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New White Paper Offers In-Depth Look at U.S. Army Health Care Careers and Innovation

Sep 26, 2017

What is it like to be an Army health care provider? How can Army health care professionals grow their careers and impact the future of medicine? To answer questions like these, the U.S. Army Medical Department (AMEDD) introduced a new white paper entitled, “At the Forefront of Medicine: Advantages of a Career in U.S. Army Health Care.” This resource uses text, graphics and links to multimedia to tell the AMEDD story in an engaging and in-depth way. It offers insight into the benefits that make an Army health care career unique and rewarding, both professionally and personally. 

Starting with an overview of the organization and education opportunities, the white paper makes the case for students and young professionals just starting out to consider a career in Army health care. Employing more than 12,000 uniformed officers in 90 specialties, Army medicine is a world-class health system and medical research leader dedicated to expanding the horizons of medicine – from improving techniques in patient care to leading breakthroughs in vaccine development for infectious disease. At a time when health care is continuously changing, the Army offers stability, competitive pay and benefits, combined with an empowering practice environment steeped in innovation and leadership. 

As the cost of medical school can easily exceed $200,000, many students first find a career in Army health care appealing because it’s a way to pay for their education. The Army’s Health Professions Scholarship Program (HPSP), loan repayment and special pay programs for certain medical specialties help defray the cost of tuition, books and living expenses, and allow many people to pursue a health care career and graduate virtually debt-free. “My classmates from Yale are still paying off their loans,” says Maj. Jennifer Sabino, MD, in the white paper. “Because the Army’s Health Professions Scholarship Program paid for my school, I didn’t have any debt, so I was able to buy a house right out of medical school.”

The new report also explores why so many health care professionals choose to stay in Army medicine beyond their initial commitment. A global network of medical centers, research institutes and labs allow Army doctors, nurses, dentists and other medical specialists to take their careers in any direction they choose, focus on patient care, and also find solutions to military health problems – which can often translate to the private sector for everyone’s benefit. For example, in 2016, the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research developed a vaccine for the Zika virus and brought it to human trials in just six months – a process that can ordinarily take a decade or more. Army physicians and researchers have also made breakthrough discoveries in HIV, malaria, Ebola, cancer and antibiotic-resistant bacteria in the last 10 years. According to Col. (Ret.) Stephen Thomas, MD, the Army is in a great position to lead this type of innovation because of its global reach. 

The Zika vaccine is one of many examples highlighted in the white paper that demonstrates the collegial and innovative culture of Army medicine. The white paper highlights perspectives of 10 Army officers in varying professions and specialties including research, nursing, cardiology and radiology, and links to videos and other content for a closer look. Future health care professionals can hear firsthand why these officers chose a career in the Army and stayed to achieve their career goals and aspirations. From conducting break-through disease research, to supporting Soldier performance, to using the latest technologies to treat cancer, these stories paint a holistic picture of the opportunities available in Army medicine. 

To learn more about a career in Army health care or to read the white paper, visit https://www.goarmy.com/amedd/education.html.


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