Combat Stress Overview

Combat Stress Overview


INSTRUCTOR: Heidi S. Kraft, Ph.D.; Clinical Director, PsychArmor Institute

TIME: 2 Hours

SERIES: 3 Course Series

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Combat Stress Overview is designed to provide a review of stress and pain, and how they relate to medical presentations of possible Veteran patients.  This 2-CME hour course reviews the stress response and how that relates to military-specific stressors that might present in the primary care or other medical setting.  Physicians will review the basic effects of combat stress on various brain function and differentiate the variations of combat stress injuries.  Finally, physicians will learn what invisible wounds of war are frequently seen by primary care or other medical providers who are treating pain and what kind of military experiences can lead to emotional suffering in Veterans.  The course will define rehabilitation with regard to current combat Veterans, and explain how providers who treat pain can be a gatekeeper for PTSD in combat Veterans. Physicians will gain insight to real stories about the pain and trauma some Veterans have experienced, in addition to demonstrating the importance of their roles as medical providers in this population.


  • Military & Veteran cultural competence
  • Traumatic Brain Injury
  • Combat Stress


Web-Based Training, Self-Study (Online)


2 Hours


2 Continuing Medical Education Credits

*Course must be completed to entirety for credit. No Partial credit is awarded.


02/10/2017 - 02/10/2018


This course is intended for MD/DPs MP/PA/Nurses




  • Define the three phases of stress response
  • Explain how chronic stress affects the stress response system in humans
  • List three vital parts of the brain involved in the regulation of the stress response when it is functioning normally
  • Describe the functional injury caused by trauma to at least one part of the brain
  • Identify why there are more physical wounds in surviving service members from current wars than we have seen in previous wars
  • Describe at least three types of invisible wounds often seen by providers who care for today's combat veterans
  • Explain why providers can be gatekeepers for PTSD in combat veterans
  • List some of the experiences of combat which can lead to emotional suffering in combat veterans


  1.  Length of Course: 2 Continuing Medical Education Credits/Hours
  2.  Review the materials on accreditation information, target audience, learning objectives and disclosure information
  3. Complete the entire self-study activity
  4. Complete the self-assessment and evaluation/claim form


This activity has been planned and implemented in accordance with the Essential Areas and policies of the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) through the joint providership of the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine and PsychArmor Institute. The University of California, San Diego School of Medicine is accredited by the ACCME to provide continuing education medical education for physicians. 

The University of California, San Diego School of Medicine designates this enduring material for a maximum of 2.0 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits™. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation activity.


This activity is in compliance with California Assembly Bill 1195 which requires continuing medical education activities with patient care components to include curriculum in the subjects of cultural and linguistic competency. Cultural competency is defined as a set of integrated attitudes, knowledge, and skills that enables health care professionals or organizations to care effectively for patients from diverse cultures, groups, and communities. Linguistic competency is defined as the ability of a physician or surgeon to provide patients who do not speak English or who have limited ability to speak English, direct communication in the patient’s primary language. Cultural and linguistic competency was incorporated into the planning of this activity. Additional resources can be found on the UCSD CME website at


A certificate of completion will be awarded to participants and accreditation records will be on file at PsychArmor Institute. In order to receive a certificate of completion from PsychArmor, you must register in PsychArmor's learning management system, attend 100% of the program and complete the evaluations as directed in PsychArmor's course. To enquire about CE's contact and provide your name, email, and license number.


It is the program participant's responsibility to ensure that this training is documented in the appropriate location according to his/her locally prescribed process.


  •  Understanding Stress - 60 minutes
  •  The Brain and Combat Stress- 30 minutes  
  • Pain as a Gatekeeper for Combat Trauma – 30 minutes


References are available for this course upon request at


  • Adobe Flash Player 10.x or higher
  • High speed internet
  • FireFox 17 or higher for PC users
  • Google Chrome for Mac users


It is the policy of the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine to ensure balance, independence ensure balance, independence, objectivity and scientific rigor. All persons involved in the selection, development and presentation of content are required to disclose any real or apparent conflicts of interest. All conflicts of interest will be resolved prior to an educational activity being delivered to learners through one of the following mechanisms 1) altering the financial relationship with the commercial interest, 2) altering the individual’s control over CME content about the products or services of the commercial interest, and/or 3) validating the activity content through independent peer review. All persons are also required to disclose any discussions of off label/unapproved uses of drugs or devices.   Persons who refuse or fail to disclose are disqualified from participating in the CME activity. Participants will be asked to evaluate whether the speaker's outside interests reflect a possible bias in the planning or presentation of the activity. This information is used to plan future activities.


The faculty, CME staff, editorial staff, peer reviewer, and CME committee reviewers do not have any relevant financial relationships to disclose. The views and opinions expressed in this activity are those of the faculty and do not necessarily reflect the views of the University of California, San Diego.

Off-label Disclosure: This educational activity may contain discussion of unlabeled and/or investigational uses of agents that are not approved by the FDA. Please consult the prescribing information for each product. The views and opinions expressed in this activity are those of the faculty and do not necessarily reflect the views of the University of California, San Diego.

View PsychArmor's Disclosure Statement, Grievance Policy & Accommodations