CAPTAIN JAMES BLAIR, M.D.
Orthopaedic Surgeon - San Antonio, Texas (HPSP)
I feel an overwhelming sense of pride every single time I walk out of the operating room. I'm doing what I love to do.
I'm Captain James Allen Blair, Jr., M.D. I work here at Brooke Army Medical Center in the Department of Orthopaedics and Rehabilitation. I'm an Orthopaedic Surgery resident.
At Brooke Army Medical Center – and for me, specifically, in orthopaedics – the stuff we do is very similar to the guys downtown at University Hospital in the civilian sector. But I hear their stories where a patient's care will be dictated by an insurance plan and whether or not the patient can pay. That's a non-factor for us.
I attended Medical School at Drexel University College of Medicine in Philadelphia under the Health Professions Scholarship Program. The Army paid 100% of my tuition, my books and my fees, and I got a small stipend each month that went to rent. So I was able to live much more financially care-free than many of my friends, who had taken out literally hundreds of thousands of dollars in loans.
The technology that I've seen has been state-of-the-art. Our operating rooms were recently refurbished with different types of cameras and lighting systems that I've never seen anywhere else. It's comforting to see that it is money well spent.
My wife and I often use the commissary and the PX. Also, the gym here is free and it's very nice, with a very large track. We tend to go out to eat a lot. We do like to go down to the River Walk here in town. As long as we are here together doing something, that's fine by me.
The surgical and clinical skills that I've developed will impact every single patient I eventually treat. The training I receive here is, first and foremost, the number one thing that I'll take away for the rest of my life.