Graduates of course 21 of the RAN Underwater Medicine Clinician course celebrated the completion of seven months of training with a small gathering outside the Submarine Underwater Medical Unit at HMAS Penguin on September 3.

Underwater medicine is a specialist area of military medicine that requires expertise that is not generally available from civilian organisations. 

The training provides an advanced level of skills and knowledge, which can only be gained through experience within the navy submarine and diving-medicine environment, in combination with appropriate post-graduate training.

In addition to the provision of hyperbaric therapy, underwater medicine clinicians are skilled in diving and submarine medicine to the ADF and providing health care for all ADF diving personnel, including emergency recompression for diving accident victims, monitoring and maintaining health standards for ADF diving and submarine personnel, personnel training in underwater medicine and treatment, and advice and support in times of emergency.

Leading Seaman Medic David Bell said graduating had been a career highlight. 

“It has been a challenge to get here and I am looking forward to getting out there and doing the job,” Leading Seaman Bell said. 

During the graduation, Director of Fleet Health Captain Amanda Garlick commended the graduates for their achievement and highlighted the importance of their role.

“The Underwater Medicine Clinicians course provides a vital capability to support the diving and underwater community in the ADF,” Captain Garlick said.

Graduates will post to locations to provide immediate support to their respective units with their newfound skills.

The Submarine Underwater Medical Unit is co-located near the ADF Diving School.