Lamont Scott — MEDEX Seattle Class 49
Before the year’s end, we ran into Lamont Scott taking a break just outside of MEDEX Northwest’s Seattle classroom, which is located in the University of Washington’s Magnuson Health Sciences Center. Lamont is one of nine members of MEDEX Seattle Class 49 who bring military-based medical experience with them to that classroom and the yearlong didactic phase of their physician assistant training. And it’s our interest in that background that leads us to sit and chat a bit.
“Going back to school, it’s a different life,” Lamont admits. “Plus, it’s civilian life, which is a lot different in terms of how you interact with people, what you’re expected to do, and stuff like that. But it’s exciting and it’s new. I enjoy it.”
Sgt. Lamont Scott, of Waipahu, Hawaii, foreground, confirms his M-4 rifle’s accuracy along with several dozen additional Soldiers from the Hawaii Army Guard’s 29th Infantry Brigade Combat Team at Kandahar Airfield’s small arms rifle range. Photo Credit: Sgt. 1st Class Erick Studenicka
Lamont was born in California, and raised in Hawaii from the age of five. Though he had no previous medical experience to speak of, Lamont entered the Army intent upon becoming a medic. “My biggest influence was my family,” he explains. “My mom was a adult residential care home operator and nurse aide, and my dad, once he finally got out of the military, he went into the medical field as well. So those are my biggest influences. When the recruiter came to my house, my mom was like, ‘He’s going to join the Army, and he’s going to be a medic, and that’s it, or he’s not signing.’” He laughs. “It was a good choice on her part.”
Lamont graduated from medic school at Fort Sam Houston in San Antonio on August 11, 2004, and was mobilized to deploy five days later, on August 16 of that same year.
“That first deployment, I was the medic for FOB (Forward Operating Base) security, at SPOD, the Shuaiba Seaport of Debarkation in Kuwait. We secured the base, making sure nobody came in, and I was the medic for the security team. It was mostly clinic work. So I was doing a lot of sick calls. That’s where I got a lot of my clinical experience. Sick calls, getting down techniques on ortho exams, stuff like that. I had a lot of exposure to that.”
Lamont Scott, second from left, pictured in Kuwait at the SPOD during his first deployment.
“My second deployment was 2008 to 2009. I was the medic for security forces, for convoy security forces. It could be transporting top brass, or just a logistical run, where we would bring supplies from Kuwait and go up into Iraq and deliver them to the different bases. I think when we tallied it up, it was over 30,000 miles we had traveled. Tiring, long 14-hour days, every day. Every day.”
Lamont’s third deployment was to Afghanistan as a medic accompanying a security force assistance team, tasked with advising and assisting Afghan security forces in various areas. “Interacting with my Afghan counterparts face-to-face helped add a new perspective and depth to my military career and abilities up to that point,” he says.
We next asked him to reflect on his 12 years as an Army medic.
“Well, the main thing that kept me sane, honestly – because you do see some of your friends get hurt, and some of them don’t make it back, you know – but the main thing that helped keep me sane were my friends, and the camaraderie that you get on deployment. You get to learn intimate details about people as their medic, but that’s just a part of your bonding. There is one point where they stop calling you ‘medic,’ and they call you ‘doc,’ and that’s the fulfilling part, doing your job well and taking care of your guys.”
Lamont discontinued his active duty status in 2013, and officially left the National Guard last October 2015, some two months after joining his classmates in Seattle. “Going back to school was a very hard decision,” he admits. “I was a little apprehensive at first, coming back to graduate school and getting into that mode again. And I have a wife and a son that I have to think about. So just the logistics of getting over here from Hawaii, that was really a challenge.
Lamont Scott’s second deployment before pushing out on mission.
“But, honestly,” he continues, “it was probably one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. I really enjoy coming to school every day. You learn something new every day and you’re busting your brain to make sure you remember all of this stuff. But, at the end of the day, you’re like, ‘Wow, this is really happening, right now’.”
January 1, 2016
As for where he sees himself after graduation and certification?
“Well, I try to keep an open mind because we haven’t done our clinicals yet. But right now, I see myself working in an urban or a suburban clinic, just doing adult medicine, or family practice, just staying in the community, helping out with that, watching my patients grow and transition. I’d like to be there for them.”
He pauses a moment, then adds “And, hopefully, I can focus more on helping veterans, because that’s the community that I’d like to help the most, my fellow veterans.”
And with that, Lamont Scott rejoins his Seattle Class 49 mates in the MEDEX classroom, back to working their way together through the didactic phase of their physician assistant training. Or, as Lamont might put it, back to busting their brains.