In honor of Veterans Day 2020, this week’s medicine grand rounds (MGR) featured three speakers and their military experiences, each presentation exceptionally moving and drawing our huge respect for their contributions in service to our country.
In introductory remarks Dr. Chris Hostler (Duke Infectious Diseases and also a veteran) set the tone of MGR by encouraging us not only to thank a veteran for their service but also to “ask about their experiences”. He noted that everyone’s experience is “a little different”. It’s those differences that were reflected in the presentations by all three veterans (with Duke NetID click here to view).
MGR speaker from DGIM
Dr. Blair Glasgo joined Duke last summer as a Durham VA hospitalist and faculty member of our division of general internal medicine. Prior to Duke, Dr. Glasgo was a hospitalist at the Army Medical Center in Fort Hood, Texas, and previously served as a US Army Brigade Surgeon with deployment to Korea. Dr. Glasgo left as an Army Major.
She told the story of treating a soldier in Korea who presented with ankle and back pain but learned his major underlying problem was depression. This in turn led to discovery of the soldier’s childhood experiences, ones that impacted his lifelong health. The soldier fit many of the responses to the ACEs survey (Adverse Childhood Experiences), about experiences that are known to have a tremendous impact on future violence, victimization and lifelong health. She pointed out how important this is to understand because the military experience can compound life stresses. Eventually this patient’s health improved, greatly influenced by improved caring relationships with his friends, consistent with what we know about ACEs.
If you missed seeing MGR, take some time to watch the recording. You will hear Maj Jason Nam, MD, MPH, a West Point graduate, speak of Syria and Afghanistan as a member of a Special Operations Resuscitation Team. He tells of life lessons learned about “complications" and training. LTC Sony Portis, also a West Point grad, and a commander of troops fighting the Talliban in an Afganistan outpost gave another moving story, one that is now a movie available on Amazon — “The Outpost”.
We are so humbled and grateful for all of their service and greatly appreciate hearing their experiences.