April 10, 2020
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My name is Major Jakub Pietrowski. I’m an oral surgeon stationed at Lackland Air Force Base and I hail from Huntington
Beach, California. The path that brought me to be an oral surgeon here in the Air
Force started in dental school. There was pamphlets put out by the Air Force
recruiter and during the seminar I really became interested and I signed up
to do the Health Professions Scholarship Program which paid for almost three
years of my dental school and provided me also with a job afterwards in the Air
Force. Once I was in the Air Force, I did a one-year advanced education general
dentistry residency and then at that point really found that I wanted to do
oral maxillofacial surgery and that provided me with the experience and also
some expertise to apply for the Air Force postgraduate residency. I knew that
they had postgraduate education programs, the one thing I didn’t know which was a
pleasant surprise is that you’re not the only one working at any one location, you
have a lot of other specialists and other colleagues that make it very easy
to discuss certain ideas: patients, treatment modalities, and at the same
time get certain on-the-job training skills from these specialists. Some of
them trained on the civilian side and then later came into the military, so
everyone has a different viewpoint as to how certain treatments can be done and
it’s very interesting because it brings a lot of ideas and treatment
possibilities to the table. And the Air Force, the cost for treatment really is
not a problem, you can do the ideal treatment plan instead of being driven
by just getting patients in and out of your office quickly and making a quick
buck. The Air Force also makes sure that everyone’s on the cutting edge in terms
of technology and techniques as well and they make it a priority to send all
their providers to continuing education courses paid for by the Air Force every
year. You get 30 days of paid vacation per year. As well as on my family side
definitely the medical benefits. Also a big thing is being able to live in various
places. Probably the most fulfilling thing I’ve had up to this point was
my deployment. Up until then I don’t think I really had a grasp
on the sense of community fostered in the Air Force, how everyone, you know,
really rallies and comes together is very uplifting. I don’t have to worry
about where my next paycheck is coming from, I don’t have to worry about hiring
and firing of employees, dealing with insurance companies. The work experience
and work environment that I’m able to have in the Air Force was a big plus and
not just for myself, but I know for my colleagues as well.

Tony wyaad