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Graduate Medical Education program enhancing knowledge of military providers

Graduate Medical Education program residents prepare to graduate inside the Don Wylie Auditorium at Keesler Air Force Base, Mississippi, May 23, 2019.

Graduate Medical Education program residents prepare to graduate inside the Don Wylie Auditorium at Keesler Air Force Base, Mississippi, May 23, 2019. Residents in the program undergo years of rigorous medical training to become certified in various independent practices. (U.S Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Spencer Tobler)

Graduate Medical Education program graduates pose for a group photo outside the 81st Medical Group at Keesler Air Force Base, Mississippi, May 23, 2019.

Graduate Medical Education program graduates pose for a group photo outside the 81st Medical Group at Keesler Air Force Base, Mississippi, May 23, 2019.The 34 Airmen that graduated will continue their independent medical practices at their respective locations across the world. (Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Spencer Tobler)

U.S Navy Vice Adm. Raquel C. Bono, Defense Health Agency Medical Corps director, addresses Graduate Medical Education program residents at their graduation ceremony inside the Don Wylie Auditorium at Keesler Air Force Base, Mississippi, May 23, 2019.

U.S Navy Vice Adm. Raquel C. Bono, Defense Health Agency Medical Corps director, addresses Graduate Medical Education program residents at their graduation ceremony inside the Don Wylie Auditorium at Keesler Air Force Base, Mississippi, May 23, 2019. Bono completed a general surgery residency through the program after commissioning in 1979. Bono became head of casualty receiving for operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm shortly after her training. (U.S Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Spencer Tobler)

KEESLER AIR FORCE BASE, Miss --

Thirty-four Air Force officers graduated their detailed training areas under the Graduate Medical Education program here, May 23.

The program is available to postgraduate medical students, officers and civilians, to help further their knowledge and expertise of a specific medical practice. The program offers rigorous and detailed training in areas such as internal medicine, dentistry and surgery.  

“Military medics need this program so they’ll be able to practice their specialty as a fully skilled and competent medical provider upon graduation,” said Col. Rita L. DuBoyce, 81st Medical Group Graduate Medical Education director.

The program is only offered at select military installations with Keesler Air Force Base being one of six within the Air Force.

“They’re not only medical providers, they’re officers in the military,” said DuBoyce. “They need to know both their job and military protocol.”

The program has residents care for a multitude of patients and a variety of cases to make the students proficient in every aspect of their specialty.

“Before entering this program, residents must have received a Bachelor’s degree and completed four years of dental or medical school. Their time at Keesler allows them to gain more knowledge and experience in patient care.” said Tech. Sgt. Julian Blyden, 81st Dental Squadron dental residency flight chief. “The Air Force has them work with staffing doctors to get them familiar with unique cases.”

 Capt. Greg Spilsbury, two-year comprehensive general dentistry program graduate, and his peers had rotations in orthodontics, periodontics, oral surgery, root canals, endodontics, and pediatric dentistry, which are all outside their original realm of study.

“You’re managing patients and learning the specifics of each specialty, it’s a lot of information” said Spilsbury, “There’s a lot of facets to becoming successful at this program. Time management and having to be away from my family have been very challenging, but I would never be at the level I’m at now without this program.”