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United Front: The Crucial Role of Military-Civilian Partnerships in Trauma Medicine- Peggy Knudson, MD FACS

 Growing up in a small town in Minnesota, Dr. Knudson's exposure to medicine came early, thanks to public health programs that brought physicians to her community. This inspiration and a natural affinity for biology and research ultimately propelled her into a medical career that would break new ground in both civilian and military trauma surgery.


The podcast dives deep into Dr. Knudson's transformational experiences, detailing her transition from civilian practice to serving on the front lines in Iraq and Germany. Her accounts are not only fascinating but highlight the profound impact that military-civilian partnerships can have on trauma care. The Excelsior Surgical Society, as Dr. Knudson notes, has been a cornerstone in nurturing the professional development of military surgeons and fostering these invaluable collaborations.


Listeners are treated to poignant stories of civilian surgeons volunteering in war zones, a testament to the bravery and selflessness of those willing to bring their expertise to the theater of war. The rigorous selection process ensured that these volunteers were equipped for the intensity of battlefield medicine, and their experiences did not end overseas. These civilian heroes brought back vital insights that have transformed civilian trauma care, introducing innovative practices and strategies to save lives in emergencies back home.


Dr. Knudson sheds light on how military innovations such as the Stop the Bleed program and damage control resuscitation have been incorporated into local hospitals. The discussion also addresses concerns about maintaining the readiness of military medical professionals in peacetime and the essential ongoing collaboration needed to ensure a high standard of combat casualty care.


The podcast episode covers various chapters that delve into specific aspects of military-civilian trauma partnerships. From the evolution of trauma systems to the adaptation of military medical protocols for civilian use, the episode provides a comprehensive view of the field. It's an eye-opening discussion on how the world of trauma medicine is ever-evolving, with military and civilian expertise coming together to push the boundaries of what is possible.


As Dr. Knudson herself articulates during the episode, the mentality required for high-pressure trauma situations is unique, and firsthand experience is irreplaceable. This assertion underpins the episode's emphasis on the need for continued exposure and practice for military surgeons to keep their skills sharp and ready for deployment.


The episode highlights the American College of Surgeons' Blue Book, which guides military-civilian partnerships, and the Mission Zero Act's role in funding and supporting these collaborations. These are critical components in the ongoing effort to maintain a high level of preparedness among trauma surgeons, both military and civilian.


Dr. Knudson's story is a compelling narrative of the symbiotic relationship between military and civilian trauma care. Her story is an inspiring example of how the cross-pollination of knowledge and skills across borders can enhance the quality of care and prepare medical professionals for the unforeseen challenges of war and peace.


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

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