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Navy/Army PA Stories

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I'm trying to pursue a navy/marine physicians assistant career (Army PAs welcome to amswer too). I'd love to hear some of the stories that have accumulated from this job. What were your deployments like? What type of injuries were you treating? Did you ever see combat? Are you given a firearm?

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  • 4 weeks later...

There are NO Marine PAs. There ARE Navy PAs who serve with the Marines, as an assistant battalion surgeon for example. 


Some do see combat (most don't), they are issued rifles when deployed for the defense of their patients. 


Combat is not romantic or desirable, it shouldn't be taken lightly. Many of us who've served as combat medical providers will always bare the scars of those patients and experiences. 


your other questions are overwhelmingly broad. 

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Afghanistan, Army, engineer battalion. Treated all soldiers in BN Aid station across the spectrum of FP/Urgent Care issues, along with several Interpreters/ANA (indigenous) and had a Polish guy come through with an NSTEMI.


It is variable. The gal before me got nothing by way of pathology; my first wee in country the NSTEMi came thru, and an interpreter showed up on my doorstep with a GSW that entered his anterior chest and blew out his deltoid (he lived).


Went out "on mission" a few times on route clearance, but infrequently.


Spent a significant portion of my time training medics on downtrace FOBs, which meant traveling all over the AO.


Trained ANA medics.


You are a medical asset to the Battalion, and provide critical input with regard to logistics, and the follow-through on Brigade (higher) medical directives.


Absolute autonomy.

Absolutely awesome.


Not for everyone.

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We just carried a sidearm on KAF. Agree M9 is a POS. Can't understand why the Army can't just order .40S&W and use them (70+% of law enforcement does). Have to have design competition etc. Of course it took what 5 years to decide on a uniform pattern? LOL.


I was a medic. Worked with mix of PA's and physicians in Troop Medical Clinic. They cancelled MedCap missions right before we left as it was at height of ANA shootings so was on base whole time. Was disappointed but not stupid disappointed like some of the people in my unit (mostly the ParaGods, natch). Just the occasional Chinese rocket. Closest was probably 1/2 mile. Worst nuisance was having to come back to barracks from USO for accountability each time as I used to hang out there at night and study for GRE, UMUC classes etc and it was like a 10 min walk ea way. Yeah SOP is basically everything. 

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