Military Medical Students Learn to Care for Combat Injured

Article ID: 594913

Released: 15-Oct-2012 5:35 PM EDT

Source Newsroom: Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences (USU)

  • Credit: Photo by Ken Frager

    Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences medical students participate in "Operation Bushmaster," a field training exercise for fourth-year students.

Newswise — The F. Edward Hébert School of Medicine of the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences (USU) in Bethesda, Maryland, is a typical academic health center, but with a very unique focus – to educate young men and women who are dedicated to career service in the Department of Defense and the United States Public Health Service. USU is often referred to as the "West Point of Military Medicine" and graduates go on to serve as doctors in the Army, Navy, Air Force and Public Health Service, caring for patients on the front lines of combat, disaster areas worldwide, on humanitarian missions, aboard ship, in airborne critical care units, and in military treatment facilities throughout the nation and the world, including Landstuhl Regional Medical Center and Walter Reed National Military Medical Center.

Over the next week and a half, more than 350 medical and advanced practice nursing students from USU will be experiencing the demands of caring for patients in a simulated combat environment during simultaneous field training exercises to be held at Fort Indiantown Gap, Pa.

“Operation Bushmaster” will expose fourth-year medical students and graduate-level nurse practitioner students to the challenges of delivering medical care in support of warfighting, peacekeeping and humanitarian-assistance operations. Meanwhile, “FTX-101” will give first-year medical students their first tactical training in a field environment. It is exercises such as these, along with our unique curriculum, that help turn our students into strong clinicians and leaders. For example:

- Dr. Jonathan Clark, the medical director for the Red Bull Stratos Team, featuring daredevil Felix Baumgartner, who parachuted 24 miles down from a balloon at the edge of space, breaking the speed of sound, graduated from USU.

- One-fourth of all active duty military doctors currently serving are educated at this same university.

- More physicians assigned to the White House medical unit have graduated from USU than from any other medical school in the nation.

- What do the chief physician to the Secretary of Defense, the Chief Medical Officer of the FBI, the Chief Medical Officer for Safeway, the former special assistant to the President of the United States for homeland security and senior director for biological defense policy, the trauma surgeon responsible for saving Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords’ life, and the Surgeon General of the United States Air Force all have in common? They are all graduates of USU.

- The vast majority of the physicians responsible for overseeing medical care to the nation’s special operations forces, like Navy SEALS, Army Rangers, and Air Force Pararescue (PJs), graduated from this university.

Any reporters interested in covering the exercise to see what distinguishes USU from other medical schools, and to see how USU prepares students to take care of patients under circumstances that in no way resemble ordinary healthcare practice in an office, hospital or emergency room, but in situations they are likely to face under challenging or catastrophic conditions, please email or call (301) 295-3578. Available dates are either October 18th or October 24, which includes an evening mass casualty exercise.


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