96th MDG cultivates tomorrow's combat medics

  • Published
  • By Master Sgt. Crystal Turner
  • 96th Medical Group
Anyone who has had a laboratory test drawn, an x-ray taken or seen a doctor here, has most likely encountered an aspiring student in training. The 96th Medical Group has its patients and beneficiaries to thank for allowing the next generation of combat medics to train and develop to become the best in their field.

Every year, more than 280 paramedical and medical students train, certify and graduate from various training programs at Eglin Hospital. These students vary in specialty from medical technicians and nurses to physician assistants and primary care doctors, even specialists. These students multiply the medical capability available here, and their patients assist in the training of future warrior medics.

In June alone, two physician assistants, 10 medical residents and eight dental residents graduated from their respective residency and training programs. They will now move on to provide medical care across the Air Force and in deployed locations.

In addition to the providers trained at the 96th MDG, there are six Phase II programs where enlisted technicians get their hands-on training including medical, cardiopulmonary, surgery, radiology, ultrasound and laboratory specialty technicians. In 2013, Eglin will fully prepare 258 enlisted warrior medics and send them to their next assignments.

While training and educating tomorrow's combat medics is a key element to the 96th MDG mission, the hospital also has a robust clinical research department with expert specialists working in their fields. Last month, four Eglin physicians published articles in two prestigious medical journals. There are more than 40 research projects taking place currently varying from mental health stress and burn out management to researching the best treatment of Lyme disease.

Capt. Michelle Trammel, a nurse from the multi-service unit, was one of 10 in the U.S. to be awarded a grant to complete her study of nurse educators in the Eastern and Central United States. Meanwhile, Maj. Lance Mabry, a physical therapist from the physical medicine flight, has completed and published 14 research projects in the last three years.

Eglin has the third largest beneficiary population of any hospital in the Air Force and is one of the most sought after and highly respected for its training and residency programs in the Air Force Medical Service.

"The 96th MDG sincerely thanks our beneficiaries and patients for helping us grow into a medical center of excellence, the opportunity to be your family's medical "home" and the honor of being your first choice for medical care," said Col. Gianna Zeh, 96th MDG commander.