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More military medical specialists to train at UMC | News

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More military medical specialists to train at UMC

LAS VEGAS --  Soon air force medical specialists from bases all over the country will be headed to University Medical Center to expand their training.

It's part of a program called Air Force Medical Services which helps medical officers stay up-to-date on the latest medical and surgical techniques that could be used later in the battle field.

Currently, 60 medical officers from Nellis Air Force Base work at UMC on a yearly basis. The expanded partnership will allow around 200 more Air Force medical specialists from around the country to get needed medical training in a clinical setting.

"The life-threatening injuries we treat inside our Trauma Center are the closest experience to an actual battle field and it's a privilege to provide training and work side-by-side these fine clinicians," said UMC CEO Mason VanHouweling.

Trauma surgeon Brandon Snook says his skills used at the Level 1 Trauma and Burn Center are a little like riding a bike.

"You can usually get back on and get your balance, but the more you ride, the faster you will ride, and the better you'll ride," said Dr. Brandon Snook, UMC trauma surgeon.

UMC executives say the program is monumental for patients.

"More hands on deck," VanHouweling said. "It also brings a high level of expertise, and a cross information of skills and knowledge that brings a higher level of care for Clark County.

Air Force Surgeon General Dr. Thomas Travis  toured UMC's emergency department Tuesday after the announcement.

"You see knife wounds, gunshot wounds, something you don't wish on anybody," he said. "But for wartime readiness training, it's actually very good for our skills to be involved in treating those patients."

Surgeon General Travis says there has been a long history of partnership in the medical field between the military and private sector and leads to advancements and new procedures shared on both sides.

Some of the military members could even end up relocating.

"Living here and making Vegas their home," Dr. Snook said. "Through these partnerships, they get familiar with the hospital here and may end up staying."

Air Force Surgeon General Travis says more still needs to be done to change the way military medical officers are licensed and certified so that they can transfer over when they retire. He does add, the partnership with UMC is a good step in introducing more medical officers to the private sector.