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BAMC Emergency Medicine physicians culminate training with exercise

By John Franklin | Brooke Army Medical Center | June 30, 2017

JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-FORT SAM HOUSTON, Texas -- The Brooke Army Medical Center Emergency Medicine Department recently graduated 26 Army and Air Force emergency medicine physicians after a weeklong exercise June 12-17.

During their internship, the physicians provided medical care to a variety of seriously injured people in the emergency medicine department at BAMC, a Level 1 Trauma Center. However, combat casualty care in wartime environment is different from practicing medicine at a huge, urban hospital.

The combat experienced leaders at BAMC and the hospital's Emergency Medical Department knew their graduating emergency medicine doctors needed one final segment to prepare them for emergency medicine in combat. Joint Emergency Medicine Exercise 2017 was designed to provide the experience of wartime operational medicine.

Army Maj. (Dr.) John Knight, director, Residency Operational Medicine and former Special Forces medic turned doctor, was the creator and exercise director for Joint EMX 2017.

"This year's Joint EMX was, in my opinion, the best ever," Knight said.

By refining past years' exercises and employing continuous process improvement, Knight has developed a program that gives the new emergency medicine doctors practical experience and classroom presentations exposing them to operational medicine under combat conditions.

Dr. John Devlin, program director for the Emergency Medicine Residency Program at the Portsmouth Naval Medical Center brought 10 Navy emergency medicine doctors to participate in the training.

Army, Navy, and Air Force physicians taught the classes, sharing lessons learned and best practices. Three general officers also shared their perspectives on the challenges they have faced as doctors and military officers.

Army Maj. Gen. Brian Lein, commanding general, U.S. Army Medical Department Center & School; Navy Rear Adm. Rebecca McCormick-Boyle, commander, Navy Medicine Education, Training and Logistics; and Army Brig. Gen. Jeffrey Johnson, commanding general, Brooke Army Medical Center, spoke individually to the class and then participated in a panel at BAMC to answer questions from the class.

During training at the Bulverde/Spring Branch Emergency Medical Services site, the physicians and Special Forces personnel had an opportunity to practice difficult emergency medical procedures they may not have had the opportunity to perform while working in the Emergency Department. Experienced military physicians and EMS personnel were there to help them refine life saving techniques.

The 19th Special Forces Group at Joint Base San Antonio-Camp Bullis demonstrated combat assault techniques, care under fire, and casualty evacuation. The Special Forces personnel also benefited from the joint training because they were able to attend the emergency medicine physician's classes during the EMX to enhance their medical skills.

A C-130 from Dyess Air Force Base, Texas, allowed the 19th Special Forces Group to conduct several airborne operations allowing the doctors to observe what is involved in a Critical Care Air Transport Team's movement of a patient.
Brooke Army Medical Center Joint Emergency Medicine Exercise Navy Medicine Education Training and Logistics U.S. Army Medical Department Center & School