Georgetown University is proud to be a part of the Joining Forces Initiative.

Background

"Georgetown University Medical Center has a longstanding tradition of serving its nation through military service. Many of our medical students have served or are currently serving in the military and we at Georgetown understand the importance of taking care of our nation and fellow service men and women. As a veteran myself, I am proud to have been one of nearly 100 deans who joined the First Lady in Richmond for the launch of the "Joining Forces Initiative," to provide help for soldiers and their families from war and approach PTSD and TBI through research and compassionate care through academic medical centers and the union of AAMC and AACOM. At Georgetown University Medical Center, we will approach this through our Clinical and Translational Science Award (CTSA) program and in partnership with the D.C. Veteran's Affairs medical center. It is consistent with the Catholic, Jesuit value of cura personalis – care of the whole person. We welcome this coordinated effort and look forward to serving those who so bravely serve us. "
--Dr. Stephen Ray Mitchell

As part of First Lady Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden’s initiative, Georgetown University is working with over 100 medical schools across the country to address the unique health and wellness challenges of our nation's service members, veterans, and their families. As one of the first schools to accelerate a curriculum to 36 months during the early years, our school has had some years when graduates were nearly 40% of our class entering Health professions scholarship sponsored roles. The School of Medicine currently commissions nearly 10% of every graduating class in this same tradition and often launch the graduates and their families to long military careers.

Importantly, our institution also recognizes increasingly that the stress of war, multiple deployments, and frequent moves can affect the wellness of the entire military family. Military personnel returning from Iraq and Afghanistan may carry with them visible and much more subtle wounds, and several programs in the Medical Center already are working to address the impact of Traumatic Brain injury, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, and Multiple Unspecific Physical Symptom Syndromes on the American warrior. The Medical Center is working to also address anxiety experienced children and spouses, changes in relationships with family and friends, isolation, and emotional challenges in dealing with relocation, deployments, illness, or injury.

Mission

Georgetown is proud to join other colleagues at our nation’s medical schools as we unite with institutions, employers, government agencies, and many others to do our part to support Joining Forces. In this spirit, we plan to address these needs from the perspective of education, research, and clinical care.

As a veteran trained in Internal Medicine and Pediatrics, Stephen Ray Mitchell, MD will serve as the point of contact at our institution. He will chair a committee of physician educators and veterans who will coordinate a system wide effort, including a partnership with our D.C. veterans Affairs Medical Center and ongoing research in our CTSA and Departments of Psychiatry, Neurology, and Neuroscience.

This committee will work with our Committee on Medical Education and provide a report with recommendations on ways to assure that we develop curricular content for all medical students in military cultural competence, post-traumatic stress disorder, and traumatic brain injury. We will call on work at our own institution and utilize MedEdPORTAL resources and the new Joining Forces iCollaborative so that we can access and share these resources with students, residents, and faculty.

Our Pledge

In response to the request for our assistance, we proudly join our colleagues in supporting the following pledge:

Recognizing the sacrifice and commitment of our military service members, veterans, and their families, our nation’s medical schools pledge to mobilize their uniquely integrated missions in education, research, and clinical care to train our nation’s physicians to meet this group’s health care needs. In 2012, we commit to:

  • Enrich medical education along its continuum to ensure that current and future physicians are trained in the unique clinical challenges and best practices associated with caring for military service members, veterans, and their families
  • Work to grow the body of knowledge leading to improvements in health care and wellness for our military service members, veterans, and their families
  • Work to disseminate the most up-to-date diagnostic and therapeutic information as it relates to our ongoing research in traumatic brain injury (TBI) and psychological health conditions, such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • Join with others to further strengthen the supportive community of physicians, institutions, and health care providers dedicated to improving the health of military service members, veterans, and their families