Do healthcare providers need to understand military culture and what service members and family members go through in their lives to appropriately and adequately diagnosis and treat?

Absolutely, in my opinion. Unless we’re talking about an emergency care situation, knowing your patient’s background in depth (especially if they’re military) is essential to effective and appropriate care. If you don’t know your patient was close to an improvised explosive device (IED) but do know they have hearing loss and ringing in the ears, you may just treat those obvious symptoms without the inclination to ask further about potential underlying sleep issues, night terrors, hyper-vigilance, or possible substance abuse to manage pains. Not saying that military members or families will always have a lot of other stuff going on…but we have a lot of other stuff going on and we should be asked the questions and given comprehensive care.

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