A Word from the Editor: Allison on Combat Doctor

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A Word from the Editor: Allison on Combat Doctor

Posted on November 4 by Marc Dauphin
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**This blog post is from Allison, Senior Editor**

What goes on inside the mind of a trauma specialist as he fights to save his patients’ lives?

Marc Dauphin was a civilian ER doctor and had been a reservist for twenty-seven years when he was recalled to serve in uniform again. His first posting was in Germany, where he helped to stabilize wounded Canadian soldiers before sending them home. The next year he was in Afghanistan, serving as what would be the last Canadian Officer Commanding at the NATO-run Kandahar Role 3 Multinational Hospital.

In Combat Doctor, Mr. Dauphin presents snippets of his time spent in theatre treating the victims of an often brutal war — both civilians (sadly, many of them children) and members of the military. Some of the stories are shocking and heartbreaking, but Marc lets the reader in on the techniques employed by him and others to deal with both the physical and mental fatigue that comes with the job.

Against a backdrop of controlled chaos, he speaks of the camaraderie, professionalism, and compassion of his team. (Somehow, although the hospital treated an unprecedented number of severe casualties during his Roto, they were able to maintain a survival rate of 97 percent.)

The stories are also, on occasion, tinged with humour — one of those coping techniques I mentioned. His recounting of the troubles he had readjusting to civilian life and facing a diagnosis of PTSD after his return to Quebec is direct and honest and shows what a great sacrifice is often made by those who volunteer to help others far from the relative safety of home.

Marc Dauphin

Posted by Dundurn Guest on December 6, 2014
Marc Dauphin photo

Marc Dauphin

Marc Dauphin is a 60-year-old ex-military physician. He was a civilian ER physician and a reservist for 27 years before being recalled, at age 54, to serve in uniform again. He spent nearly a year in Landstuhl, Germany, helping to stabilize our wounded soldiers before bringing them home. The next year, he was in Afghanistan. He recently retired from the military and the profession, and lives with his wife Christine in Coaticook, Quebec.