Doctor Says Afghan Hospital Attack is Wake up Call for All Frontline Physicians

A local doctor who worked at the CURE International hospital in Kabul, Afghanistan, says he was not surprised to hear about the recent attack that killed three people, including an American pediatrician.

“In a foreign, hostile environment, nothing is off limits, even a hospital,” said Dr. Vance Moss, a staff surgeon and urologist at NSLIJ-Staten Island University Hospital. Dr. Moss and his twin brother, Dr. Vince Moss, served in the Kabul hospital in 2008 with the United States Army Reserve Medical Corps.

The brothers treated wounded soldiers and civilians in war-ravaged Afghanistan, and, before that, in Iraq, serving as part of Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom. Dr. Moss knows only too well about the dangers faced by physicians there.

“Your adrenaline level is so high, simply because you’re not only worried about taking care of your patients, but you’re also worried about taking care of yourself,” he said. 

Even with his extensive military training, Dr. Moss expressed his own concerns, “this is a reality check for all of us, that even physicians can be killed.”

When asked about what risks these healthcare providers face, Dr. Moss said, “You need to understand that you may not come back. You need to accept what service men and women accept: you may give your life for your country.”

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