LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - Before arriving here at Lake Charles Memorial Hospital, Dr. Edward Bergen spent 14 years as a U.S. Army doctor in El Paso and San Antonio. He was part of Operation New Dawn in the 86th Combat Support Hospital at Sather Air base in Baghdad, Iraq.
"I served overseas for 6 months at what we call a combat support hospital, which is kind of the highest echelon of care that we have in a war theater," said Bergen.
Bergen says he treated not only soldiers, but civilians who were working to build the new U.S. Embassy in Iraq.
"At the tail end of the war, the highest reason for evacuation of the theater was chest pain. Chest pain is a symptom that a lot of people are uncomfortable dealing with. So the military decided that we were going to have a cardiology department right there on the front line dealing with this."
As you can imagine, the stress level was high.
"Stress was probably one of the biggest issues you see there, as well as a lot of muscular skeletal. You'd be surprised. We'd get our fair share of cardiovascular disease as well."
At Lake Charles Memorial Hospital's Heart and Vascular Center, Dr. Bergen notices a deep respect for the military, especially among veterans.
"I find that this population seems to be well educated on who their doctor is, so most of them when they come in, they say, 'hey, I know about you and I did my research.' They usually want to spend more time talking about that than talking about their health condition."
When he left the Army, Bergen had achieved the rank of Lieutenant Colonel. For more information, click here.