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On July 4, OrthoCarolina remembers and thanks those who have served our nation in the military.
Dr. Scott Shawen, a foot and ankle surgeon with the OrthoCarolina Foot & Ankle Institute, retired from the military on June 30 after 21 years of service. Dr. Shawen credits his dad with encouraging him to enter the service, first joining the ROTC in college. Since then his medical career has taken him all over the world, including serving as Residency Program Director and Orthopaedic Foot & Ankle Service Chief at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center.
While at Walter Reed, Dr. Shawen focused on lower extremity trauma and amputation surgery and was intimately involved in the care of wounded soldiers returning from Iraq and Afghanistan. Dr. Shawen also deployed with the 14th Combat Support Hospital and supported the 7th Group Special Forces during his tour, caring for many local nationals and injured coalition soldiers.
Dr. Shawen says his experience in the military uniquely shaped him as a surgeon. While serving in Afghanistan, Dr. Shawen said caring for people came first. One of his greatest memories while deployed was helping deliver a healthy Afghan baby by emergency c-section, a job not typical of an orthopedic surgeon. Shawen learned how to build meaningful relationships with patients early on through his military experience and time in Afghanistan and continues to carry that skill into his practice today.