NEW ORLEANS (Aug. 27, 2019) - The 5th Medical Recruiting Battalion partnered with residency programs throughout the New Orleans and Baton Rouge areas to conduct didactic lectures on Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, earlier this month.
Approximately 100 family medicine and psychiatry residents, along with faculty members affiliated with Louisiana State University Health Science Center School of Medicine, the Ochsner Clinic Foundation, and Tulane University School of Medicine attended the training.
The academic and military partnership supports graduate medical education program requirements to supplement clinical experiences during residency.
Dr. (Lt. Col.) Christian Schrader, a well-regarded Army psychiatrist, and the program director of Carl R. Darnell Army Medical Center's Psychiatry Residency, at Fort Hood, Texas, served as the guest speaker and provided an in-depth overview of the disorder and the updated clinical practice guidelines for treatments.
"I spoke with the residents, and they said they really enjoyed the presentation," said Dr. Tracy Carlson, assistant professor, Department of Family Medicine, LSUHSC School of Medicine. "The lecture gave us a great review of how PTSD has been classified and conceptualized throughout history. In addition to knowing the Diagnostic Statistical Manual criteria, the presentation gave residents another way of viewing PTSD through the 'elements of horror.'"
The military-civilian collaboration also allows the residents to gain a better insight into Army Medicine.
"We as physicians are on the cutting-edge of research in behavioral health and a lot of other areas in general surgery and orthopedics," stated Schrader. "We're heavily invested in learning about and treating PTSD."
From 2007 to 2017, according to the U.S. Army Medical Research and Material Command, the Army, in collaboration with other government and external agencies, and the Department of Defense invested over $212 million and 302 projects to PTSD research and the psychosocial effect of combat.
In addition, the Army has made significant advances in transforming its Behavioral Health System of Care to prevent and treat PTSD, reduce the impact of mental disorders, and build psychological resilience among Service Members and families.
Following the devastating aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, 14 years ago, the local residents of New Orleans also experienced a health care system transformation.
"Unfortunately, a number of psychiatrists and other psychiatric providers relocated because of Hurricane Katrina. This leaves the primary care physicians to be the ones to treat PTSD with first-line medications," Carlson explained. "It's important for our residents to be able to recognize and ask patients about exposure to traumatic events in their residency training so they are comfortable with these concerns in their future careers."
Experts say mental illness flooded New Orleans as Hurricane Katrina waters receded. However, New Orleanians have worked hard to not only rebuild but transform and better their community. Their unique culture and tradition and the public display of community celebration have served as a protective factor.
Much like the city of New Orleans, the U.S. Army also instills resilience, determination and civic responsibility in its workforce.
"The Army is a wonderful organization. What it represents to you as a physician is the ability to get a solid foundation and a broad base of knowledge and treatment of a lot of different disorders," Schrader explained. "And I think that brings a lot for you in the long term in job prospects … you're going to be good at a lot of different things. The ability to do that in an austere environment, whether that be humanitarian missions, a military combat exercise or real combat, all depends on what we can take away from that. And I think the value is in the breadth of training."
The 5th Medical Recruiting Battalion, located at Joint Base-San Antonio, Texas, is committed to recruiting high-quality professional officers across ten states in the nation's central region.
The New Orleans Medical Recruiting Station, a part of the 5th Medical Recruiting Battalion, carries out the Army's medical recruiting mission throughout the State of Louisiana's southern region. The New Orleans recruiters are committed to building collaborative partnerships throughout the community to support graduate medical education programs and the advancement of military and civilian health care systems.
For more information about joining the U.S. Army or U.S. Army Reserve health care team, visit https://goarmy.com/amedd.html, and like us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/5thmedicalrecruitingbattalion.