Nowhere else in the medical world will you encounter as many challenges to grow as a leader as in the operational world of the U. This was no slim task, and this is the reason my heart was pounding that morning, and continues to pound to this day.
For medical coverage, most ships and submarines have an independent duty corpsman (IDC) as their top medical provider.
There are also operational positions available on ships and with the Marines.
Having been with a Special Operations Dive Unit previously, my sights were set on getting back into the operational world of the Navy.
The number one priority for our department is to maintain readiness, ensuring that all of our Sailors are physically ready and healthy to deploy.
This means making sure all immunizations are up to date, preventive screenings have been done, and fitness is maintained.
Palms sweating, heart beating fast, orders in hand, I stepped onto the brow of the mighty warship. ” remarked the Officer of the Deck, rendering a crisp salute. A little over two years prior, it had been my goal to get a firm foundation in primary care medicine before returning to the fleet, and the Family Medicine Residency program at Naval Hospital Camp Pendleton did this and more.
The medical facility of which I am in charge reflects that- six operating rooms, 17 bed intensive care unit, and a 47 bed patient ward.
Literally the first day I checked in to the command, we got underway to support San Francisco Fleet Week.
And on that very first day, I had my first medical evacuation situation and a very serious mental health case. There is no doubt about it, the transition to being a medical officer in the operational Navy from the medical training environment of the hospital, is a tough one, but it is worth it.
In times of a natural disaster, USS Makin Island has the ability to serve as a command and control center and a floating hospital.
This is one of the reasons that I wanted to take on the challenge of being senior medical officer aboard this type of ship.
The other reason is the ability to travel and see the world.