Good medicine in bad places 

12/1/2009 

 

Air Force 2nd Lt. Katherine Racicot and Army 2nd Lt. Nicole Miller were finishing up the last day of their first military field exercise as students at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences on an overcast mid-summer Pennsylvania dusk.

At Fort Indiantown Gap, they had each gone through a number of roles – surgeon, as might be expected, company commander, not so expected, members of a scout platoon, really not expected.

"This is what we want to do," Miller, a West Point graduate, said. "That’s what I’m most excited about – serving soldiers in the field. Exercises like this are of the utmost importance. As soon as residency is done, we’re going to get deployed."

Racicot, a Dartmouth graduate, said, "We are living the school’s motto: ‘Practicing Good Medicine in Bad Places.’"

Miller wants to practice internal medicine, while Racicot wants to practice emergency room medicine.

Both said they were drawing on family traditions of military service, but took a different path to USUHS.

 Students in the woods
Armed with paint ball guns and acting as a scout platoon, the medical students served in a variety of roles during the nine-day exercise in central Pennsylvania.

Miller said she made up her mind to apply to the USUHS in her senior year. For Racicot, there was the time spent filling out 20 applications to different medical schools.

"I always knew I wanted to be a physician and what better place to practice medicine than in the military," Racicot said.