The organization, the USA Military Medicine Interest Group, has already held a network event and is establishing a relationship with Veterans Recovery Resources in Mobile, a nonprofit that provides mental wellness programs to veterans.

Published Nov 14th, 2019

By Lindsay Mott
lmott@health.southalabama.edu


A newly formed interest group at the University of South Alabama College of Medicine aims to support medical students who intend to serve in the military and engage those students in helping veterans throughout the community.

The organization, the USA Military Medicine Interest Group, has already held a network event and is establishing a relationship with Veterans Recovery Resources in Mobile, a nonprofit that provides mental wellness programs to veterans.

“Currently, we host two primary events with the group, the first involves physicians who have previously worked in the military or are currently doing so speaking at our monthly meetings to give us a better picture of what life in the military is like and how to prepare,” said Jesse Stutzman, a first-year medical student and president of the group. “Second, we want to provide the opportunity for students to get engaged in our current community through volunteering with local veterans programs.”

Stutzman and others formed the group with the guidance of Andrew Bright, D.O., assistant professor of surgery at the USA College of Medicine who served as a surgeon in the U.S. Navy.

The USA College of Medicine has more than 20 students, including Stutzman, who are enrolled in the Health Professionals Scholarship Program (HPSP), which offers medical education scholarships in exchange for military service. Stutzman is participating in the program with the U.S. Air Force and plans to serve for four years as a commissioned medical officer following graduation.

“Since joining the military, I am impressed more and more with the sheer magnitude of sacrifice men and women in our country make to protect and defend this nation,” Stutzman said on the weekend before Veterans Day. “Seeing the willingness of those around me to give even their lives to protect our freedom and nation’s values makes me very honored to serve alongside them and proud to be an American.”

Second-year medical student Juan Pardo of Mobile, who serves as vice president of the interest group, was commissioned as an officer in the U.S. Army in January 2018 shortly before he started medical school on a military scholarship. Pardo said he chose a military career to give back.

“My family and I moved to the states from Colombia in 2000, and this country has given us everything,” he said. “Being a first generation immigrant, I think it’s my responsibility to serve time and pay back as a sign of gratitude. It’s also a huge honor to one day be able to take care of service men and women who fight for our country.”

Pardo intends to enter a military residency after graduation in anesthesia or general surgery. “I love the OR environment and the team aspect when it comes to patient care,” he said.

Other officers for the interest group include these first-year medical students: treasurer Mary Margaret Vansant, Navy; secretary Trista Phelps, Army; and community service chair Meg Lyons, Army.

Recent News

Bassam national meeting
Neurologist participates in national meeting

Bassam Bassam, M.D., professor of neurology at the University of South Alabama College of Medicine and director of the neuromuscular program at USA Health, recently spoke at the American Association of Neuromuscular & Electrodiagnostic Medicine (AANEM) annual meeting in Austin, Texas.

Posted 16 days agoRead Story >
Back to News Listing
This link will open in a new tab or window.