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The Conversation: Michael Hirsh makes case for physician role in stemming gun fatalities

UMMS professor touts gun buyback program, gun safety education

UMass Medical School Communications

noviembre 28, 2018
  Michael Hirsh, MD

Michael Hirsh, MD

As the United States grapples with a rising number of shooting deaths, trauma surgeon Michael Hirsh, MD, professor of surgery and pediatrics at UMass Medical School, said doctors must take an active role in addressing the crisis, in a new opinion piece published Nov. 28 in The Conversation. Dr. Hirsh co-founded Goods for Guns, the gun buyback program in Worcester, and he has been integral in expanding the program across New England and the country.

“As physicians and surgeons on the front lines, many of my colleagues and I feel that it is no longer acceptable to treat this problem like our trauma team is a MASH unit,” Hirsh said. “We have an obligation and an opportunity to reach out and speak out, and my hope is the country is listening. Because this is indeed our lane.”

Hirsh, who launched Goods for Guns in 2001, advocates for others to adopt the program and to do a better job of educating the public about the need for gun safety.

“In my hometown of Worcester, Massachusetts, working out of the UMass Memorial Medical Center, our multi-pronged approach to gun safety education coupled with the gun buyback has given us the distinction of having the lowest-penetrating trauma rate in New England,” he said. “In calendar year 2017, we had zero firearm fatalities, down from five the year before.”

Read the full Conversation piece at: Forget lanes – we all need to head together toward preventing firearm injury

Related link on UMassMedNow:
National Gun Buyback Day debuts Dec. 16, as Goods for Guns expands