MANAGUA, Nicaragua (NNS) -- Medical personnel embarked aboard Military Sealift Command hospital ship USNS Comfort (T-AH 20) participated in a subject matter expert exchange (SMEE) with medical students from American University Medical School in Managua, Nicaragua, June 26.
Several Comfort physicians and 15 students took part in the exchange, which focused on sharing knowledge and building relationships in support of Continuing Promise 2011 (CP11).
"The mission of meeting people and establishing relationships is really what we're doing here," said Capt. David Tanen, emergency medicine and medical toxicology site leader coordinator embarked aboard Comfort. "We are interacting with the students so they know who we are and we know who they are, and we know their capabilities and they know our capabilities."
During the exchange, the group toured the ship's casualty receiving area, operating room, intensive care unit and other areas on board to gain an understanding of the capabilities of the ship and the day-to-day life of the physicians who work in the medical treatment facility. The day concluded with lectures and hands-on training about chest pain, radiology, and general toxicology.
"All these students are graduating from medical school soon, so this will give them the chance to know what types of capabilities we have that could help them if there was ever a national emergency," Tanen said.
Students participating in the exchange not only gained professional knowledge during their time with Comfort personnel, but also learned the importance of caring about people.
"This has been a really great experience," said Luis Detrinidad, a fifth-year medical student at American University Medical School. "We feel really great to be a part of this great thing you are doing."
Comfort's crew will continue to conduct subject matter exchanges in several other countries as CP11 continues its mission throughout the Caribbean and Central and South America.
U.S. Naval Forces Southern Command and U.S. 4th Fleet (COMUSNAVSO/C4F) support U.S. Southern Command joint and combined full-spectrum military operations by providing principally sea-based, forward presence to ensure freedom of maneuver in the maritime domain, to foster and sustain cooperative relationships with international partners and to fully exploit the sea as maneuver space in order to enhance regional security and promote peace, stability, and prosperity in the Caribbean, Central and South American regions.
For more news from U.S. Naval Forces Southern Command & U.S. 4th Fleet, visit www.navy.mil/local/cusns/.