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Family Medicine Resident Completes Army Flight Surgeon Course

Greensboro AHEC currently supports two Army National Guard officers within its family medicine residency in coordination with Cone Health.
Scott Bland, DO

Scott Bland, DO, waves from the inside of a Chinook helicopter during his residency elective rotation at Fort Rucker military base in Alabama.

GREENSBORO — Greensboro Area Health Education Center (Greensboro AHEC), in coordination with Cone Health, is happy to announce that family medicine resident and Army National Guard battalion surgeon, Scott Bland, DO, 1-130th ARB NCARNG, has completed a six-week elective rotation to provide medical evaluations for flight-related service members. The fall 2020 training, based out of Fort Rucker, Ala., supported Dr. Bland’s plans to serve as a National Guard flight surgeon and to work in rural medicine as a civilian.

“I’d like to thank Cone Health for being so supportive of our military residents and fellows,“ said Dr. Bland. “A lot of medical students question whether they should mention military obligations, but I was reassured from the beginning that they were supportive, and they came through on that promise.”

Training for the flight surgeon course included:

  • Physiology related to environmental exposure in flight
  • Hypobaric chamber simulation of elevation effects on oxygen saturation
  • Healthcare management principles for leading battalion or brigade medical teams
  • Risk mitigation factors for various positions
  • Evaluating human factors that lead to aircraft mishaps  

“I was most surprised by the amount of engineering effort that goes into protective equipment for the soldiers,” said Dr. Bland, who gained flight time from the course aboard Black Hawk and Chinook helicopters. “To see some of the crashes that are survivable due to a massive decades-long design effort was inspiring.”

Dr. Bland also notes Cone Health’s flexibility and the steps taken by the base to safely continue training despite challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“For the course, I had to test on arrival and quarantine in place prior,” says Bland. “We took social distancing very seriously.”

For more information about Greensboro AHEC Graduate Medical Education Support, please contact Terry Lynn at terry.lynn@conehealth.com.

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