Georgian doctors at Landstuhl to prepare for Iraq deployment
LANDSTUHL, Germany — Two military doctors from the Republic of Georgia are at Landstuhl Regional Medical Center gaining valuable insight in preparation for a deployment of their country’s troops to either Iraq or Afghanistan.
The doctors — Malkhaz Kupreishvili and Gocha Kintsurashvili — arrived Sept. 11 and plan to stay until early October.
“The plan was for them to come over here for a month, see how we do things, see how our casualty care is handled and look at our air evac system — critical care patient movement,” said U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. (Dr.) Warren Dorlac, a Landstuhl surgeon and the hospital’s chief of trauma services. “They’re also going to spend some time looking at the helicopter and air ambulance system that we’re currently using in Iraq.”
The doctors’ Landstuhl training comes as Republic of Georgia soldiers are receiving counterterrorism and military intelligence training from U.S. troops. This summer, U.S. troops provided infantry training for Georgian soldiers preparing to deploy to Iraq.
Politically, Georgia is seeking membership to NATO, and the Georgian government has mentioned 2008 as a hopeful date for alliance membership. Georgia is located on the Black Sea between Turkey and Russia, and the country is slightly smaller than South Carolina, according to the CIA World Factbook.
During their stay at Landstuhl, the doctors are making daily rounds in the intensive care unit with hospital staff, observing surgeries and examining administrative procedures at America’s largest hospital outside of the U.S.
“It’s a little bit of an exchange back and forth,” Dorlac said. “They tell us how they do. We tell them how we do it and explain why we’re doing it that way.”
Kupreishvili is an anesthesiologist by trade and serves as the deputy chief at Georgia’s central military hospital in the capital of Tbilisi. Kintsurashvili is a general surgeon at the Georgia military hospital and has observed surgeries at Landstuhl.
“We have a chance to improve our knowledge of how to treat trauma patients and crucial aspects of different kind of injuries,” Kupreishvili said.
The men said they received a warm welcome from the highly professional and skilled Landstuhl staff. Both doctors expressed thanks for the opportunity.
“We want to shape our Army, military staff and take as much as we can from this,” said Kupreishvili translating for Kintsurashvili. “This is very important for us. Georgia is a part of the coalition. We have troops deployed downrange in Afghanistan, Iraq and Kosovo. We need to be aware about the specifics of battlefield injuries.”