension and joined the faculty in 2013 in the Division of General Internal Medicine. She practices primary care medicine in the Solomon General Internal Medicine Clinic and works in undergraduate medical education as the co-director of the Internal Medicine Clerkship. She also serves as a mentor of the medical school’s Colleges course. Dr. Brinker’s most important and cherished role is of mother to her two children, Charles and Beatrice. She grew up in a home containing firearms and learned to shoot at age six. A childhood dream was to compete in the Biathlon in the Olympics.

Available Credit

  • 1.00 AMA
  • 1.00 Ethics


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