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A Tribute to BG(R) Norvell "Van" Coots, MD- A Remarkable Leader, Friend and Role Model


      BG(R) Coots was one of our earliest War Docs guests, and we are reposting his podcast as a tribute to his legacy.

    Van passed away on 12 June 2024 following a tragic accident, heartbreaking news for all of us. Van was, first and foremost, a loving and devoted father and husband. He was also a friend and colleague, caring physician, medical corps officer, proven leader, and a soldier medic for life. Van role modeled our core values of loyalty, duty, respect, selfless service, honor, integrity and personal courage while he wore the uniform and continued to do so after he retired in 2016 after a career of nearly three decades. Van, you are missed, but you are not forgotten. We'll see you on the high ground, my friend. May God bless.


Episode Summary:

In this episode, we learn how Van transformed from a military high school student to a celebrated physician and soldier medic. We recount his inspiring path of perseverance, from setbacks in medical school to his commission as a medical supply officer and his eventual triumph as a medical logistician and commander. Through first-hand accounts, we capture the essence of Van's unwavering dedication and the core values that defined his extraordinary career.


We explore the captivating world of military medicine and leadership through Van’s perspective as a seasoned dermatologist and military officer. From groundbreaking dermatology practices in Germany to strategic medical planning during the Kosovo campaign, we share pivotal moments that shaped a dynamic career. The narrative takes us through leadership challenges at Keller Army Hospital and the intricate oversight of medical operations across Europe, shedding light on the critical support provided to Ukrainian forces in modern warfare.


The journey culminates with a deep dive into Van’s tenure as Surgeon General for US Forces Afghanistan and the critical initiatives that transformed battlefield medical care. Transitioning to a civilian role, the host reflects on how military experiences continue to inform leadership in the healthcare sector. We round out the episode with a tribute to Dr. Coots’s significant contributions, including his pivotal role in the honorable closure of Walter Reed Army Medical Center. Join us for a compelling tribute and insightful exploration of military medicine and leadership.


The tribute podcast to Dr. Coots is available on all major podcast platforms.  Here are some popular links that will bring you directly to the episode:

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