Pediatric Infectious Disease Physician: Army AMEDD

As a pediatric infectious disease physician in the U.S. Army MAJ Ashley Maranich takes care of patients, conducts medical research and serves as a mentor.

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My name is Major Ashley Maranich. I'm a pediatric infectious disease physician at Brooke Army Medical Center. I went to medical school on a scholarship called the Health Profession Scholarship Program funded by the U.S. Army. You can go to any medical school in the United States and essentially they paid my tuition and fees for medical school. With the U.S. Army healthcare team, I have a unique opportunity that's not available in the civilian sector. To be a triple threat. To be involved in clinical medicine seeing patients, to be involved in education, and to be involved in research as well. Pediatric infectious disease actually gave me the opportunity to see patients of all ages without focusing on just the heart, or just the brain, or just the skin. In our family travel clinic, we see both children and their parents that are traveling overseas. We talk to them about the details of their travel in order to provide preventative counseling, vaccinations, and medications. The U.S. Army is completely different from the private sector in that it really encourages people to do research. There's local funding, as well as larger grants. We have the most cutting edge technology available and really have no limitations when it comes to research. The Army does have many international research labs and the opportunity to be involved with some of those labs was very appealing to me. In Thailand, they are doing a lot of studies on Dengue fever. In Kenya, malaria. So oftentimes you will travel to those countries to take advantage of the specific patient population that is there and I really enjoy that opportunity to travel and to tell other people what I'm doing. One of the other roles that I have here is being a course director for the Military Medical Humanitarian Assistance course. It's a lot of hands on experience, how to prevent morbidity and mortality from the big five - measles, malnutrition, diarrhea, dehydration illnesses, and malaria. And through my experiences teaching and mentoring have learned that I like my role as an educator I really thought that I would do my initial 4-year commitment to the army and then join a practice somewhere and here I am now 10 years on active duty and I can't even imagine doing anything else anywhere else. I love my job!