Today's Military:

Military Glossary

A Focus on Patients - Transcript

Capt. James Pollock: My name is Capt. James Pollock. I am a family practice physician here with the Air Force over at the Wilford Hall Medical Center. This is the largest medical center in the Air Force. It's what you'd consider to be the flagship of the United States Air Force. We try to provide military support not only to this family practice clinic, but we also provide support to where we're needed around the world, including areas of Iraq or wherever we're in war at the given time.

Coming out of high school, I went to the U.S. Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs for a year. I decided it was probably best for me to get a premed degree from a private university and then come back in later. Not only did I want to serve my country after 9/11, but I also wanted to be in an environment where you could focus on patients, focus on expanding your career, seeing, getting more out of life than just trying to crush the numbers in order to make your money.

The Military, I think, has a lot to offer that, in civilian practice, that you cannot get, such as an expanded education on a regular basis. My typical day, basically we have morning report at about 7:00 every morning. We'll go over what we're going to do that day as far as what our workload's going to be, who's assigned to do what duties. I typically have a preset schedule for the day, which is probably one of the major benefits to being in the Military because, in the civilian world, you're pushed to see as many patients as you can in order to get to that bottom line of financial revenue. Time is blocked out during our schedule for physical conditioning three days a week. It's not in addition to our normal hours, but part of our normal hours. You can't beat that as far as a schedule goes.

So I think a lot of times, physicians look at the Military, and they worry that they would be working 24/7, and that's just not the case. I think the Air Force medical corps is extremely organized, extremely personnel-driven. It's a very people-oriented branch of the Military. There's a sense of family in the medical corps that you just don't find in private practice. I really wanted to experience what it's like to not only be in the Military but to make a career in the Military.

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