Camp Lejeune Family Medicine Residency Program graduates 10 residents, 10 interns

US Navy | 2022-07-01

By NMCCL Public Affairs

Naval Medical Center Camp Lejeune’s Family Medicine Residency Program graduated 10 residents and 10 interns during a ceremony aboard Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune on June 24. For the 11th consecutive year, the graduating class received 100% pass rates on their Family Medicine Certification Examinations given by the American Board of Family Medicine.

U.S. Navy Captain Elizabeth Leonard has served as the program director for the past four years. For Leonard, the 2022 graduating class is ready to practice medicine, not just because of their education, but because of the challenges they have overcome from the lingering pandemic.

“These residents have had a big challenge because they came in after Hurricane Florence recovery. Then COVID hit us, so they were managing COVID and high-level ICU stuff that comes with that,” Leonard said. “They really were the first class that had that kind of level of care and opportunities presented to them. They are all ready for what they’re doing. All of these residents can be full-scope family physicians.”

U.S. Navy Lieutenant Roderick Hirai’s was chosen by faculty and fellow peers as the graduating class’ Chief Resident. According to Hirai, Lejeune’s family medicine system was one his top choices.

“One of the strengths of our program is that we are in rural area so we get the chance to practice at a wider scope than maybe some other areas,” explained Hirai. “The COVID pandemic increased the acuity of patients we were seeing. We were taking care of more critically ill patients that maybe, in the past, weren’t necessarily going to be taken care of in our hospital, but due to hospitals being full everywhere, we stepped up.”
Guest speaker for the ceremony was U.S. Navy Captain Richard Temple, senior medical officer for French Creek Marine Centered Medical Home. Temple previously served as the Family Medicine Residency Program Director from 2014-2018.

The graduation also marked the closure of Leonard’s tenure as director as she will soon move on to her next duty station. In her final year as the program’s leader, she is taking time to reflect.

“I’ve loved being the program director. It’s an amazing job, and I wish I could have had more time to do it without COVID,” said Leonard. “These residents came together; they genuinely care about each other. I strongly believe that. We have a reputation now of ‘Come to Lejeune! You will get a good education, and people are going to take care you.’”

Japan, Bahrain, the USS George H. W. Bush and USS Gerald R. Ford are just a few of the next duty stations where graduates will soon continue family medicine care.