Be All You Can Be in Military Medicine | Article

sergeant. Bridget Kollock, the command sergeant major’s aide at Madigan Army Medical Center on Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash., smiles as Madigan’s signature swans swim past her Aug. 4. She is set to return to her hometown of San Antonio, Texas, in the fall to attend the U.S. Army Medical Center of Excellence at Fort Sam Houston to complete the Interservice Medic Assistant program and become first Lt.
(Photo credit: US Department of Defense photo by Kirstin Grace-Simons)


MADIGAN ARMY MEDICAL CENTER, Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash. – A recent survey shows that one-sixth of Americans wanted to be a doctor when they were growing up. This puts Sgt. Bridget Kollock, the command sergeant major at Madigan Army Medical Center on Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash., in good company. Trained and experienced as a 68B – an orthopedic technician – she is now taking advantage of the opportunities available to her in the Army to get closer to that dream through the Interservice Physician Assistant Program.

Realizing the medical field is vast and full of dream jobs, she sees an outlet for two of her interests by becoming an AM.

“I’m very passionate about helping others,” Kollock said. “I kind of feel like a detective, when there’s something wrong you have to figure out what’s causing it.”

She finds the body fascinating. She has trained and worked as an orthopedic technician since joining the military four years ago until this year, when she stepped into the role of senior enlisted adviser aide in one of the largest major Department of Defense military processing facilities.

With a military occupational specialty, or MOS, as 68B, she performed tasks such as casting and splinting, splinting, wound care, and patient care before and after procedures. surgical. Once she became a sergeant, she moved on to the role of non-commissioned officer in the orthopedic clinic.

In early 2022, Kollock moved into the Command Suite to support the Command Sergeant Major. She will depart Madigan in November to return to her hometown of San Antonio, Texas, at the U.S. Army Medical Center of Excellence at Fort Sam Houston, where Phase 1 segments of the Technician Programs as well as the ‘IPAP. Its program begins in January.

Much like the technical course structure she took previously, the 29-month IPAP is split into two phases – Phase 1 is the 16-month classroom portion with intensive theory, lectures, demonstrations and study , while phase 2 is practice. clinical training.

As a newlywed, Kollock will be separated from her active-duty army engineer husband for a year and a third of her being in Phase 1. After that, however, she will be able to choose from 22 sites for Phase 2. As long as the facility has adequate medical facilities to support base rotations, she can go where her husband is stationed for his Phase 2 training.

“Wherever he is, I’ll be happy, you know?” she says.

Her background made her a natural selection for the IPAP because she met the program prerequisites. A candidate must have 60 semester hours of college courses, with an emphasis on the sciences.

As noted by Kollock, this program attracts a wide range of active duty, reserve, and guardsmen from all branches. Enlisted members, officers, and warrant officers are all eligible to apply for the program. As long as prerequisite and foundational courses are completed, a service member may apply for admission to the program from any military occupational specialty.

The program offers a notable range of opportunities by exposing its students to rotations in all types of clinics available to its Phase 2 facilities.

Major Sarah Soja, certified medical assistant, has been the director of IPAP in Madigan since mid-2020. Prior to this role, she served as the officer in charge of Okubo’s soldier-centric medical home in the Madigan footprint and came to see, in supporting IPAP students, the benefit of spending time in active duty clinics.

“As military PAs, we take an oath to be lifelong learners and I take that responsibility seriously. We provide the majority of primary care to our military and having technically competent and professional officers is the foundation of our profession,” she said.

Beyond the IPAP itself, there are three additional programs to further hone a personal assistant’s focus for the specific tasks required of a flight, emergency room, or orthopedic assistant. .

It is one of many programs that support personnel advancement within the Army and DoD. The Army Green to Gold program is another. It provides ways for enlisted soldiers to earn college degrees and commissions as officers for additional leadership and advancement potential.

“There are many opportunities for enlisted soldiers to not only earn college degrees but also become commissioned officers in the military and IPAP is definitely one of them. Soldiers just need to enjoy it,” the Command Sgt confirmed. Maj. Albert Harris, CSM of Madigan and assessor of Kollock.

Some of these programs, like IPAP, require re-registration.

Kollock renewed for an additional six years once selected for the program. Although a requirement for this program, she was not discouraged because she loves the military and sees it as a two-way street.

“There are a lot of great opportunities, and the military is going to use you, so you might as well get the best out of the military,” she said. “They have a lot of opportunities that I want more military people to really take advantage of.”

How did she find herself in a position to take advantage of this opportunity?

“It comes down to having good leadership,” she noted. “Educating your subordinates is very important so that they know what to expect. It would really help make sure the soldiers stay because you joined for a reason and sometimes you lose motivation, but if you can find opportunities you might regain that motivation you may have lost.

Harris has full confidence in herself and knows she is ready for this endeavor.

“Sergeant. Kollock will take the hard work, drive and drive she learned as a non-commissioned officer and transfer them into her new profession as a medical assistant, which will only benefit her patients,” he said. declared.

Kollock is motivated to explore the rest of her career. She is ready to see patients again and begin to investigate on their behalf.

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