Physician Spotlight: Braden Hestermann

Braden Hestermann, MD, joined the Department of Anesthesiology at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in September of 2021 as an Assistant Professor of Clinical Anesthesiology. He joined the department through the Military-Civilian Training Program and remains on Active Duty in the U.S. Army.

“I truly believe that a majority of physicians in the military should be incorporated to hospitals around the country and be allowed to serve in a similar capacity to reservists while on active duty,” he said.

He explained that most military treatment facilities don’t encounter the case complexity or patient acuity on a daily basis that an institution like VUMC encounters every day. He said he wanted to improve his ability to manage complex cases, large volume resuscitations, and be prepared to provide anesthesia services in a deployed environment if he is called upon in any future conflicts.

Hestermann began his medical career in 2004 by serving in the 82D Airborne Division as a medical platoon leader. He was responsible for ensuring medics supporting infantry battalions were fully trained, along with ensuring each member of the battalion were medically ready to deploy.

While deployed in Iraq from August 2006 to October 2007, his assigned physician was critically wounded. He said he called the medevac helicopter and was present in the trauma bay but could only watch from the back of the room.

“I remember thinking to myself that ‘I could be doing something more right now.’ Ultimately, that experience along with the challenges of losing several close friends throughout the deployment led me to pursuing medical school and shaped me into the physician that I am today.