CAMP HUMPHREYS, South Korea - The 65th Medical Brigade here hosted the 71st annual 38th Parallel Health Care Training Symposium, Oct. 25-29.
Health care professionals came together from across the peninsula to share behavioral health, dental, medical and veterinary knowledge between the U.S. armed forces and the Republic of Korea. Attendees were able to recertify and complete continuing education credits.
“As we convene this year’s 38th Parallel Health Care Training Symposium, we honor the purpose and intent of its founding members,” said Col. Dave Zimmerman, commander, 65th Medical Brigade. “This 71st iteration offers educational tracks for behavioral health, dental, medical, veterinary, administrative and enlisted service members, civilian and contractor personnel across the peninsula.”
The 38th Parallel Health Care Training Symposium helped ensure that all members of the medical branches are well-trained and informed on all practices and procedures.
Seven fields of study were focused upon during the symposium, each with keynote speakers and lecture-oriented classes, as well as training-focused continued education credits.
"Our ROK partners are brought on post and embedded in class with our local Soldiers, going through the same training," said Lt. Col. Benjamin Owen, lead coordinator for the training symposium.
"Some of our courses are being presented by our ROK partners as well," Owen said. "It's a two-way street. We are presenting what we do, as they present what they do well to us. In such a way it strengthens the alliance, finds common ground, and makes everyone a little more comfortable working together."
Zimmerman said his unit was honored to be able to put on the symposium.
“It is the 65th Medical Brigade’s privilege to host subject matter experts from across the United States, as well as healthcare teams from the Republic of Korea Armed Forces," Zimmerman said, "as we continue to build on the legacy of this strategically important event.”
Symposium attendees gained new knowledge, refined skills they already had, and increased confidence in their abilities, said organizers.
"Part of being effective is being up to date," said Owen. "The training is cutting edge, it's the latest technology, the way to do things. The purpose of the symposium is so we are proficient in it, the same or better than our civilian counterparts."
The alliance between the United States military and the Republic of Korea makes the symposium the major success it has come to be. The combined experience of these instructors is something that has helped further the strength of Army medical personnel on the Korean peninsula.