Clinician's Corner Blog

A PHCoE blog series written by leaders, clinicians and experts on current topics of interest for psychological health care providers in the Military Health System.

  • Moral Injury: A Mechanism of Harm June 26, 2017

    A little over 10 years ago, Maj. Gen. George Flynn, then commanding general of Marine Corps Training and Education Command, and I were on Capitol Hill waiting to brief congressional staffers when he asked me a deceptively tough question. “If I cross the street and almost get hit by a car but I jump out of the way in time, could I get posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) just from that experience?” Flynn asked.

  • Intro to Data: Using Big Data in the Public Health Sector and the Military Health System June 1, 2017

    Welcome to the second blog in our “Intro to Data” series where we’ll talk about how big data can be used in the health and public health sectors, specifically within the Military Health System (MHS). In our first blog, Dr. Waitsman introduced the 3 Vs that often describe big data: volume, velocity and variety.

     

     

  • Impact of Rank in Psychotherapy May 30, 2017

    Psychotherapy is always a relationship with a power differential (discuss amongst yourselves).

    I think this statement is almost always true. The relationship between doctor and patient places the doctor in the position of “expert” while the patient is seeking assistance – often out of great need, or even desperation. This uneven relationship is further complicated in the Military Health System when military rank is introduced as another variable potentially impacting the relationship. And it can cut both ways.        

  • Cultural Competence in Mental Health Treatment: What do You Call a Military Patient? May 22, 2017

    Are you seeing a service member as a patient? What do you call him or her? It seems like such a simple question, but it’s not as easy as it sounds. Should you address the service member by first name? Last name? Rank? Job title? Call sign?

    In examining the question, we have to ask what rank denotes. To most service members, military service in general is a large bulk of their personal identity, earned through hard work, a characterization of who they are, and in many respects, rank is akin to a first name.

  • Female Service Members and Their Mental Health May 15, 2017

    I’ve been working for the military for over 30 years in many different roles. While my gender makes me obviously different from my male counterparts, I’ve never focused on it as a barrier because my parents raised me to do my best, and to accomplish the goals I set in my mind and heart, regardless of my gender.  

    Early in my career, I broke into the previously gender-restricted missile operations career field. That experience strongly shaped my perspective, and throughout my career has caused me to think about the challenges for military females.

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The views expressed in Clinician's Corner blogs are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinion of the Psychological Health Center of Excellence or Department of Defense.