SYS-CON MEDIA Authors: Adine Deford, Cynthia Dunlop, Harry Trott, Xenia von Wedel, Peter Silva

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Army Physician is Also Founder of Popular Health Care Student Website

U.S. Army Lt. Col. Lee Burnett is a family physician with a unique spare-time passion. An active duty officer who has done two tours in Iraq and one in Afghanistan, Burnett is also the founder and volunteer director of the Student Doctor Network (www.studentdoctor.net), an influential website for pre-medical and medical students, with more than 1.5 million unique visitors each month.

Members of the Student Doctor Network who know Burnett is an Army doctor, sometimes ask him about military service. He says it’s a decision each person has to make for themselves. For himself, “I love practicing medicine in the Army. It’s an integrated team environment that allows me to coordinate care seamlessly for the patient. As an Army physician I don’t need to worry about all the administrative hassles I had as a civilian physician. I can focus on being a doctor and caring for my patients.” He also enjoys the diversity available in Army medicine, including leadership, teaching, and research opportunities.

For students interested in Army medicine, the U.S. Army’s Health Professions Scholarship Program (HPSP) is one of the most comprehensive health scholarships available today, and covers the complete cost of tuition, school fees and books, a monthly stipend as well as a signing bonus for select areas of practice.

“Admission to health professional programs is becoming increasingly competitive, and the costs of becoming a doctor are skyrocketing. For students interested in Army service, the HPSP program is a great option,” said Burnett.

Burnett received his undergraduate degree from the University of California, Davis and graduated medical school from Western University of Health Sciences in Pomona, Calif. He joined the Army Reserve during residency, working with his employers – and later the partners in his private medical practice – to shift workloads during his two three-month deployments to Iraq to serve in combat support hospitals.

In 2009, he sold his practice to mobilize full-time with the Army Reserve and transitioned to Regular Army in 2011. In 2012, he deployed with the 82nd Airborne Division and served as a Brigade Surgeon in Afghanistan. There, he was responsible for directing the Army health delivery system for the 5,000 men and women in his task force. His team provided lifesaving care and coordinated medical evacuation (MEDEVAC) missions for hundreds of Soldiers and civilians.

Today, Burnett is a student at the Command and General Staff College, a one-year graduate school for Army officers, and in his free time, continues to act as a volunteer director for the Student Doctor Network. His work there is not affiliated with the Army or his work as an Army Medical Department (AMEDD) officer.

While Burnett has created a social media platform for students to communicate online, other Army health care professionals participate actively on existing social media outlets. For example, Lt. Col. Kendall Mower is an active duty dentist who blogs regularly about his life as an AMEDD officer on www.ArmyStrongStories.com. Another prolific blogger is Maj. Michael Moore (@MikeMooreDO), a family medicine physician who uses video, photography and Twitter to interact with his more than 10,000 followers and also helps organize TEDx conferences.

About the U.S. Army Medical Department
One of the largest health care networks in the world, the Army Medical Department offers more than 90 professional health care career paths – more than any other military service. Practicing physicians and other health professionals can choose to serve in active duty or as part of the Army Reserve and may receive up to a $75,000 special pay bonus in eligible specialties. For more information, visit goarmy.com/amedd.html.

About the Army Marketing and Research Group
The Army Marketing and Research Group (AMRG) is the U.S. Army's national marketing, marketing research and analysis and accessions analysis organization. The AMRG develops innovative and effective ways to: connect with the American public and make the Army more accessible and understood; increase awareness of both the benefits and value of Army service; and motivate the most qualified candidates to choose the Army as their service of first choice.

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