Toward an International Paramedic Research Agenda

Brian J Maguire, Peter O'Meara, Andy Newton



Around the world the emergency medical services (EMS) profession has made tremendous strides over recent decades. We have become more professional, have a rapidly growing proportion of paramedics who are university qualified, our practice has become more evidence-based, and a growing number of paramedics are completing graduate-level programs and going on to conduct their own research. As a profession we have much to celebrate when we consider these accomplishments.

In some ways we are also following in the footsteps of other professions that have developed along similar pathways. A century ago physicians were trained in hospital basements and practiced procedures that had little evidence to ensure their quality or effectiveness. A half century ago nurses were largely trained in hospital basements and again had little research to justify their practices. Members of those professions recognized that the only way out of the basement was through the university. Members of those and other health professions took it upon themselves to make a university degree a requirement to enter practice. They recognized that a university degree was a key requirement of professionalism. Today we could not imagine a physician without a university degree and almost all new nurses and allied health professionals are now graduates of university programs.


research; paramedic; prehospital; paramedicine; profession

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