Recently, I was happy to see the IU School of Medicine re-affirming its commitment to Indiana veterans. When Dean Craig Brater signed on to the Joining Forces Initiative, he pledged to prepare Indiana University doctors and researchers to treat and study the particular problems vets face, such as brain injuries and post-traumatic stress syndrome .
As a lieutenant colonel in the Indiana National Guard who’s served two tours of duty, I am very glad to see the world recognizing post 9/11 veterans as a new class of patients, with a new set of health problems. Indiana has a huge class of National Guardsmen and women, the fourth largest in the U.S., and in the coming decades physicians in Indiana will meet with many of them.
So, while I applaud the Joining Forces Initiative, I will be even more thrilled when the IU medical school adopts a block in the curriculum for teaching students how to deal with the veterans they inevitably will meet. Let’s be honest, most veterans will not get their medical care from the federal government but from their family doctor.