CAMP PENDLETON, Calif. (NNS) -- Eleven Navy Family Practice residents, four Navy dental residents and two Navy Sports Medicine fellows graduated from their respective programs at Naval Hospital Camp Pendleton (NHCP) during a ceremony here June 30.
Naval Hospital Camp Pendleton is one of only five naval hospitals with a training program for Family Practice doctors.
According to NHCP Family Practice Residency Program Director Capt. John Holman, the Navy loses 50 to 60 Family Practice doctors annually through normal attrition.
"We typically have 36 doctors here learning their craft - 12 doctors in each of the three years of the program. This allows us to graduate up to 12 residents each year to replenish the fleet," Holman said.
A Navy family practice doctor's typical career path consists of a one-year internship at a naval hospital upon graduation from medical school. Some then serve in the fleet for two or three years and return to a naval hospital for their two-year residency to become Family Practice doctors. The others immediately begin their residency program and finish training in Family Practice in three years.
The NHCP Family Practice Residency Training Program has consistently produced outstanding doctors to serve where needed.
"All of this year's graduates are going to overseas, isolated or operational billets," Capt. Holman said. "Some will serve in Iraq or Afghanistan with Marine Corps units."
Holman emphasized for the graduates some key core values to guide them in their practice of medicine. "You must give comprehensive, continuous and compassionate care, always putting the patient's needs first," he said.
Since the Family Practice Residency Training Program began here in 1972, all graduates have become board certified.
Naval Hospital Camp Pendleton also has a dental residency program. The program trains general dentists in specialty care diagnosis and treatment, in addition to managing patients in a hospital environment.
Navy dentists are licensed upon entry to the Navy and can immediately begin treating patients in dental clinics around the Navy and Marine Corps. They elect to attend a residency program voluntarily to gain advanced training and experience, according to Cmdr. Carol Barone-Smith, director, NHCP General Practice Residency Program.
All graduates of the NHCP dental residency program, which began in 1970, will be assigned to operational units with the Navy or Marine Corps.
This was only the fourth year for Sports Medicine Fellows, whom are usually Family Practice physicians returning for training to specialize in treating and preventing injuries frequently associated with intense physical activities.
For more information on Naval Hospital Camp Pendleton and its Graduate Medical Education programs, visit www.enhcp.com.
For related news, visit the Naval Medicine Navy NewsStand page at www.news.navy.mil/local/mednews/.