U.S. Department of Health & Human Services
Site Map   Contact Us   
America's Health Responders U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps Photo of a Physician Officer
Video Tours Duty Station Map Core Values News and Features Officer Video Profiles
Answering the Call Photo of a Physician Officer
Apply Now E-mail a Question Questions & Answers


Print Print      Send this page by email Send

When you join the Commissioned Corps, you become a part of a dedicated team of professionals who work to improve the health of individuals, communities, and the Nation.

Meet some medical officers from the Commissioned Corps.

Captain Mary Agocs Physician, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

The cornerstone of public health research…
As an epidemiologist and program leader at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, CAPT Mary Agocs has focused on global disease prevention and control in the Commissioned Corps, often working with national governments abroad and the World Health Organization. CAPT Agocs reflects, “My 20 years in the Commissioned Corps have given me substantial leadership opportunities. It’s amazing to have helped millions of children in developing countries get the polio vaccine. Each position I’ve held in the Corps was a wonderful opportunity to learn about different peoples and cultures while working as an epidemiologist. I cannot imagine a more diverse or rewarding career.”

Captain Richard Thomas Caldwell
Physician, Indian Health Service

Sole health care provider for a remote American Indian community.
CAPT Richard Caldwell is an experienced medical officer who is the sole health care provider for the Havasupai American Indian community in Arizona. His dedication to his job ensures that he is always available to provide calm, confident, and experienced medical care to a community that is underserved and lives in a very remote location. CAPT Caldwell also works with wilderness rescue in the Grand Canyon to respond to emergencies involving visitors to the National Park. "Serving as the sole medical officer for the community is demanding, but it is also extremely rewarding," says CAPT Caldwell.

Lieutenant Commander Joshua Schier
Physician, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

A medical toxicologist at the CDC.
As a medical toxicologist at the CDC, LCDR Joshua Schier is part of a team responsible for protecting the country's health from terrorist acts involving chemical agents. LCDR Schier and his team constantly monitor and analyze the data for many chemical-based public health threats. LCDR Schier is a trained physician and is board-certified in both emergency medicine and medical toxicology. "Service to the Corps is a demonstration of a commitment to a higher purpose, beyond simply doing one's job," says LCDR Schier.

Captain Thomas Martin Manning
Physician, Indian Health Service

Teacher and healer.
For 23 years, CAPT Thomas Martin Manning has been practicing medicine in the American Indian community in Warm Springs, OR. CAPT Manning has always looked at his role as more than just rendering medical care. He believes that doctors "need to be teachers, even more than they need to be healers." Therefore, in addition to providing medical care, CAPT Manning also strives to help members of the tribe to develop a respect for their culture and deal with problems such as alcoholism. Over the last few years, CAPT Manning has worked to computerize medical records at Warm Springs.

Lieutenant Commander Jamal Gwathney
Physician, Health Resources and Services Administration

Serving where the need is greatest.
LCDR Jamal Gwathney cares for patients with some of the poorest health statistics in our Nation's capital. "That is where the Commissioned Corps puts you: where the need is greatest," he says. In his current assignment through the Health Resources and Services Administration, LCDR Gwathney serves as associate medical director at East of the River Health Center, a Unity Health Care facility located in Washington, DC's Ward 7. As a family medicine physician, he provides cradle-to-grave care for his mostly African-American patients. In addition, LCDR Gwathney is a member of the Commissioned Corps' elite Ready Responders program. Approximately 70-80 Commissioned officers are trained specifically to decontaminate and treat individuals and communities in the event of any type of natural or human-made disaster. Being involved in all of these aspects of public health makes LCDR Gwathney proud to be an officer in the Commissioned Corps.

Rear Admiral Anne Schuchat
Physician, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

Preventing a global outbreak.
When nobody knew what to do about SARS, RADM Anne Schuchat of the U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps was on her way to China to head the Beijing City epidemiology team for the World Health Organization's (WHO's) China office. "Upon arriving, the social impact was evident immediately." RADM Schuchat explains, "There was almost no one in the streets, businesses were closed, citizens were reclused, and the whole health care system had to be revamped to specifically address this outbreak." RADM Schuchat continues to serve as a visiting professor for the Beijing Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. During her career at CDC in the United States, she has joined colleagues for numerous emergency response activities, including the 2001 anthrax bioterrorism response.

If you are a medical student or physician interested in the Commissioned Corps, take the next step! E-mail us your questions, call us at 800-279-1605, or apply online now.

officer bio
Officers Bios
Site Map  -  Contact Us  -  Linking to USPHS.gov  -  Privacy Notice  -  Accessibility  -  Web site Disclaimers
Freedom of Information Act  -  USA.gov  -   Office of Public Health and Science -  Office of the Surgeon General
Department of Health and Human Services  U.S.Public Health Service

Last updated on 6/10/2008