Doctor and soldier Jon Kerstetter, M.D., M.F.A.,delivered the Military Health Institute’s Distinguished Lecture, in conjunction with the Center for Medical Humanities & Ethics, on Oct. 24.
Dr. Kerstetter has led a singular life crossing geographic boundaries, identities and limitations. His story began in poverty on the Oneida Reservation in Wisconsin. He became a husband and father; an emergency medicine physician; and a U.S. Army combat physician and flight surgeon serving in Rwanda, Kosovo, Bosnia and three combat tours in Iraq. Then came a crossing of a different kind: doctor to patient, after Dr. Kerstetter suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and a stroke that caused serious cognitive and physical disabilities.
Dr. Kerstetter recounts these experiences in his memoir, Crossings: A Doctor-Soldier’s Story.
“We were lucky to have Dr. Kerstetter on our campus as a doctor, soldier and healer,” said Byron Hepburn, M.D., director of the Military Health Institute. “He embodies resiliency and inspires others in the process.”