VCOM 2022 Annual Report

Inspired by the Call of Duty During Third Year of Residency

A s an emergency medicine physician, Dr. Ferrara considers himself “an aggressively average dude,” but there is nothing average about a physician who jumps out of helicopters in the call of duty, carrying a rifle for his own protection. Dr. Ferrara cares for the warriors. William C. Ferrara, DO, Maj, USAF, MC, Emergency Physician, Special Operations Surgical Team (SOST) Detachment-1, comes from a long line of service members. Both of his grandfathers served in WWII, his father retired from the United States Marine Corps (USMC) and his brother served in the USMC, CIA and currently serves as an FBI agent. Dr. Ferrara graduated in 2015 from the first class to enter VCOM-Carolinas when it opened. “During my third year of residency in emergency medicine, a clinical mentor introduced me to an active-duty Special Operations Surgical Teams (SOST) member, and my quest to join the military officially began,” says Dr. Ferrara. “I wanted to serve alongside the best of the best.” To ensure optimal performance in high threat, limited resource austere environments, SOST members attend Air Commando School; Basic and Advanced Transport School; and Survival, Evasion and Resistance School. They also complete Special Operations Medical Skills courses, Critical Care Tactical Driving courses and special operations weapons training prior to earning a

the spear’ units within Naval Special Warfare," he explained. "I have zipped around on speed boats in the middle of the ocean, treated patients in makeshift hospitals on Naval Vessels, set up hasty operating rooms in the back of trucks, helicopters and planes. Our teams find a way to treat patients anywhere, anytime using ingenuity and the will to ‘care for the warriors’ through any means necessary." When he is not deployed, Dr. Ferrara maintains his clinical proficiency while teaching emergency medicine residents at the University of Alabama Birmingham, ensuring that his skills and leadership are challenged daily. “One of the benefits of joining SOST is our daily clinical exposure to civilian patients,” said Dr. Ferrara. “This position is truly the best of both worlds. I am serving the civilian population while ensuring I am also ready at a moment’s notice for the deployed environment.” The SOST motto is Quis Illos Bellatores Custodiet , which translates to "Those Who Care for the Warriors," and for Dr. Ferrara there is no more worthy a calling than utilizing all the training and knowledge gained at VCOM and through residency to bring Americans back home alive from catastrophic injuries. “There is no greater cause than training to be at my best to answer our nation’s call. It is an honor to serve as a United States Air Force

spot on the teams. These highly trained teams are comprised of a general surgeon, emergency physician, critical care nurse, surgical technician, respiratory therapist and anesthesiologist.

emergency physician, and I am proud to serve as a member of the Special Operations Surgical Teams. VCOM afforded me the opportunity to fulfill my dream of becoming a physician, laying the foundation for a versatile, dynamic, ever-rewarding career in medicine.”

“Our team has deployed with ‘tip of



Made with FlippingBook Digital Publishing Software