Campbell University’s School of Medicine students who will serve in the United States Air Force, Army and Navy took the oath of office during today’s commissioning ceremony.
A total of 10 graduating students received promotions; the Army and Air Force graduates were promoted to the rank of captain while the Navy graduates were promoted to the rank of lieutenant.
Army Colonel (retired) Barbara Walker, DO, and university trustee advised the soon-to-be graduates about medical procedures and reminding them to always focus on the patient. Walker offered inspiring words to the future military physicians.
“As military physicians, you will be treating a wide variety of patients. Listen to their stories. They face challenges we can never imagine,” said Walker.
Walker also told the graduates to never give up on their dreams—or on their patients.
“First, never give up on yourself. Take time for your own health and your self-care as it can be an example to others,” she said. “Remember to teach your patients about care and lifestyles. Don’t lose sight of the soldier, marine, airman or sailor they are. Focus on the patient. Partner with them.”
University president, J. Bradley Creed, shared some of Campbell’s history of medical students who went on to become military physicians.
“Students come to Campbell because of the vocation to serve others,” Creed said. “Today in this ceremony we combine two professions—medicine and military service. You will join a wonderful tradition and we commend your call to serve.”
Allyson Brislinger, a Class of 2018 Campbell Medicine graduate, is continuing a family tradition of serving in the military in a medical profession.
“I wanted to become a military physician so that I can give back to my country and those who put their lives on the line on behalf of Americans everywhere,” said Brislinger.
Continuing the mind, body and spirit care
Medical students at Campbell learn the concept of mind, body and spirit, or care of the whole person. It is a principle they will carry with them in the next phase of their medical careers.
“Soldiers and their families deserve the best all-encompassing medical, spiritual and emotional care possible,” said Matthew Toeneboehn, also a member of Campbell Medicine’s Class of 2018. “Being a military physician means I have the unique privilege and responsibility to serve this country and give back with the talents and knowledge God has given me.”
“Soldiers make tremendous sacrifices of both mind and body. These 10 individuals have chosen a life of medical service to the nation, but also a service to the country for which we are deeply grateful,” said Dr. John M. Kauffman, Jr., dean.
The graduating officers, part of the Health Professions Scholarship Program, also are part of the Student Association of Military Osteopathic Physicians and Surgeons (SAMOPS) at Campbell Medicine.
United States Air Force
Kyle Blasser; Internal Medicine, Wright State University/Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Dayton, Ohio
Christopher Colvin; Transitional Year, Cape Fear Valley Medical Center in Fayetteville, North Carolina
Kayla Hahn; Family Medicine/Flight Medicine, Tulsa, Oklahoma
Paul Pikman; Internal Medicine, Wright State University/Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Dayton, Ohio
United States Army
Allyson Brislinger; Internal Medicine, Fort Bliss in El Paso, Texas
Lea Choi; Family Medicine, Womack Medical Center in Fort Bragg, North Carolina
Cecily Lehman; Psychiatry, Walter Reed National Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland
Hayden Wisely; Neurology, Walter Reed National Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland
United States Navy
Anastassiya Georgiev; Internal Medicine, Walter Reed National Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland
Matthew Toeneboehn; Internal Medicine, Naval Medical Center in San Diego, California