When Tammy Mitchell graduated from LSU Medical School in Shreveport, serving in the United States Navy was not on her radar.
"After I finished medical school I winded up joining the military because I went to a medical conference in New Orleans," said Mitchell. "The Navy was there recruiting. They said, 'We saw where you were a doctor and we need doctors to come in. So would you consider coming into the Navy?' "
She did and eventually found herself in the Naval Reserves. She served a tour of duty in Afghanistan.
"It is a different course. One I really didn't think I would enjoy until I actually got in there and I started to do it. So my typical drill weekend doesn't involve seeing patients. We do physicals, but now, at the level I'm at now, is more an administrative and leadership type of work. I'm actually administrative over other doctors."
Now eighteen-and-a-half years later, Dr. Mitchell is seeing patients at Christus Lake Area Medical Center in Lake Charles.
"It takes discipline, obviously you have to be disciplined to become a doctor. To me, as a naval officer, I think it's very important that you need to know and exude to others that as a naval officer leadership is a big deal."
Dr. Mitchell is a member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 7321 in Moss Bluff.