Comparing Sectors of Medicine via Physician Narratives

To conclude my Comparative Analysis of Civilian and Military Medicine, I compiled the physician narratives that I collected during my travels earlier this summer. My final product is formatted similar to an article that might appear in medical journal, as many physicians enjoy reading not just about groundbreaking research discoveries but also the thoughts and patterns that exist amongst their colleagues. Few methods of communication express the plight of a military physician as authentically as their personal stories. In shadowing the interventional radiologist in Vermont, the radiation oncologist in South Dakota, and the gastroenterologist in Florida, I discovered why these doctors initially joined the military, why they eventually retired, and how practicing military medicine shaped their overall careers as medical care providers. Reasons for becoming a Navy physician range from patriotic pride to financial benefits of government-funded medical education, which are definitely balanced by the incredible sacrifices of these military men and women who deploy from their families and relinquish a certain level of autonomy, often prioritizing “the needs of the Navy” over their personal vision for their family. Each of the three doctors really encouraged blossoming military physicians to consider WHY they want to join the military. Whether they have a┬ádesire to train and practice in a multitude of locations or the opportunity to develop a unique sense of camaraderie with one’s coworkers across the globe, doctors who spend time in the military appreciate their time of service to our country but continue to appreciate their service to their patients throughout their entire medical career.

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