U.S. Air Force: Col Jeff Vista, Physician

I’d known since a young age that I wanted
to be a physician. My father is a retired physician. Because he was in the military,
he encouraged me to be in the military as well and to look at going to the
military medical school, the Uniformed Services University. When I finished
residency, I had a debt of essentially zero. Four years after my residency
training, I became a director of emergency department and after only
eight years of working full-time in the emergency department, opportunities
opened for me to become a chief of the medical staff.: the chief physician in a
hospital or a clinic. Currently I work as the senior air force instructor at the
inter-service physician assistant program. Looking back at 20 years, my
family and I haven’t decided for sure, but chances are good I probably will
retire in the next one to two years and I am looking forward to it, certainly
looking forward to the retirement pension, but also to continue my service
as a physician, either clinical or perhaps as a chief of medical staff, or
perhaps teaching on faculty at a civilian PA program. For civilian physicians
considering joining the Air Force, I would encourage them wholeheartedly to
do it. I think that a lot of people still have
a sense of patriotism to serve as part of an organization that’s bigger than
themselves, to serve their country.

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