Colonel John R. Dorsch (ret) served as Wing Surgeon, 24th Special Operations Wing, Hurlburt Field, Florida, prior to his retirement in June 2022. As Chief Medical Officer for the Air Force’s only Special Tactics Wing, he coordinated headquarters-level medical policies, procedures, and support for two Special Tactics Groups, two Operational Support Squadrons, and seven Special Tactics Squadrons across fifteen CONUS and two overseas locations while providing oversight to the Wing’s 159 assigned medics. Colonel Dorsch was the senior medical advisor for the Wing Commander and provided medical oversight to Special Operations Surgical Teams and the Special Tactics Human Performance Optimization enterprise, with the mission of enhancing and maintaining operator readiness over time. He was also an advisor to the AFSOC Command Surgeon and to the United States Special Operations Command Board of Surgeons.
Additionally, Colonel Dorsch served as the Air Force’s Pararescue Medical Director and oversaw the Medical Operations Advisory Board, having developed numerous trauma protocols as editor of the PJ Medical Handbook.
Colonel Dorsch received a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology from Hillsdale College in 1997 as class valedictorian and a Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine degree in 2001 from Ohio University under the Air Force’s Health Professions Scholarship Program. He subsequently entered active-duty service and completed a Transitional Internship at David Grant Medical Center, Travis AFB, followed by the Aerospace Medicine Primary Course, Brooks City-Base, in which he received his initial rating as a flight surgeon. He completed two operational assignments as a general medical officer and flight surgeon, one in Special Operations at the 16th Operations Support Squadron, Hurlburt Field, and one in Combat Search and Rescue at the 48th Rescue Squadron, Davis-Monthan AFB. Following these assignments, he returned to complete his specialty training in Emergency Medicine at the joint military-civilian program at the 88th Medical Group, Wright-Patterson AFB, in conjunction with Wright State University, Dayton, OH. In 2011, He completed his training as a Chief Resident providing oversight to over 40 residents and coordinating academic rotations at two high-volume emergency departments. Upon graduation, Colonel Dorsch was assigned to a Data Masked organization followed by the 724th Special Tactics Group where he served as the Group Surgeon for both organizations, providing full spectrum medical support to “no-fail” Secretary of Defense directed missions with a focus on medical support to CBRNE and unconventional warfare.
Colonel Dorsch was reassigned to serve as the Wing Surgeon, 24th Special Operations Wing, Hurlburt Field, following promotion in 2018, where he continued to push the envelope of operational medicine for the Air Force and the DoD. Colonel Dorsch was a Chief Flight Surgeon with numerous deployments over five different continents logging 470 combat flight hours in support of special operations, combat search and rescue, casualty evacuation, and mobile surgical and resuscitation teams.
Colonel Dorsch currently serves as a staff emergency physician at UNC Southeastern Medical Center, clinical faculty at Campbell University, operational team member on Vigilint’s Mobile Surgical Resuscitation Team, and Assistant Medical Director to Robeson County Emergency Medical Services.
Colonel Dorsch continues to drive advances in military operational medicine as Senior Medical Advisor to SimX, the world’s leader in virtual reality medical simulation, in addition to providing consultation on several DoD sponsored R&D efforts in trauma and austere medicine.
05:05 PM - 05:55 PM
Beth Culross | University of Nebraska Medical Center
Ann Marie Brennan | University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing
Karthik Sarma | SimX
John Dorsch | SimX
William Belk | Air Methods Corp