Operational medicine is a concept that describes an approach to contextual-based medical practice outside the realm of the hospital infrastructure. Contexts for operational medical essentials include disaster response medicine, wilderness medicine, international medicine, as well as traditional pre-hospital medicine and derivatives of emergency medical services (EMS).
Operational medicine includes medical care capability that exists as an integral component of a primarily non-medical emergency response resource.
The concept of operational medicine unifies seemingly distinct fields of interest, but with several common denominators. Operational Medicine includes healthcare provided in unconventional settings where important resources may be significantly restricted. These resources could include limited supplies, expertise, time, location, or climate extremes.