A recent campus event -- “Military Medicine: Serving Those Who Serve" -- celebrated the hardships and triumphs of working as a medical provider in military service.
Speaking to a packed lecture hall, Dean Winslow, MD, professor of medicine and an infectious disease specialist, shared stories from his work as a flight surgeon in Iraq and Afghanistan. Focusing on his time in Bagram Airfield post-9/11, he discussed the injuries he treated and the conditions and weapons that caused them.
“I have seen the worst, and the world can be horrible. But… there is light in the darkness. Students and residents must remember that the most important thing to have is love,” Winslow told the audience.
He expressed gratitude for his fellow service members, including the female Iraqi translators who put their lives and families in danger to serve.
A panel discussion followed, featuring Winslow and fellow Stanford physicians Constance Chu, MD; Edward Damrose, MD; and Eugene Carragee, MD. Each reflected on how their experiences in the military influenced them, personally and professionally, with Chu saying she had decided at age 16 that she wanted to go to West Point. “If I wanted to get anywhere in life, I needed to know how to work in a male-dominated environment," Wu, who is chief of sports medicine at the VA Palo Alto, explained.
Carragee, an orthopedic surgeon, served in the Marine Corps and performed surgeries in the Cambodian Civil War. Having to quickly assess and treat injuries made him a better surgeon, Carragee said. Damrose, meanwhile, came from a military family and said he was inspired to join the Navy Reserve after 9/11. A professor of head and neck surgery, Damrose commented on how the advancement of prosthetics have helped many injured service members regain their abilities and return to their daily lives.
Dean Lloyd Minor, MD, closed the event by expressing gratitude and respect for service members and Stanford Medicine’s ongoing support for them. “We are here to help and serve you,” Minor said.
Previously: Measuring how military service affects women's longevity and overall health, Stanford physician highlights the "never-ending battle" of PTSD and Stanford bioengineer uses his experience in Iraq to improve research of TBI and PTSD
Photo by U.S. Marine Corps, Lance Cpl. Andrew D. Young