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COL (Ret.) Russ Kotwal, MD, MPH- Advancing Battlefield Trauma Care at the Tip of the Spear

Updated: Aug 5, 2022

Part 1– Ranger Battalion and Regimental Medical Care in Two Combat Jumps and 12 Operational Deployments

Dr. Russ Kotwal spent nearly 30 years in the military and more than 15 years in operational assignments with the 25thInfantry Division, 75th Ranger Regiment, and U.S. Army Special Operations Command. He conducted hundreds of ground combat and air missions as the senior medical provider.

Dr. Kotwal describes his journey to military medicine through the Uniformed Services University and then to Family Medicine training at Martin Army Hospital in Ft. Benning, Georgia. It was his experience treating the soldiers and families of the Ranger community that led him to also obtain further medical training in Aerospace Medicine and a Master of Public Health and his application of these degrees and knowledge to benefit the Ranger community.

As a Ranger medical physician and battalion and regimental surgeon, he describes his experiences with two combat jumps as a Ranger and extraordinary medical care provided on the Haditha Dam in Iraq. He further describes his initial data collection to help the Ranger community to provide better battlefield care and the transition for intravenous morphine to oral fentanyl to provide superior pain control at initial combat point of injury.

Part 1 on Apple-

Part 1 on Spotify-

Part 2 – Studying the Chaos of Battlefield Injuries in a Standardized Manner to Advance Battlefield Trauma Care

Dr. Russ Kotwal spent nearly 30 years in the military and served on 12 deployments with 75th Ranger Regiment. He stayed with the Ranger community to become the Regimental Surgeon and then U.S. Army Special Operations Command. He is a master parachutist, master flight surgeon, has five bronze stars, two Joint Service Commendation medals for Valor, and two combat jumps.

Dr. Kotwal describes how physicians can apply the medical knowledge learned in the training, in his case Family Medicine residency, Master of Public Health, and Aerospace medicine residency to their medical practice, no matter how unique the practice. He is credited with numerous novel training and technology initiatives and numerous publications on battlefield casualty trauma care. He discuses the literature that was most influential to special operations care and how they derived the data by connecting pathologic evaluation to data and then implementation on the battlefield.

This is part 2 of a 2-part series where Dr. Kotwal gives an inside look into the medical care of the most elite infantry unit in the world. This is a must listen episode.

Part 2 on Apple-

Part 2 on Spotify-

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