Basic Training: A Primer on Military Life and Culture for Health Care Providers and Trainees

Publication ID Published Volume
9270 November 19, 2012 8


Active and retired military comprise about 10 percent of the nation’s adult population. More than 65 percent of American physicians receive at least some of their professional training in VA hospitals. Most physicians will provide care for service members, veterans and/or their families at some point during their professional careers.

This tutorial is designed to enhance health care providers' and trainees' knowledge of military life and culture in order that they may be better able to provide culturally competent care to service members, veterans and their families. This resource is a computer-based, highly generalizable, user-friendly, self-guided tutorial.

This resource is a new tutorial designed to enhance health care providers' knowledge of military life and culture. It is an accessible, self-paced, user-friendly tutorial. Because this is a new resource, there are not yet data to illustrate its effectiveness, but we anticipate that it can become a highly utilized resource to assist health care providers and trainees gain a better understanding of the military lives of their patients.


Goldenberg M, Hamaoka D, Santiago P, McCarroll J. Basic training: a primer on military life and culture for health care providers and trainees. MedEdPORTAL Publications. 2012;8:9270.

Educational Objectives

  1. To describe three reasons why obtaining a patient's military history is an important task for health care providers.
  2. To name the branches of service and identify a distinguishing feature of each.
  3. To list five commonly cited reasons for enlistment in the Armed Forces.
  4. To describe the difference between officers and enlisted personnel.
  5. To describe two key differences between the active duty and guard/reserve components.
  6. To name at least five distinct military careers.
  7. To identify three benefits of military service.
  8. To identify three challenges commonly faced by military families.
  9. To list two differences between the military and VA health systems.
  10. To list two distinct ways a service member can separate from the military.


  • Military, Active Duty, Armed Forces, Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Health Equity Research

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ISSN 2374-8265