Brothers in Arms: How Military Medicine Experience leads Civilian Healthcare Improvement

As the only first-level trauma center in the Department of Defense, doctors at the Brook Army Medical Center often see the most seriously injured troops from around the world. The way they treat these patients may help in the future to improve services at local civilian trauma centers and emergency rooms. Colonel Michael Hilliard shares his expertise and vision of the current healthcare system.

1. What does your job involved?

We are the largest emergency department in South Taxes, we see more than thousand patients in a year. We are a level one trauma center, we have over 400 intrinsic staff to the emergency department which is augmented by all of our specialty: surgery, pediatric medicine services as well. Our Emergency Medical Technician specialist are the best, because we choose only the most gifted ones. We have very stick rules and serious competitions, we invite for interviews only those who meet the minimum requirements of this emt resume example, since the policy of our administration is very strict.  From Austin to the border we’re the largest emergency department followed very closely by University Hospital.

2. How much of your work is civilian patient care?

Less than three percent of the patients that we see are civilian and the majority of those are the trauma patients that come in. We’re part of the South Texas regional advisory committee. The two hospitals, University and us, split and share trauma at South Texas to help the more remote locations that don’t have the trauma services for care that’s needed.

3. How large is your staff?

The emergency department is about 400 people. That includes:

  • Army Air Force Navy physicians,
  • nurses,
  • medics,
  • Special Forces specialists,
  • administrative personnel,
  • civilian that RGS,
  • contract as well.

As you see the list of our specialists is quite long itself, just enough to add a few more examples to this resume objective listing: And I can assure you, that would be the most impressive one.

Medical Staff

When it comes to trauma, the trauma surgeons and emergency medicine physicians and anesthesiologists, orthopedics – all the specialists that render the majority of trauma care. We meet together monthly and have a committee meeting, and we actually have committees and procedures and processes so that we’re all on the same page. Because an approach to a trauma patient needs to be systematic and done every single time. So we follow the same American College of Surgeons rules that civilian hospitals, civilian trauma centers have. Because those have been proven to decrease any missed injuries and provide the best care. So we do it in  all time in a multi-disciplinary team approach.

4. What does it mean to be a level one trauma center?

Trauma is important wherever you are. In the military it is an absolutely critical aspect of our mission, because the way we train here is what prepares us for when we are in Afghanistan, Iraq, the Philippines, where ever the case may be. And your son or your daughter, or your family member is injury. We need to train here, which is the doctors, the nurses, the medics, the surgeons, the anesthesiologist, the emergency medicine physicians – we all have to come together. We get to practice our craft here on critically traumatically injured patients. So when we get there, wherever we are, we’re prepared to work in it as a cohesive team to help save that life.

We are the only level one trauma center in the Department of Defense. That that’s part of the reason it is so critical for us to maintain our status and do this. So we have Navy Air Force Army physicians, nurses, medics, Special Forces training – they come here to either be trained full-time if they just finished their initial training and come the new special training or when they’ve been out doing it and they need some refreshers, this is the place they can come to get that experience to reintegrate and practice with the team, to teach each other and then be ready to go downrange.

5. Why is there only one level one trauma center?

Many things go into having level one trauma center. A large component of is you have to have a certain amount of volume. If you only see five patients a year, you can’t do it and you have to have that volume, because you need all the specialties: ear, nose and throat ophthalmology, trauma, neurosurgery, critical pediatrics, critical care medicine. So you have to be at a facility that has enough patients daily and enough emergency patients to keep all of those specialties busy. The military like every other part of the government has a cost and so we need to balance the health care that we give to everybody and the training that we need. So we can say, the middle of Idaho Rural doesn’t have a level one trauma center and the same could be said of Fort Sill Oklahoma. If you don’t have the troops or the injuries, they are the people. You can’t have them all over.