Maj. Brian Ahern, senior research director at William Beaumont Army Medical Center, was selected in June of 2022 for the Mary Lipscomb Hamrick (MLH) New Horizon Research Award.
The Mary Lipscomb Hamrick (MLH) New Horizon Research Award recognizes young researchers with less than five years of experience in research and clinical investigation, including doctoral-level training and less than five research publications. It is considered a lifetime achievement award.
“I started my career as a combat medic in the military in 2003. During that time, I had the chance to work with several exceptional Physician Assistants, and it was through these interactions I first realized I wanted to pursue a career in healthcare and care for Soldiers,” said Ahern.
Ahern's research endeavors started in 2018 with the successful defense of his doctoral dissertation and study entitled "U.S. Army combat medic eFAST performance with a new vs standard transducers: a randomized, crossover experiment." Since then, Ahern has participated in four published and unique research projects. He wrote research protocols and published several articles.
“Since I work in emergency medicine, I haven't had many chances to be shocked. I tried my best to keep my emotions in check, but when I saw that I had been selected for the award, I couldn't help but feel pleased. There’s a lot of people in the Army Medical Specialist Corps performing research, so the fact that I've been nominated makes me feel quite humbled. It is a nice bonus to get recognition as well,” said Ahern.
Ahern said that the residency program keeps him concurrent with research. Furthermore, finishing a project feels pretty good. It allows him to be creative, which does not often happen in medicine. Most of the time, it’s an algorithm with the same method over and over.
“It is difficult to undertake research when you have other responsibilities, yet our program requires our residents to do research. I strive to coach our residents on research projects and give them practical ideas in a limited time. This keeps me involved with research,” said Ahern.
“I am grateful to be in a position in which I can do research for the military. It is a privilege for our residents to be able to expand their knowledge of evidence-based medicine and, ideally, the disciplines of military medicine and emergency care via their research. Working with our residents is a rewarding experience for me,” said Ahern.
The US Army Medical Specialist Corps and the WBAMC leadership will conduct a Mary Lipscomb Hamrick (MLH) New Horizon Research Award ceremony in August, during which Ahern will receive his award.
“It was an honor to nominate Maj. Ahern, who exemplifies the qualities of a researcher who consistently demonstrates brilliance in generating peer-reviewed, evidence-based material that has a tremendous impact on our military. Brian exhibits our finest qualities; I am quite proud of him. He looks "beyond the horizon" in addressing our military's medical concerns,” said Lt. Col. Aaron Cronin, U.S. Army Medical Specialist Corps, Program Chair and Senior PA, Regional Health Command-Pacific.