I Am Navy Medicine: Lt. Kevin Goodell

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The best part about my career in Navy Medicine is being trusted to take care of patients and lead Sailors.

I’m a Medical Service Corps officer and physician assistant assigned to Naval Hospital Bremerton (NHB) .

I’m a Lebo, Kansas native and 1991 graduate of Lebo High School. I completed Navy Recruit Training in San Diego and Hospital Corpsman ‘A’ School the same year.

I was interested in a career with Navy Medicine. Health and medicine has always been my greatest interest. As a corpsman, I was given the opportunity to serve at a higher level. My current position and role in Navy Medicine is as a physician assistant (PA) in (NHB’s) Primary Care. It’s the perfect job for me because I love patient care.

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When I describe what I do to someone who doesn’t know what a PA is, I tell them that I evaluate and treat patients just like doctors and nurse practitioners.

Navy Medicine has also taken me to assignments with 3rd Battalion, 5th Marines, Naval Hospital San Diego, Naval Hospital Orlando, USS Nimitz (CVN 68), USS Bridge (AOE-10), and deployed down range to Afghanistan.

When I describe what I do to someone who doesn’t know what a PA is, I tell them that I evaluate and treat patients just like doctors and nurse practitioners. As a PA, I obtain medical histories, perform comprehensive exams, treat minor injuries, interpret lab tests and X-rays, counsel patients, providing detailed instructions for home-care procedures, prescribe medications and carry out treatment plans.

Navy PA’s plays a central role in one of the most capable health-care networks on earth. We have the freedom to address patients’ needs and are given the opportunity to work hands-on and collaborate with supervising physicians and surgeons to effectively deliver the highest standard of patient-centered care.

There are currently 10 active duty and several civilian PAs at NHB – each is a leader on the Navy’s health-care delivery team.

A PA has an integral role, working hand in hand with supervising physicians and surgeons. PA’s provide many services that civilian physicians provide, such as handling primary-care issues or pursuing a specific surgical subspecialty. I help oversee other members of the medical team and lend my expertise training others in emerging need areas, such as emergency medicine and family practice.

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Being a PA is the perfect job for me because I love patient care.

My most exciting assignments with Navy Medicine have been on land as well as sea. On the USS Nimitz, I observed the launching and recovery of aircraft at night. Ashore, it was when I was in Afghanistan; not knowing what was going to happen on a daily basis.

The best part about my career in Navy Medicine is being trusted to take care of patients and lead Sailors. The most gratifying aspect of being a PA is providing treatment to decrease pain or just listening to a patient’s problems and getting positive feedback.

If I could sum up my experience with Navy Medicine in one sentence, I would say that it’s been personally and professionally rewarding serving Sailors, Marines, retirees and dependents at hospitals, as a Fleet Marine Force, on ships and in the emergency room.

A Navy PA is one of 10 clinician specialties of the Navy’s Medical Service Corps that supports Navy Medicine’s readiness and health benefit missions world-wide. The other MSC clinician subspecialties are audiology, clinical psychology, occupational therapy, optometry, pharmacy, dietetics, physical therapy, podiatry and social work.

I’m Lt. Kevin Goodell. I am Navy Medicine.