AMOPS members train on McChord flight line

Members of the Association of Military Osteopathic Physicians and Surgeons work with Joint Base Lewis-McChord Soldiers to prepare simulated patients for transfer between an Air Force C-17 Globemaster III and an Army UH-60 Black Hawk, March 10, 2018, at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash. Training between branches increases efficiency in joint deployment situations. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Sara Hoerichs)

Members of the Association of Military Osteopathic Physicians and Surgeons work with Joint Base Lewis-McChord Soldiers to prepare simulated patients for transfer between an Air Force C-17 Globemaster III and an Army UH-60 Black Hawk, March 10, 2018, at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash. Training between branches increases efficiency in joint deployment situations. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Sara Hoerichs)

Members of the Association of Military Osteopathic Physicians and Surgeons (AMOPS) practice using a NATO litter carrier, March 10, 2018, at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash. AMOPS members included military doctors, medical students on military scholarships and retirees. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Sara Hoerichs)

Members of the Association of Military Osteopathic Physicians and Surgeons (AMOPS) practice using a NATO litter carrier, March 10, 2018, at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash. AMOPS members included military doctors, medical students on military scholarships and retirees. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Sara Hoerichs)

Washington National Guard crew chiefs assist Association of Military Osteopathic Physicians and Surgeons members to secure a simulated patient in a sked, March 10, 2018, at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash. A sked is a tough plastic stretcher that can be used to move patients both on the ground and up to a hovering helicopter.  (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Sara Hoerichs)

Washington National Guard crew chiefs assist Association of Military Osteopathic Physicians and Surgeons members to secure a simulated patient in a sked, March 10, 2018, at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash. A sked is a tough plastic stretcher that can be used to move patients both on the ground and up to a hovering helicopter. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Sara Hoerichs)

Members of the Association of Military Osteopathic Physicians and Surgeons (AMOPS) load a simulated patient onto a UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter, March 10, 2018, at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash. The AMOPS members were practicing transporting patients to and from military aircraft. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Sara Hoerichs)

Members of the Association of Military Osteopathic Physicians and Surgeons (AMOPS) load a simulated patient onto a UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter, March 10, 2018, at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash. The AMOPS members were practicing transporting patients to and from military aircraft. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Sara Hoerichs)

Army Sgt. Michael Cummings, Washington National Guard, Detachment 2, 168 General Support Aviation Battalion crew chief, assists members of the Association of Military Osteopathic Physicians and Surgeons load simulated patients into a UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter, March 10, 2018, at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash. Crew chiefs are trained to assist medics during patient transport. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Sara Hoerichs)

Army Sgt. Michael Cummings, Washington National Guard, Detachment 2, 168 General Support Aviation Battalion crew chief, assists members of the Association of Military Osteopathic Physicians and Surgeons load simulated patients into a UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter, March 10, 2018, at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash. Crew chiefs are trained to assist medics during patient transport. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Sara Hoerichs)

Members of the Association of Military Osteopathic Physicians and Surgeons use straps to secure a simulated patient to a NATO stretcher, March 10, 2018, at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash. Patients are secured to prevent them from being jostled during transport. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Sara Hoerichs)

Members of the Association of Military Osteopathic Physicians and Surgeons use straps to secure a simulated patient to a NATO stretcher, March 10, 2018, at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash. Patients are secured to prevent them from being jostled during transport. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Sara Hoerichs)

Army Sgt. Thomas Foose, Washington National Guard, Detachment 2, 168 General Support Aviation Battalion (GSAB) crew chief, left, and Army Sgt. Michael Cummings, Washington National Guard, Detachment 2, 168 GSAB crew chief, demonstrate the way a rescue sling can lift a patient, March 10, 2018, at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash. The rescue sling is often used for water rescues. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1stClass Sara Hoerichs)

Army Sgt. Thomas Foose, Washington National Guard, Detachment 2, 168 General Support Aviation Battalion (GSAB) crew chief, left, and Army Sgt. Michael Cummings, Washington National Guard, Detachment 2, 168 GSAB crew chief, demonstrate the way a rescue sling can lift a patient, March 10, 2018, at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash. The rescue sling is often used for water rescues. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1stClass Sara Hoerichs)

Members of the Association of Military Osteopathic Physicians and Surgeons secure a stretcher to a stanchion in a C-17 Globemaster III, March 10, 2018, at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash. The stanchions can accommodate three stretchers, saving space and allowing the C-17 to transport more patients at a time. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Sara Hoerichs)

Members of the Association of Military Osteopathic Physicians and Surgeons secure a stretcher to a stanchion in a C-17 Globemaster III, March 10, 2018, at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash. The stanchions can accommodate three stretchers, saving space and allowing the C-17 to transport more patients at a time. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Sara Hoerichs)

JOINT BASE LEWIS-MCCHORD, Wash. --

Members of the Association of Military Osteopathic Physicians and Surgeons (AMOPS) practiced transporting patients to and from a C-17 Globemaster III and a UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter on the McChord Field flight line as part of a conference here March 8 to 11.

AMOPS includes active duty, guard, reserve and retired Air Force, Army and Navy doctors, as well as military medical students, which allowed members to learn from each other.

“The key was, number one, to develop a mentoring opportunity for those who have the experience to share with others and, two, was to give the primary learners the experience to understand what was to be expected downrange so they could get an idea of how their patients would be treated before they came to see them,” said Col Brandon Isaacs, 124th Medical Group commander.

The military frequently engages in joint operations in deployed environments and this training reflected that. People of different branches and ranks worked side by side.

“We purposely mixed them up so there were Air Force, Army and Navy in each group and different ranks ranging all the way from admiral down to 2nd Lieutenant with the intention of integration of mentorship,” said Isaacs.

Though the doctors themselves are more likely to be working in a hospital where patients are brought to them, the practice gave them a broader understanding of what their patients might experience.

“They got to see the things their patient might go through before they get to the hospital,” said Isaacs. “It gave them some basic skills so they understand some of the challenges that the lower level providers go through to get those patients stabilized and ready to be moved to the next level of care.”

By arming themselves with greater knowledge and practicing new skills, AMOPS members are ensuring that they are ready to give the best possible care to every one of their patients.