Not Only A Patient, But Also A Doctor: From Army Football To Army Medicine

Steven Svoboda


Dr. Steve Svoboda grew up in Bowie, Maryland, with his mother, a school teacher, his father, an entomologist for the USDA, and his three older sisters. He loved science and was active playing sports as a youth. In high school, an Army coach recruited him to play football at West Point. At the academy, he played football all four years and excelled academically, eventually earning the William C. Whitehead Jr. award for the graduating senior with the highest grade point average. He majored in chemistry, planning on becoming a chemical engineer, but a serendipitous conversation with an instructor convinced him to switch to pre-med, and a football injury sparked an interest in orthopedics. He commissioned as an Engineer Officer, and spent a year at Fort Belvoir and Fort Hood before transitioning to medical school. After becoming an Army Doctor, he spent a year in Korea as a flight surgeon for 2/52 Aviation Battalion before returning to the States. During his service as a surgeon, he was stationed at Walter Reed Army Medical Center, Fort Benning, Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio, and Keller Army Community Hospital at West Point, and he deployed to Iraq for six months. He retired in 2017, and is currently working for Med Star Health System in Maryland. In this interview, he talks about his childhood, his experiences at West Point, including his memories of playing football in the 1988 Sun Bowl against Alabama, and his time as an Army Doctor. He reflects on some of the other players on the team, including Greg Gadson and Chuck Schretzman. He describes meeting and courting his wife during his time in medical school. Finally, he describes his career as an Army Orthopedic Surgeon, and how he has given back to his Alma Mater.


conflicts Iraq War
topics Army Athletics Teamwork Camaraderie West Point History Military Medicine
interviewer David Siry
date 12 January 2018


name Steven Svoboda
institution USMA, University of Maryland School of Medicine
graduation year 1989
service Engineer / Medical Corps
unit 2/52 Aviation Battalion; Walter Reed; Brooke AMC; Keller ACH
specialty Orthopedic Surgeon
service dates 1989 2017