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During the deployment, the ship made port visits to Singapore, Bahrain, Jordan, Malaysia, Hong Kong and Pearl Harbor, Hawaii.It has been an intense first three months as SMO aboard Makin Island.Palms sweating, heart beating fast, orders in hand, I stepped onto the brow of the mighty warship. ” remarked the Officer of the Deck, rendering a crisp salute. A little over two years prior, it had been my goal to get a firm foundation in primary care medicine before returning to the fleet, and the Family Medicine Residency program at Naval Hospital Camp Pendleton did this and more. Andy Baldwin, and I’m the new Senior Medical Officer for Makin Island”.Nowhere else in the medical world will you encounter as many challenges to grow as a leader as in the operational world of the U. This was no slim task, and this is the reason my heart was pounding that morning, and continues to pound to this day.For medical coverage, most ships and submarines have an independent duty corpsman (IDC) as their top medical provider.To achieve this, our medical department has over 25 corpsmen trained in various specialties such as operating room technician, preventive medicine technician, biomedical tech, radiation tech, pharmacy tech etc.
This means making sure all immunizations are up to date, preventive screenings have been done, and fitness is maintained.
And when that occurs, most times you are not surrounded by other attending physicians to assist in that decision.
Learning how to make decisions with limited data and resources is something that cannot necessarily be taught, but must be learned through experience.
In the Navy once residency trained, medical officers have a number of avenues they can pursue.
Some remain at large hospitals while others go to smaller remote clinics.