Military field training brings Mustang physicians together

Three SMU alumni unexpectedly crossed paths as they were participating in a field training exercise at Camp Pendleton, California, in August. Cmdr. Stephen Burgher ’85 (left), Lt. Cmdr. Gerald Delk ’93 (center) and Lt. Jason Park, who attended SMU in 1994-96, trained with the Marines of the 4th Medical Battalion, 4th Marine Logistics Group.

The training involved the deployment of a Shock Trauma Platoon (STP) and Forward Resuscitative Surgical System (FRSS), “our medical platform for the 4th Medical Batallion,” explains Dr. Burgher. “The STP and FRSS provide a mobile trauma emergency room and operating room, offering damage control intervention as close to the point of injury as possible to our forward deployed Marines.”

The “reunion” allowed the three Mustangs to compare notes about SMU and their paths of service to our country.

Dr. Bugher practices emergency medicine at Baylor University Medical Center in Dallas, a Level I trauma center. He earned a Bachelor’s degree magna cum laude from SMU in 1985 and was inducted in Phi Beta Kappa honor society.  He attended the University of Texas Medical School at Houston on a Navy Health Professions scholarship, receiving his commission in 1987.

Upon graduation from medical school in 1990, he was commissioned in the Navy. He attended Naval Flight Surgery School, 1991-92, and served as a flight surgeon with Training Air Wing FOUR in Corpus Christi, Texas, 1992-95.

In addition to his medical duties, he took an active interest in aviation, becoming NATOPS qualified in the T34C primary trainer and the T44 advanced multi-engine trainer and earned single and multi-engine, instrument and commercial ratings.

Dr. Burgher attended post-graduate residency training in emergency medicine at the Naval Medical Center Portsmouth, Virginia, 1995-98, and was selected chief resident. He became board certified in emergency medicine in 1999.

His military personal awards include the Navy And Marine Corps Commendation Medal (2), and Navy Achievement Medal.

Dr. Burgher left active duty in September 2000, after more than 10 years of service. He entered private practice in Houston before relocating with his wife and three children to Dallas.

He entered the Navy Reserves in December 2010, receiving a commission as a commander in the U.S. Navy and assignment with the Marines as a battalion surgeon.

Dr. Delk is a general partner with Emergency Services Partner, LLC and practices emergency medicine at Cedar Park Regional Medical Center in Austin. He is also the co-founder of Texas Jurisprudence Prep, LLC and Designated Doctor Outsourcing, LLC.

He earned a B.S. in biology and a B.A. in chemistry from SMU and was a member of Kappa Alpha Order. He received his Doctor of Medicine from Texas Tech Health Sciences Center in 1998 and completed his emergency medicine residency at Darnall Army Medical Center at Fort Hood, Texas, in 2001.

He completed overseas tours in Germany and Kosovo, as well as a 15-month deployment in Iraq, 2003-2004, where he served as the battalion surgeon with the 1-36 INF, 1st Armored Division. Dr. Delk attained the rank of major in the U.S. Army and was awarded the Bronze Star, Meritorious Service Medal, Army Commendation Medal and the Combat Medical Badge for his combat service. His unit, the Spartans, earned the Presidential Unit Citation.

Upon returning to the U.S., Dr. Delk completed his M.B.A. at Texas Tech with a focus on health care management.

Now a lieutenant commander in the U.S. Navy Reserves, Dr. Delk is assigned as an emergency physician for the shock trauma platoon in the 4th Medical Battalion, 4th Marine Division.

Dr. Park attended SMU from 1994-96 as a President’s Scholar. He transferred to the University of California Berkeley to accept a Navy ROTC Scholarship. He attended Albany Medical College in New York and completed his internship at St. Joseph’s Hospital Health Center/SUNY Upstate in Syracuse. He then completed his anesthesia residency, along with a fellowship in regional anesthesia/acute pain medicine, at the Ochsner Clinic Foundation in New Orleans. He is currently working there as an attending physician. He serves with the  4th Medical Battalion Surgical Company A in Gulfport, Mississippi.

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