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Dr. Benjamin Starnes- Stepping Up to Lead in Combat Medicine Clinical Excellence

Dr. Starnes is a vascular surgeon at Harborview Medical Center and is the Chief of the Division of Vascular Surgery and Vice Chair of the Department of Surgery for UW Medicine in Seattle, Washington.

In this episode Dr. Starnes shares his experience of being one of the first responders at the Pentagon on 9/11 and taking charge of managing the most injured patients onsite while the building was on fire nearby. His and similar stories are captured in a recent book written by his brother called American Phoenix- Heroes of the Pentagon on 9/11

He also tells the incredible story of going outside the wire in Northern Iraq with a CIA operative to coordinate care for wounded Peshmerga soldiers. You won’t forget the story of driving to Mosul with “Bob” and his experiences which seemed like entering the Twilight Zone.

He describes how he used his surgical skills during deployment to perform a life-saving operation on a 2-day old Iraqi girl named Ayat with a complicated life-threatening congenital defect.

Dr. Starnes describes how the skill set of a vascular surgeon is beneficial on the battlefield and gives the listener an idea of how we need to be training surgeons in light of the changing battlefield and advances in technology.

Dr. Starnes is talented storyteller and you will be engaged and entertained while also learning some valuable insights from his experience.

Find out more about Dr. Starnes at and visit our webpage and become part of Team WarDocs at

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