Bloomington doctor 1st to serve in Navy Reserve Medical Corps initiative

John Wieland
John Wieland was commissioned into the Navy Reserve Medical Corps on Aug. 18 at the Illinois Capitol. He is joined by Lt. Jason Robertson (left) and Hospital Medical Corpos Chief Ariel Ampier. (Photo by Kathy Wieland)

By Eric Stock

BLOOMINGTON – A shortage of medical professionals in the Navy reserves stuck a chord with a Bloomington doctor who plans to serve.

Bloomington surgeon John Wieland said he answered a letter the Navy sent to medical professionals all over the United States that requested help in five areas of discipline, including general surgeon.

PODCAST: Listen to Scott’s interview with Wieland on WJBC.

“I really can’t remember the moment that it really sunk in, but normally I get those mailings and I pitch them because I don’t see myself in that military role, but this caught my eye,” Wieland said.

Wieland is the first general surgeon to be commissioned through the new Top 5 initiative.

It’s a traditional reserve program, but its medically based,” Wieland said. “The first two weeks stint I have to go to Rhode Island to the officer indoctrination school.”

Wieland, who is now a lieutenant commander, told WJBC’s Scott Laughlin the eight-year commitment calls for and the possibility he could be sent overseas should he be needed.

“They made it clear to me there was a possibility of deployment, so I had to go into this with eyes wide open,” Wieland said.

Wieland told Navy News Service joining the reserve not only fulfilled his desire to give back, but gives him an opportunity to honor his father who served in the Dental Corps in the 1950s.

The Top 5 stands for the five areas of greatest need, including general surgeon which is Wieland’s practice. The other four are surgeons, anesthesiologists, oral and maxillofacial surgeons and perioperative nurses.

Eric Stock can be reached at [email protected].


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