Army Consultant Report

Air Force Consultant’s Report

Shawn Kane, MD
Ft. Bragg, NC

Happy Spring everyone!!

My apologies for not making it to the USAFP Annual Meeting, I had too many work commitments that could not be rearranged. I extend a special thanks to Josh Will, DO for filling in for me during the service specific breakout. I have heard it was a great meeting (as usual) and look forward to our next meeting in Jacksonville.

There are lots of changes and even more challenges ahead in Army family medicine! Isn’t it ironic, that every time we assume things will slow down and get easier things actually get more hectic or at least remain hectic?

Everyone wants Family Medicine physicians on their team and that is a great thing, but our high demand also leads to challenges. We are indeed uniquely suited to fill multiple positions from clinics to strategic billets and the number of factors that play into each assignment decision are varied and complex. They can range from desired knowledge, skills, and attributes of Family Physicians to individual/family medical or dual service issues. They can also be affected by selection at a centrally managed board and unfortunately at times negative administrative actions. Coming up with the ideal officer for a position is a great feeling, and when it is truly ideal, everyone is happy!! This doesn’t always happen and despite our best efforts, everyone doesn’t always get their first or most desired choice. Last minute changes are particularly difficult to accommodate and there are always 2nd, 3rd and 4th order impacts of all choices made in the assignment selection process. Yet, despite all of this, our Army rolls on because of great Family Physicians like you. A quote by Major General (ret) Volpe has application when considering how we should ideally respond to each assignment we receive: “bloom where you planted.”

There were some changes to the assignment process this year and there have been challenges. Please contact me at any time with questions or comments (Office: 910-432-5242 Cell: 910-992-2228 BlackBerry: 910-922-4744 or email I will always give you the honest answer, you may not like it but I promise to give you a thorough assessment.

As with all assignments, we will always need people to step up and lead at every level. Leading is an awesome privilege, and when done well it is something that is truly selfless!! There is no “leader/commander” bonus as it is impossible to put a monetary value on it. Excellence starts at the lowest level team and hall leadership and can culminate at very significant levels. No matter your role, trust your subordinates. If you always do what is legal, moral, and ethical you will do great. This doesn’t mean there will not be challenges but you will be able to appropriately handle them. Leadership is always improved with frequent use of a mentor – a wise senior colleague to help provide advice and these are easy to find. I recommend you seek them out in whatever role you may be in.

To those finishing residencies and fellowships – congratulations and to those PCS’ing, safe travels!!

Please do not hesitate to contact me.