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.