Units within the Special Operations Forces (SOF) community require medically competent and operationally proficient medical providers (physicians, physician assistants, and nurse practitioners, among others) to support complex mission sets. The expectations placed on providers who successfully assess for and are selected into these units are high. These providers are not only expected to be experts in their respective subspecialities, but also to serve as staff officers, provide medical direction for SOF medics, serve as medical advisors to the command team, and provide direct medical support for kinetic operations. They are expected to perform these functions with little oversight and guidance and when geographically separated from higher units. Graduates from military Graduate Medical Education (GME) programs are extremely well-educated and can provide high quality medical care. However, they often find themselves ill-prepared for the extra demands placed upon them by the Special Operations community due to a lack of operational exposure. The authors of this paper recognized this gap and propose that the Joint Emergency Medicine Exercise (JEMX) model can help augment the body of knowledge required to perform well as a provider in a Special Operations unit.
Keywords: Special Operations; joint emergency medicine exercise; military graduate medical education.