Here it is, not quite 0800 in the morning and my day is well started. Officially we start at 0800. I am finding that I can acheive quite a bit in those quite couple of hours before everyone else gets here.
I sit with my iPod on – music playing – if anyone else is in the office. Headphone block out the worst of it. When sharing an office with a lot of other people, you really do not want to be listening to potentially six different phone converstations.
All of this takes me to the what are you doing there anyway question.
There is both a short and a long answer.
The short answer says that I am the Preventive Medicine Consultant for the Theater. In US speak, it means that I am the senior person with techinical oversight for the field. We have only one named consultant at a time for anything. It has nothing to do per se with credentials or certifications.
The long answer, well I guess I started that above. I have responsibilities for PM for the theater. In the case of deployments the field includes Occupational & Environmental Medicine as well as Public Health and Preventive Medicine. US forces, I need to caveat that with “responsibility for US Forces.” All of those fancy words translates to: sanitation, disease surveillance, immunization programs, entomology, radiation physics, environmental surveillance, occ health programs, hearing protection….. you name it, I probabaly own it from the technical side.
It is not just me. I have a public health nurse, a health physicist, enotomologist and an environmental enginer here and a senior tech in another region. There are PM assests in the combat brigades and the division. There are teams that fall under our command and control in each of the RCs (Regional Commands).
Right now there are a number of large issues on the plate – the kind that never seem to go away. Malaria and Leishmaniasis come immediately to mind followed by the standard fall push for flu vaccine.
There is certainly enough to keep me busy for the tour.