Article: CAPT(R) Stephan Hofmeister, MD CIOMR International Vice President (2010-2012)
The Military Medical Reserve – connecting specialists around the world
CIOMR (Interallied Confederation of Medical Reserve Officers) is developing rapidly from a cold war
reserve officer organization mainly ensuring mutual understanding and deepening international
bonds to a modern provider of information and international network platform for medical specialist
in the military reserves.
Nations challenged by global threats human or nature born, involved in operations on large scale in dangerous or even hostile environment share a common burden: Medical care for those sent harm´s way as well as those innocently inflicted in such demise.
A near shortage of medical specialist in many countries and high demands towards medical infrastructure makes any involvement expensive and difficult to sustain. Cooperation and collaboration between nations renders the logical solution to this fact but demands a high degree of coordination and standardization in procedures and ROEs.
Hardly any other specialty is viewed so critical by public and media and hardly any other field is so specific in its national variety. Standards of medical care, standards of training, legal requirements and even qualifications for nominally identical medical professions vary quite considerably between nations. Expectations towards medical performance within any operation always come from a national point of view and tend to jeopardize public opinion and support if not met.
Each country has different ways of recruiting, training and retaining such personnel for their armed forces yet many of them depend on reservists to fill their ranks. Therefore they rely on personnel mostly trained and qualified in civilian environment. These personnel primarily reflect the respective national civilian standard of medical care.
Maximum efficiency and benefit from joined operations can only be achieved if and when specialists are trained and prepared to work within common standards. The natural interface between the civilian and military medical community on an international level to address these issues and help overcoming growing challenges is a medical reservist.
Here CIOMR sees its role in the future. The members are medical specialists from civilian hospitals, medical universities, medical government agencies etc. of all member countries and all have military experience. They use their knowledge and network to compare national approaches towards disaster and battlefield medicine as well as medical care of soldiers, address matters concerning recruitment, training and retaining of medical reservist in a joint approach and to discuss actual topics of military medicine and their impact on national civilian medicine as well as vice versa.
CIOMR is developing rapidly from a cold war reserve officer organization mainly ensuring mutual understanding and deepening international bonds to a modern provider of information and international network platform for medical specialist in the military reserves. The first possibly being of growing importance yet again while troops are removed from partner countries and chances of meeting and training together are decreasing due to dramatic cost reductions. The latter a genuine task looking at the complexity of medical qualifications and the closely woven connection between the civilian and military community in this field. No other military subspecialty has such challenges to face while at the same time being in the center of attention of soldiers, next of kin, media and politicians.
Moral backhold of troops nowadays much depends on the deep trust of our soldiers that they can always rely on a state of the art medical care – anywhere, anytime.
CIOMR understands these facts and has adapted its role to meet the challenges.
CAPT(R) Stephan Hofmeister, MD
CIOMR International Vice President (2010-2012)
Source: Medical Corps International Forum 1/2012