Nurse Ratched’s Place: It’s Military Week at Grand Rounds

Nurse Ratched’s Place: It’s Military Week at Grand Rounds

This week at Grand Rounds we are honoring health care professionals who serve their country by serving others. I want to thank Dr. Nick Genes for letting me host Grand Rounds this week, and I also want to thank everyone for all of their great submissions. The number of submissions that I received overwhelmed me, and apologize that I didn’t have room for every post. The artwork found in this week’s edition of Grand Rounds illustrates the history of military medicine, and the dedication of the men and women who care for patients in military medical facilities and outposts around the world. In the 1944 painting above by Jack McMillen, the artist depicts life at the Forest Glen annex of the Walter Reed Army Medical Center. The annex served as a holding and rehabilitation unit for medical patients, including psychiatric patients during World War II and in subsequent wars.

I’m embarrassed I couldn’t write a suitable post. I appreciate the hard-charging, dedicated and self-sacrificing Navy Corpsmen and Docs (I’m sure the lesser services have good people, too, but I didn’t live and work with them) and they deserve the respect of all, in and out of the service. It’s hard in a weird way to be the one whose role is to be ‘the soft one’, the one who cares for the warriors. It’s a job sometimes unappreciated by the warriors themselves, but that doesn’t make it any less important; in fact, that magnifies its importance.  19 year old males believe they’re bulletproof, and it’s our job to be there when reality strikes.  My service was blessedly between wars, and nobody wanted to hear that Things Happen.

I genuinely liked my corpsmen, and hope they’re doing well, now 9-13 years since I was their leader. I hope they have the pride of a job well done, and understand the thanks of at least one ex-Navy Doc.

Why the heck couldn’t I write THAT before the deadline?


  1. “LESSER?”


    And Doc – doesn’t matter how long it’s been since you wore the uniform — believe me, I appreciate your service.

  2. I honor you for your military service, no matter which branch. I honor them all. Once, a decade ago, when my mother and I were overseas and had the misfortune of getting caught in an anti-American riot, our lives were saved by just a handfull of young MSG’s— and the “office guys” (ex-military) they quickly recruited to help in the violent fracas.

    I get tears in my eyes every time I remember the desperate scene where we thought all was lost, the tear gas wasn’t effective, and the MSG’s resorted to handing out guns to those men—and anybody else who knew how to use one. Although I abhor violence of any kind, the guns were in case we had to fight to the death to protect our country’s security. Because my mother was one of the ones madly shredding documents upstairs….

    I read you faithfully and ALL your posts are “suitable”…

  3. Navy Nurse says:

    As a former Navy Nurse, I second your sentiments about Navy Corpsmen. I also had the honor of learning Combat Casualty Care from a few highly talented Army Medics. Anyone who provides care to those in harm’s way, and selflessly serves so that more of our soldiers and Marines (OORAH) can come back home deserves the respect of all.

  4. dittos. the corpsmen, medics, nurses, and docs i worked with were just outstanding. i was proud to have had the honor of caring for warriors.