Andrea Yancey, MD, assistant professor in the Division of Vascular Surgery and Endovascular Therapeutics, spent two weeks as a volunteer treating wounded American soldiers transported from Afghanistan and Iraq to the U.S. Army’s Landstuhl Regional Medical Center in Germany.
“I now have a better understanding and enhanced respect and appreciation for our military,” Yancey said. “The soldiers were young, polite and grateful. Their mental and physical toughness and capacity for resilience were hard to comprehend. In spite of their injuries, they never complained or asked for pain medicine. They did not want to inconvenience anyone.
“The injured arrived daily and stories of heroism followed. The average span of time from injury to arrival at the operative theater was less than half an hour. Survival rates are high.”
Yancey served as a volunteer vascular surgeon at LRMC. The largest American hospital outside the United States, more than 66,000 military personnel have been treated at LRMC since 2004.
In Louisville, Yancey sees patients at both University of Louisville Hospital and the Robley Rex Veterans Affairs Medical Center. She said she’ll take what she learned treating active military men and women to her treatment of veterans in Louisville.
“Even though (veterans) didn’t go through it recently, they went through situations that are similar to that, and it helps you just understand them as far as how they react to certain situations and how you can talk to them and how you can better treat them,” Yancey said.
Yancey’s participation was sponsored by the Society for Vascular Surgery, of which Yancey is a member. Since September 2007, 72 SVS members have volunteered to supplement the limited number of vascular surgeons at LRMC.