Life as a Deployed Dentist

Posted: May 8, 2011 in Uncategorized

So…what is it like here as a dentist in a deployed environment? It is a little rough. This is by no means the most miserable I have ever been, but its a little rough. The living conditions aren’t bad at all. I live in a plywood room that is pretty cool (although the cells at Ft Leavenworth are bigger). The clinic is a little difficult though. It is small and was an absolute mess when I took over. The place doesn’t seem to have been cleaned often and much of the equipment is not functioning properly. Im pulling garbage and food wrappers and food and shaving cream and other personal hygiene items out of the same drawers that they kept dental supplies in. Its really gross. We are still cleaning it up and we have been here almost a month.

Practicing dentistry here is frustrating. I am the only dentist around for a very large number of soldiers, sailors, marines, airmen, civilians, and “other governmental agencies.” None of those units brought a dentist with them. That means I work 24/7 with no real time off. The PA-C/MD do one day on, one day off. Thats a pretty good deal! People come in all hours of the day wanting to be seen for dental.

When Im not in the clinic, I have plenty of downtime. This is a nice FOB so there is stuff to do. We have an MWR and USO facility with internet and  phones. We have a little movie theater and two gyms. The dining facility is open 24 hours a day so you can go get ice cream whenever you want.

On the evenings when we are all available we like to go up on the roof and smoke cigars and drink near beer. Its not as nice as Club Habana in Charleston, but its relaxing. I also get to hit the gym almost every day.

So that is what life as a deployed brigade dentist has been like so far. This is going to be a long year. I hope the time goes by fast.

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Comments
  1. John Lake says:

    Dude, I totally love your candor in this post. When they PROFIS my ass out there, maybe I can request your FOB and we can rotate duty hours and smoke cigars between patients. Nice thought, eh?

    That is amazing that they want you to pack up all your shit for one patient at a Level I FOB. I would be a little…disappointed… if they end up making you do that.

    Keep the blog updated man. All of us here look forward to reading them.

  2. Donnie McMaster says:

    At least you have a box of homemade Beek Jerky with your name on it in the mail, take care and keep you head up brother the days are getting shorter, not longer

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