Doctors and pilots – both must have the ability to assess a situation quickly and accurately, both require the discipline to endure intense training and both strive for perfection or face deadly consequences.
It takes a unique person to do either job. Col. Rolland (Randy) Reynolds, M.D., decided to do both. The 1986 School of Medicine graduate came to the Health Science Center as a B52D pilot with over 1,900 flying hours. He left with a medical degree that helped catapult him to the top of the U.S. Air Force ranks. "I’d always wanted to fly but was inspired for a career in medicine by my father, who spent his career on the pathology faculty at Southwestern Medical School in Dallas," Col. Reynolds said.
Since graduating from the School of Medicine, he has earned a master of public health from the UT School of Public Health in 1993, commanded two medical squadrons and served as the Air Force exchange flight surgeon in the Office of the Surgeon General, Australian Defense Force. He now serves as Commander, Detachment 2, Thirteenth Air Force at Hickam Air Force Base in Hawaii. He is the senior Air Force International Health Specialist in Pacific Air Forces and has a career that has taken him around the world and back many times.
Col. Reynolds leads a unique team of eight U.S. Air Force international health specialists whose mission is to conduct a comprehensive range of humanitarian, disaster response and international medical engagement initiatives with 43 nations in the Asia-Pacific region. His team has been everywhere from the Philippines to Nepal and Mongolia.
"The most enjoyable part of my job is having the opportunity to work with one of the finest groups of medical professionals to be assembled anywhere. Each team member of Detachment 2 was handpicked for this assignment," Col. Reynolds said. "The team has an impressive set of teaching experience and credentials. In the past 18 months, my team members have led a surgical mission to Cambodia, disaster response symposiums in Russia and Mongolia, information exchanges with India, Japan and Taiwan, and participated in a trauma course in Nepal. We are planning five new missions into Asia, and have 14 more initiatives in the approval process."
Col. Reynolds holds the aeronautical rating of chief flight surgeon, medical specialty board certifications in family practice and aerospace medicine, and is board eligible in occupational medicine. He is a Distinguished Graduate of the Air Force Squadron Officer School, and a graduate of the Air Command and Staff College and Air War College.
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