Edwards AFB's Biomedical Sciences Corps team celebrates 50 years

  • Published
  • By Lt. Col. Corey Munro
  • 412th Medical Group
Do you enjoy having safe drinking water available for you and your family? Are you confident that the Commissary and food vendors on base provide products that are stored, rotated and served correctly? Do you walk away from the 412th Medical Group's pharmacy feeling confident that the medication you received is what your doctor prescribed and can be taken safely? You probably answered these questions with a resounding "Yes."

What you may not know is that the people behind these, and several other critical jobs, belong to the Air Force Biomedical Sciences Corps.
At Edwards there are dozens of professionals working to keep us healthy and safe. Many of the stand-out leaders belong to the Biomedical Sciences Corps, commonly referred to as the BSC. A diverse team, the BSC is comprised of 15 Air Force career fields ranging from clinicians such as physician assistants and podiatrists, to highly specialized disciplines like Bioenvironmental Engineering or Health Physics.
Other BSC specialties represented at Edwards include optometry, pharmacy, physical therapy, psychology, public health, clinical social work, clinical laboratory and operational physiology. Larger medical facilities will usually employ additional BSC officers in the fields of podiatry, audiology, occupational therapy and medical physics.
BSC personnel are also highly educated. A majority of officers obtain a doctoral level education, complete a specialty residency and many are board certified in their respective specialty. Their enlisted counterparts are also well trained. Take for example a physical medicine technician. After basic military training they must complete four months of technical training, 15 months of on-the-job training and obtain an associates degree to become a licensed physical therapist assistant.

The BSC, one of five officer corps in the Air Force Medical Service, was established in 1964 by then-Secretary of the Air Force Eugene M. Zuckert. Now 2,400-strong, today's BSC accounts for 21 percent of all medical service officers and four percent of the entire Air Force active duty population. BSCs are supported by 5,800 active duty enlisted technicians and personnel who are an integral part of the daily mission.

The yearly contribution by BSCs and their teams at Edwards is astounding. The Public Health team, for example, conducts 392 inspections for 38 food facilities. The Bioenvironmental shop evaluates workplace air quality for 130 areas and tests an average of 2,300 water samples for two primary water systems. The medical group's physical therapists and physician assistants combined manage over 7,000 visits and the pharmacy fills over 81,000 prescription orders.

These numbers account for only a portion of your BSC team's total output and are a testament to their dedication to mission success. Please join the Air Force in celebrating the 50th anniversary of the BSC and recognizing the contributions of these outstanding men and women who dedicate their lives to improving health, maximizing performance and providing trusted medical care to our Airmen and their families.