Training forward surgical teams: do military-civilian collaborations work?

Carl I. Schulman, Jill Graygo, Katherine Wilson, Donald B. Robinson, George Garcia, Jeffrey Augenstein

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


The US Army and the Ryder Trauma Center (Jackson Memorial Hospital, Miami, Florida) teamed up to provide a training environment (ie, the Army Trauma Training Center) in which forward surgical teams can attend to gain critical teamwork and trauma technical skills to prepare for deployment to Iraq or Afghanistan. The purpose of this study was to gather trainee reactions to the military-civilian collaboration provided at ATTC after deployment to Iraq or Afghanistan. Survey respondents were 135 US Army personnel (an approximately 50% response rate) who participated in the ATTC 2-week team training program between January 2005 and June 2007. The survey asked questions pertaining to their experience in the resuscitation unit and patient contact at the trauma center. Over 90% of participants agreed or strongly agreed that training in the resuscitation area was beneficial. A majority of participants also agreed or strongly agreed that the patient contact experience was sufficient (78.5%), was a good learning opportunity (90%), and that the experience was a good opportunity to apply what they had learned in their classroom training (over 80%). Areas of suggested improvement included the importance of clarifying roles between the ATTC trainees and the Ryder Trauma Center residents and interns. Trainees would have preferred an extension of the training as a whole, as they felt it was rushed in order to fit all training opportunities into the 2 weeks that they were in Miami. Finally, trainees noted the lack of injuries admitted to the trauma center which replicate injuries caused by blasts (ie, improvised explosive devices). The results of our efforts indicate that military-civilian collaborations do in fact work and are beneficial to both military and civilian medical providers. The opportunity to perform as a team in their respective roles, to respond to a variety of actual trauma patients, and access to civilian medical providers were beneficial. As mentioned, such collaborations are not without limitations. The good news is that most of the identified limitations will be corrected to ensure trainees get the best possible experience possible.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)17-21
Number of pages5
JournalU.S. Army Medical Department journal
StatePublished - Jan 1 2010

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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