CAMP PENDLETON, Calif. (NNS) -- Naval Hospital Camp Pendleton held the annual residency and intern graduation ceremony for its Family Medicine, Pharmacy, Dental and Sports Medicine Departments June 30, 2017.
Hundreds of staff, family and guests attended the morning ceremony where four dental residents, two sports medicine fellows, one pharmacy resident, 10 family medicine residents and 13 family medicine interns graduated from their respective programs.
As one of only three naval hospitals with a training program for family medicine doctors, NHCP takes in several residents per year to train them to give Marines, sailors and their families the best care possible.
Opening remarks were given by Navy Capt. Maria Young, NHCP acting commanding officer.
"Medical knowledge doubles every two years, so in just a few short years you will have to learn more new medicine than you did in your training programs," said Young. "But graduate education isn't about your mentors teaching you every medicine, every treatment or every condition. Rather what you learned here will give you the framework for how you assimilate knowledge and how you apply it to your patients throughout your careers. I remind you that we will care for a very special group of patients. All of whom share a special bond of service. If you think of these patients as your family, keep them at the center of your decision making, you will never go wrong."
This year's guest speaker was Dr. Karen Muchowski, a physician with the Graybill Medical Groups in Temecula, Calif., and former faculty member at the NHCP Family Medicine Residency Program.
She told the young physicians to get to know their patients, stay balanced and always do the right think. "Medicine is a science," said Muchowski. "To be a good family physician you need to be a good scientist. Keep up on the latest studies, know the evidence, apply the evidence. But, do it with a painter's brush. Think of each patient as a canvas. They will have different colors and different patterns to make up who they are. Get to know your patients, get to know what they do and then see how all their colors layer over all the science."
All new Navy doctors arriving at NHCP participate in a one year internship, where upon completion they either continue training for two more years as a resident or go out into the fleet as a general medical officer.
Navy Lieutenant Dylan Pigeon, a graduating intern, will be going to the Naval Aeronautical Medical Institute in Pensacola, Fla. for training to be a flight surgeon.
"We learn a lot here, said Pigeon. "It was a formative year. You go from being a med student to learning what it means to be a doctor." "Trust your seniors and don't be afraid to ask questions."
The family medicine interns and residents typically spent every fourth or fifth night in the hospital on call. Their diverse duties ranged from delivering babies to treating sick adults in the Intensive Care Unit as well as serving rotations at various local and regional hospitals.
Lieutenant Commander James "Jimmy" Westbrook, a third year graduating resident and one of three chief residents, will be transferring to Naval Air Station Sigonella, Italy. Westbrook didn't take the same route that his other family medicine physicians did to get here. He spent 10 years in the Navy as a pilot before getting out, going to medical school, then rejoining the Navy as a doctor.
"I really like flying, but I was at a point in my career where I wouldn't be flying as much. I'd always had an interest in medicine and like helping my fellow sailors, so I decided to take my life in a new direction." "One of best things about Camp Pendleton is the patient population. I had a patient who is a WWII, Korea and Vietnam veteran. It's such an honor to take care of our heroes and their families."
Naval Hospital Camp Pendleton's General Practice Residency trains dentists for one year in all disciplines of general dentistry 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.
All graduates of this year's General Practice Residency, which began in 1970, will be assigned to operational units with the Navy or Marine Corps.
This was the 12th year for the Primary Care Sports Medicine Fellowship. The physicians in this training are usually Family Medicine physicians returning to specialize in treating and preventing injuries frequently associated with intense physical activities.
Naval Hospital Camp Pendleton has the Navy's only primary care sports medicine fellowship. The Fellowship is a year packed with sporting event coverage, working with orthopedic surgeons, podiatry, radiology, physical therapy, cardiology and sports nutrition.
The Pharmacy Residency Program is an advanced training experience, focused on pharmacy practice in the clinical setting. The program at NHCP is one year in duration accredited by the American Society of Health System Pharmacists. It provides the knowledge and essential clinical skills to meet practice demands in specialty areas such as critical care, infectious disease, emergency medicine, ambulatory care and research. Upon completion of the residency program, the pharmacist is able to practice as highly qualified independent practitioner providing patient care and medication therapy management to achieve optimal drug therapy outcomes and higher quality of care as part of an interdisciplinary health care team.
For more information on Naval Hospital Camp Pendleton and its Residency Programs, visit https://www.cpen.med.navy.mil.
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For more news from Naval Hospital Camp Pendleton, visit www.navy.mil/local/nhcp/.