METETI, Panama —
As with most tasks, hands-on education remains one of the most effective training methods of both learning and maintaining skills. For the medical professionals participating in Exercise New Horizons 2018, hands-on training comes in the form of fully submerging into local clinics.
Doctors and technicians from the 346th Air Expeditionary Group participated in an embedded health engagement, which sought to incorporate them directly into clinics near here.
“We brought in three doctors to make up our EHE team,” said Air Force Lt. Col. (Dr.) Brian Neese, commander of the 346th Expeditionary Medical Operations Squadron. “They were brought in to integrate themselves directly into the host country’s medical system. Because of that, we didn’t bring any additional medications and brought very little additional equipment.”
By integrating directly, the medical team was forced to adapt to a completely foreign environment, new regulations and new standards. All three doctors worked in one of three regional clinics.
“It’s a very different approach to the New Horizons effort. Each day, we sent one doctor to each clinic or hospital,” Neese said. “We would show up and work with the doctor in charge. Often times we even got to pair up with a resident in training, which proved a huge benefit to both sides. At every step we saw patients together, side by side. We…