Soldier Life
Captain Shimul Patel, Mark Hardin and Major Karen Callaghan
Army Position:
Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, Bethesda, Md.
Major and Captains

Three young Army surgeons describe their tracks to becoming general surgeons along with the advantages of practicing within Army Medicine. The Health Professions Scholarship Program, the Army's medical scholarship, is also discussed.

Maj. Callaghan: When I decided to go to medical school and I got the bill from my medical school part of their financial aid package mentioned the HPSP program so I started investigating.

Capt. Hardin: Being part of the HPSP program gave me the opportunity to have a little bit of additional income as a medical student. The program pays for of course your tuition and for your books.

Capt. Patel: I think the exciting part about doing this in the military is there is just opportunities that your civilian counterparts don’t get. For example after my internship I was able to go do a tour as a flight surgeon allowing myself to get to know soldiers a little bit better to get to know the population I’d b treating a little bit better as a surgeon and you just can’t do that in the civilian side.

Maj. Callaghan: Being a military provider certainly allows you to practice medicine the way that you should practice medicine.

Capt. Hardin: The ability to take care of your patient and not worry about his insurance and whether or not you’re going to get reimbursed it’s a great problem not to have.

Maj. Callaghan: You’re ordering tests that you believe are necessary and you’re not having to justify each and every request that you make to an insurance company.

Capt. Patel: You’re free from that burden and really the only thing that matters is the patient you’re taking care of. Practicing medicine in a military hospital allows you to take care of your patient completely, I think, cause you have so much available to you and you can focus on your patient. What would keep me in the military after ten years is the people that I work with and the people I take care of. It all, everything comes back to the unique population you work with, some of whom have given so much for their country and I don’t think that there’s anything better than taking care of those individuals.