U.S. Air Force: Lt Col Kimberly Johnson, Physician

I joined the Air Force in 1994, right
after graduating from college. My parents couldn’t afford to send me to medical
school on their own and said it was my responsibility after leaving college to
financially support myself. I found out about the Uniformed Services University.
You enter as a 2nd Lieutenant, you were paid 2nd lieutenant salary, and
earned time towards retirement. That’s how my career started in the Air Force.
My current role in the Air Force is a Staff Allergist. I have the honor of
being in a graduate medical education program and it’s the only allergy
fellowship that the Air Force has. We train one of the largest groups of
allergists in the nation. I find the most rewarding thing about being an Air Force
physician is to be able to take care of all my people the way I want to take
care of them. I don’t feel like I work under the enormous constraints that I
believe a lot of my civilian counterparts do. When I think about my
parents, who were not in the military, and the hoops they’ve had to jump through to get
certain tests when they’ve been diagnosed with cancer, as opposed to when
I felt like a patient needed something taking care of urgently, it was taken
care of. They wanted to produce amazing physicians and they gave us a lot of
resources to do that. There’s a lot of pride in our country and there’s a lot
of people that are very grateful for what we do. As a physician, I’m glad that I can
support these wonderful men and women that lead our defense in the Air Force.
Of all those things, it’s just looking around and saying we’re family, you know,
and taking care of each other is probably the most important thing to me
as an Air Force physician.

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