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On Being a Doctor |

The Forever WarThe Forever War

Ross M. Boyce, MD, MSc
[+] Article, Author, and Disclosure Information

From Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts.

Requests for Single Reprints: Ross M. Boyce, MD, MSc, Department of Medicine, Massachusetts General Hospital, 55 Fruit Street, Grey-Bigelow 740, Boston, MA 02114; e-mail, rmboyce@mgh.harvard.edu.


Ann Intern Med. 2014;161(9):676-677. doi:10.7326/M14-1054
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Nearly 10 years ago, at the age of 25, I crossed the border into Iraq as the commander of an infantry platoon. No one knew what lay ahead, but we all knew there was no turning back.

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Excellent Essay
Posted on November 5, 2014
Andrew Wilner, MD
Lawrence and Memorial Hospital, New London, CT
Conflict of Interest: Royalties from Bullets and Brains, Epilepsy:199 Answers, Epilepsy in Clinical Practice. Medical Advisor for Accordant, a CVS/Caremark Company.
A brave and thoughtful essay. For a physician in private practice without combat experience, this essay provides a window into the war experience from the point of view of a soldier who has since become a physician. It would be useful to learn how widespread such experiences and feelings of suicide are for those who return from combat. Perhaps formal screening should be done? Thanks for writing.
Experience of War
Posted on November 7, 2014
Lucile Burgo
Yale and VA Connecticut Healthcare System
Conflict of Interest: None Declared
As a primary care provider with 30 years in VA primary care I have heard the stories of all of our cohorts of Veterans, WWII, Korean, Vietnam and the recent conflicts. Exposure to combat redefines and changes the trajectory of lives. Serving in the military without deploying to a combat zone is an important piece of the occupational history that we should all be collecting. The tragedy here is that in his interactions with medical providers few asked Dr. Royce about his military service or heard his story. Take a few minutes to ask, listen and learn.
Thank you for your service Dr Royce!
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