JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-FORT SAM HOUSTON, Texas –
The San Antonio Uniformed Services Health Education Consortium held its annual Research Day event April 28 at Brooke Army Medical Center.
The event featured podium and poster presentations given by Army and Air Force residents and fellows from BAMC and Wilford Hall Ambulatory Surgical Center, culminating with an awards presentation featuring special guest speaker Army Lt. Gen. (Dr.) Ronald Place, Defense Health Agency director.
“Residents and fellows are required to do research as part of their training programs, to learn clinical competencies in their respective specialties,” explained Dr. Mark True, SAUSHEC dean.
The presentations included research in Hematology/Oncology, Emergency Medicine, Pathology, Pediatrics, General Surgery, Internal Medicine and many other specialties.
“Research is focused on the unknown, and the goal is to acquire new areas of knowledge,” True said. “Today’s activities are representative of our desire to practice medicine with a spirit of inquiry. We often talk about lifelong learning, but I want to encourage you to also embrace lifelong exploration.”
Place, who was in San Antonio to give a presentation at the University of Texas Health Science Center about collaborative research across the enterprise, said he was grateful for the opportunity to participate in the awards ceremony.
“What you are doing is important,” Place said. “We should be challenging our assumptions, because a significant amount of things that I learned as the standard of care, starting four decades ago, isn’t the standard of care anymore, because we challenged the assumptions that we held to be true about how we do things.”
The DHA director challenged the students to use scientific techniques to question what works and what doesn’t, pay attention to the details, and figure out what the gaps are and how to close them.
“This consortium here in San Antonio, that all of you are part of, is a really good model for what military medical research should look like,” Place said. “You are setting a high bar for the rest of the military health system. The history of exceptional research, whether within the Institute of Surgical Research, or other graduate medical education or allied health programs, is well-known across not just in Army medicine, but the entire Department of Defense.”
The general said medicine doesn’t advance by talking about what was done in the past. It’s about bringing new ideas and sharing information.
“We are stimulated to answer new questions by listening to, or reading about the observations of our colleagues,” Place said. “You are the ones keeping the military health system relevant and vibrant. Please accept my personal congratulations to each of you on your awards today, and thanks for what you have done so far to be essential contributors to this system.”
“My challenge to you is to continue to be contributors to our system, to our knowledge, and to our organizational responsibilities,” he added.