Military Censorship Closes Medical Blog

Mudville Gazette

A Bucks County military doctor serving in Iraq says he was forced to shut down his Internet war diary last week after Army officials decided his gripping accounts of frontline medicine constituted a breach of Army regulations.
Maj. Michael Cohen, a doctor with the 67th Combat Support Hospital unit, had chronicled the bloody aftermath of the Dec. 21 mess-hall bombing in Mosul that killed 22. That account and 12 months of other postings on his Web log, www.67cshdocs.com, were replaced with a short notice:

“Levels above me have ordered, yes ORDERED, me to shut down this Web site. They cite that the information contained in these pages violates several Army Regulations,” Cohen wrote, adding that he disagreed with the ban…

This is the kind of crap that drove me out of the service. Some pinhead gets a bug in their ass, and we’re all expected to squirm.

I hope he keeps some sort of journal and publishes it when he’s out of the service (this should help the military doc reserve retention, eh?). Dumbasses. Quote me.


Comments

  1. Christopher says:

    Dear GruntDoc,
    Pardon my recent arrival upon your site, but I have a few questions to ask of you.

    In review of your site, I have seen that you have had some great and then otherwise terrible experiences within the Military. I have aspired to become a Navy Doctor since childhood, and I am progressively making steps towards enlisting as a Navy HM. I am aware of the HPSP and other programs for school, and I would love to retire as a Navy Doc…..Any advice?

    With Regards,

    Chris

  2. Hey, Doc — I decided to take a look after reading this post for the army chaplain’s blog you had mentioned here previously. ‘Training for Eternity’ — it’s gone also.

    It just doesn’t seem fair at all.

  3. Gotta a dollar to your doughnut here this (and possibly the Chaplain’s blog) was shut down not by a line officer but by an 0-6 or 0-7 medical officer thinking he was ACTING like a line officer.

    Look at all the blogs by young G.I.s, NCOs and officers that highlight operational concerns everyday without being shut down by their commanders.

    I just don’t know what it is about non-line types that make 0-6 or (god forbid) 0-7.

  4. That’s entirely possible, Jim. And, as you point out, many other, more ‘operational’ blogs continue.

    Farce.

  5. To Chris, above:

    Enlisting as a Navy HM, for whatever other benefits it may offer, is neither the best nor the most direct route to becoming a Navy (or any service) physician.

    If you think you want to be a medical doctor, you ought to talk to a college counselor about the several pathways available through premedical education, and get some information about the handful of combined undergraduate-medical school programs presently available.

    As a former (not retired) Navy doc, I have nothing per se against retiring as a Navy doc (in fact I would have liked a few of the people I met on active duty to have done just that) but that goal should presuppose a happy and productive military medical career. Wanting to be a Navy doc should presume wanting to be a doctor, and that is a whole other thing from being a Navy corpsman.

  6. Christoper,
    CHenry makes an excellent point: Corpsman is a terrific field, but won’t get you anywhere near being a physician. (The Marines will call you “doc”, though).

    I know one person who became a corpsman, as a reservist while in college, who then went on to medical school. I was glad to serve with him (he’s a nice fellow, and we stay in touch to this day), but his path is the exception rather than the rule.

    So, don’t confuse the two. If you want to be a doctor, get through the schools, and get a scholarship while applying to med school.

    As for my experiences as a Navy doc, they were skewed by my practice environment: peacetime Marine Infantry. Average age 21, 100% male, in excellent physical condition and without any chronic medical problems. That’s not a setup for a busy medical practice.

    My role, then, was Leadership, Planning, and sick-call, which consisted of Sports Medicine (which I grew to relly enjoy), dermatology, and adolescent psychiatry. I got so bored I used to go and volunteer at the Naval Hospital in the ER to actually see someone who was even mildly ill.

    Had I stayed in, I would have done an inservice residency (which are variably good, but none are bad), then would have gone to practice in a Naval Hospital somewhere.

    I enjoyed my time in the service, and realized while doing it that I wasn’t ‘career material’, so I left on good terms and only miss it once a week now.

    Have a browse theough this site, especially the “military doctor’ posts, and read the very insightful comments, many by CHenry. Then, write me back and we’ll answer more questions!