Army reservist awarded highest volunteer honor from American Academy of Dermatology

June 05, 2012

Newport Beach, Calif., June 5, 2012 - Lt. Col. Dore Gilbert, a California-based dermatologist, recently received a Members Making a Difference award from the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) for his service in the U.S. Army Reserve providing skin cancer screenings for Soldiers as well as his work with "Brighter Days", a skin care program for patients undergoing chemotherapy and radiation treatments. The award is the highest honor a volunteer can receive from the AAD.

"Dr. Gilbert embodies our definition of commitment and service to others, and we're honored to recognize his commendable work as both a dermatologist and Army Reserve doctor," said Amit G. Pandya, M.D., Fellow of the American Academy of Dermatology and chair of the AAD Volunteerism Committee. "The Members Making a Difference award celebrates dermatologists who have dedicated their time and expertise to improving the quality of life for patients in their local communities and around the world and Dr. Gilbert exemplifies that commitment."

Gilbert first became interested in joining the Army Medical Corps at the age of 34, but young children and an established medical practice prevented him from doing so. Almost three decades later at the age of 60, he joined the Army Reserve after his interest was renewed by his youngest son's decision to join the Marines.

"Supporting the thousands of Soldiers in the brigade is exactly what I wanted to be doing at this stage in my career," Dr. Gilbert said. "The Army Reserve allows me to gain these great new experiences and do something meaningful while knowing my practice is covered until I return home."

Dr. Gilbert received the rank of lieutenant colonel because of his years of clinical practice. While training to pass the physical requirements, he blogged about his experiences on the Army Strong Stories website, an online community for Soldiers, cadets, families, friends and supporters to share their authentic perspectives on Army life and military service.

After serving for one weekend a month for six months back home, Dr. Gilbert completed a three-and-a-half month assignment in Afghanistan where he stabilized Soldiers while they waited for surgeons. His experience as a dermatologist allowed Soldiers to return to the field faster since they no longer needed to travel to Germany for skin treatments that he could address onsite.

"The camaraderie is the draw - and the sense of doing something important," Dr. Gilbert said. "It gives me the opportunity to help young men and women who are the best of the best. And being a Reserve officer allows me to keep my practice."

While in Afghanistan, Dr. Gilbert experienced what he described as "the best day of his life" when he and his son Kevin, a corporal and squad leader in the 1/5 Marines, reunited in the Sangin Valley of the Helmand Province, where Kevin was stationed.

Dr. Gilbert will be honored at a recognition luncheon at the 2013 American Academy of Dermatology Annual Meeting in March 2013. He will also be featured in the Members Making a Difference column in an upcoming issue of Dermatology World magazine.
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About the U.S. Army Medical Department

One of the largest health care networks in the world, Army Health Care offers more than 90 professional health care career paths - more than any other military service. The U.S. Army's F. Edward Hébert Armed Forces Health Professions Scholarship Program is one of the most comprehensive health scholarships available today, and covers the complete cost of tuition, school fees and books, a monthly stipend of more than $2,000, as well as a $20,000 signing bonus for select areas of practice. Practicing physicians and health professionals can join the Army Reserve at any time in their career - up to age 60. For more information, visit www.healthcare.goarmy.com.

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