In response to "Army testing system that offers doctor visits online" (article, Feb. 23), I am grateful for Stars and Stripes’ drawing attention to this useful clinical tool.

While I did make the statement "I am going to feel better if they see a surgeon in a military treatment facility," the reporter and I were specifically discussing the advice a military orthopedic surgeon could give active-duty soldiers on how a particular surgery might affect their ability to remain in a current military occupational specialty, or impact upon future deployments, assignments and even medical retirement. We were not discussing medical expertise.

The sound bite captured may imply to some that my statement expressed concern about the quality of care in our host nation medical facilities. This is not the case.

We are extremely fortunate to reside in a nation with world-class health care, and there is no greater proponent of this care than I am.

We see miracles worked daily in our German hospitals and this is due to the dedication and skill of the staff and professionals who work in those facilities. We refer our American soldiers and families to German physicians and health clinics with confidence and gratitude.

Even with telemedicine, we will continue to refer our soldiers and families "downtown" with the certainty that they will receive the quality care they deserve.

Dr. (Col.) Steven Brewster, CommanderU.S. Army Medical Department Activity Bavaria, Germany

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