September 13, 2016

Ithaca Army Simulation Trailer Models Medical Military Service

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Aaron Saguil, dean of uniformed services university of the health sciences and an army physician, entered the battlefield once again this week to help soldiers in Ithaca’s U.S. Army Simulation Trailer.

The trailer — which opened to community members Monday — showcased new technologies developed by the military, including moveable prosthetic legs and stethoscopes that block helicopter noises. Several videos of CPR techniques and soldier rescues also lined the inside walls of the trailers, ready to inspire those considering medical military service.

Recalling his own wartime experiences, Saquil said he treated people with “horrible injuries” but his team did not lose a single patient. As the dean of USUHS for the past five years, Saguil said he has traveled the country hoping to recruit other physician hopefuls.

“When you are supporting troops in Afghanistan, you have to have enough medical people to take care of the anticipated number of casualties,” he said. “You also need people able to conduct medical missions across the battlespace.”

Saguil also encouraged attending students to look to the military for assistance in paying for college.

“I applied for the ROTC scholarship as a high school student and happily received it,” Saguil said. “ROTC paid for my entire time in college. When it came time for medical school, the Army Health Professions Scholarship Program took care all my tuition and fees.”

Saguil added that joining the military allowed him to broaden his horizons and travel to exotic locations including Germany, South Korea and Ecuador.

Lauren O’Neil, director of the Health Careers Advising Program at Cornell, said she began planning the trailer event in January, hoping to give students a better idea of the military’s role in medicine.

“My hopes are that students can see the innovations in medicine that have come through the military,” she said.