Navy Reserve Physican — Dr. Ron Kuzdak

Navy Reserve Physican — Dr. Ron Kuzdak


I did one year of college at Michigan State as an undergrad and was struggling. I was essentially on my own. I think what happened with the military is I had a friend who had joined and become a hospital corpsman – a medic and I was enthralled by his stories about how – how he learned to do IVs and draw blood and treat patients and – and everything invol – and I said, “I want that. I need that”. That summer between my freshman and sophomore year when I met with a recruiter, I was informed about what HPSP was, HPSP being Health Professions Scholarship Program. That was a – a full ride, essentially, for four years of medical school. So I thought it would be most interesting to go enlisted, become a medic, get trained to work in a hospital, and find out if I loved it. When I came home from that experience, I went back to Michigan State to complete my physiology degree and my pre-med curriculum. And I was dean’s list every year because I was so directed, so focused and motivated to actually be a doctor finally. I was in love with Navy medicine. When I was doing my four years of active duty as a family physician, I was called up to the – the front triage area where we initially assess all the patients and I was assigned or I grabbed a – a gentleman who – who was on a stretcher and he seemed cold; he seemed nervous and scared. I asked him what his name was, what his rank was, and I asked him just, for whatever reason, I said, “Where are you from?” And he happened to say, “Michigan – Rochester, Michigan.” And immediately I told him, “I’m from Michigan.” And we kind of bonded. As I was caring for him and taking care of him and assessing the injuries and – and kind of coming up with a plan, he said he wanted to go back; he was all set to return. And I didn’t have the heart to tell him that he was going to go home because his injuries – injuries were pretty extensive. The thing that hit me about it was I was all focused on being a doctor and just doing my job and it made me think about not just the physical stuff that’s going on, it’s the mental. Its – its being in a war and that camaraderie and that looking out for each other, covering each others’ back. You just don’t see that in other places. I’m Dr. Ron Kuzdak, a Navy Reserve Physician. For more information, go to navy.com or find us on Facebook.

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