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COL(Ret) Alfonso “Al” Alarcon: Orthopedic Surgery and Military Medical Leadership Around the Globe

Dr. Alarcon has a distinguished career of clinical excellence, leadership and service. After 30+ years in the Army Medical Corps he currently is an Orthopedic Surgeon and the Director of Surgery and Specialty Care at U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, St. Cloud VA Health Care System.

In this episode you will hear about some of the amazing experiences of Dr. Alarcon. He talks about bookending his 30 years of military service by being assigned to the Sinai as a General Medical Officer as a Captain and then as a leader of a Forward Surgical Team as a Colonel decades later. He tells the story of being part of the last Mobile Army Surgical Hospital (MASH) to deploy in combat during an assignment in Iraq and how he and his unit had to be prepared to encounter weapons of mass destruction. Later in Iraq he served as the U.S. Army Central Command Surgeon where he helped establish the joint-coalition medical support plan in support of the anti-ISIS efforts. Dr. Alarcon shares experiences supporting humanitarian missions in Nigeria, South America and Haiti and provides some insights on how TRICARE provides care for servicemembers and their families across the globe. He describes how he and his colleagues cared for a young Iraqi who wound up with a below the knee amputation following trauma and how they were able to ultimately help that young man achieve his dream of walking his bride down the aisle. What a career!

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