anderson northern 150x200Two clinical assistant professors within the University of Alabama at Birmingham Division of Trauma and Acute Care Surgery who serve as active duty surgeons within the United States Air Force have been promoted to the rank of Lieutenant Colonel.

UAB Department of Surgery Clinical Assistant Professors Jacob Anderson, D.O., FACS, and David Northern, M.D., FACS, both serve with the Special Operations Surgical Team (SOST) based out of UAB. This unique and innovative military-civilian partnership with the Air Force Special Operations Command has been housed at UAB since 2010.

Each SOST team includes a surgeon, a nurse, a scrub tech, an emergency medical physician, a respiratory therapist, and an anesthesiologist. These teams are ready at a moment’s notice to deploy to austere locations and dangerous situations across the globe, providing trauma resuscitation and life-saving surgical care. Drs. Anderson and Northern lead 4 SOST teams embedded at UAB.

In their roles as fully integrated clinical faculty, Drs. Anderson and Northern care for trauma and emergency general surgery patients. They train department residents as well as other military personnel who come to UAB for clinical experience at a high volume, American College of Surgeons-verified Level 1 Trauma Center, such as Air Force Special Forces medics and pararescue teams. They also participate in the division’s community outreach and injury prevention programs, such as teaching Stop the Bleed courses.

Anderson joined the division in 2016. He serves as the Assistant Operations Officer for Detachment 1 of the 720th Operations Support Squadron which oversees SOST. Previously in his military career, he was responsible for overseeing modernization and future missions planning for the 57th Maintenance Group which managed over 300 aircraft including the Air Force Weapons School. Following this assignment, Anderson attended medical school via the Health Professions Scholarship program and was re-commissioned into the Medical Corps. He has deployed twice to Syria for Operation Inherent Resolve as well as once to Eastern Europe for a Special Operations Command Europe (SOCEUR) mission. He is a two-time Bronze Star Medal recipient.

Northern has served on SOST since 2015 and became a clinical assistant professor in the division in 2019. He serves as the Commander for Detachment 1 of the 720th Operations Support Squadron which oversees UAB SOST personnel. He has served in multiple deployments, including for Operation Iraqi Freedom, Operation Enduring Freedom, and Operation Inherent Resolve. He is a two-time Bronze Star Medal recipient.

“This is a well-deserved recognition for Drs. Anderson and Northern,” said Daniel Cox, M.D., Chief of UAB Trauma Service. “They are clinically excellent surgeons who have demonstrated exceptional leadership and patient care, both at UAB and within the Air Force Medical Service. Our UAB trainees and patients have benefitted greatly from their experience.”

With its high volume of trauma patients, UAB is not only an ideal environment to utilize the experience of former combat surgeons, but also to be a home to current Air Force surgeons and ensure their trauma skills stay sharp when they are in-between deployments.