Spouses Stepping Up - How Military Spouses Are Closing the Gap in Healthcare

Military Spouse Magazine Spring 2023
Hailey Brindamour
Military Spouse

“What do you do for work?” If you’re an active duty military spouse, chances are high that you answered with a healthcare-related job title. A recent report from the Department of Defense found that healthcare is the most popular industry among spouses, comprising nearly a fifth of employment within that demographic. Healthcare roles are diverse, easily transferable, and always in demand, making them a natural choice for a population accustomed to frequent relocations and disruptions. 

Military SpouseDalia Marzouk, an Air Force spouse who’s experienced five moves in as many years, agrees and adds that military spouses are uniquely suited to the challenges of a field that demands adaptability. “Military spouses are taught to quickly adapt… You learn to adjust and survive in different places as a military spouse, [and] having that strength is necessary for the healthcare field,” says Marzouk, adding that the COVID-19 pandemic exemplified the importance of flexibility and thinking on your feet. 

While clinical care roles, such as nursing or dental hygiene, may be the best-known healthcare positions, spouses who are interested in the field can search beyond these for a niche that best suits their abilities. Marzouk, who recently accepted a role with the National Institutes of Health (NIH), has worked in healthcare administration for over a decade and parlayed this experience into her current job as a laboratory manager. Whether you feel most comfortable inserting an intravenous line, diving into databases, or advancing health equity, there’s a place for you in the healthcare industry!

Natanya Jennings, an ACP Mentor, is an example of the reach that one person can have within the corporate sector. She works for Bristol Myers Squibb as their Medical Lead of the Global Health Equity Platform, a role BMS created for her after 10 years at the company as a field medical scientist. This role enables her to bring life-saving medications to countries with low-income populations. As the daughter of a veteran, Jennings watched her mother adapt to ever-changing circumstances and agrees with Marzouk that these experiences prime spouses for careers in healthcare.

Military Spouse“Watching my mom [as a military spouse] grounded me,” says Jennings, who admires her mother’s resiliency and that of the other spouses she’s mentored. She encourages any spouse interested in healthcare to pursue the industry, noting that it’s important to progress at your own pace and to take the opportunities that appear before you. “Make sure the job is a great fit for you,” says Jennings, adding it should work for your family, too. Fortunately, a growing share of companies now actively recruit spouses and recognize their need for scheduling flexibility to accommodate the military lifestyle.

Both Jennings and Marzouk are excited about healthcare’s possibilities, like innovations in cancer research that can extend patient quality of life and the expansion of diversity, equity, and inclusion within the research field. The industry’s future is truly limitless and offers broad opportunities to military spouses. 

If you are looking to start or advance your career in healthcare, an ACP mentorship can help get you there! ACP partners with the most well-known names in the industry to bring expert professional advice to active-duty military spouses. Complete this application, and an ACP Associate will contact you within 24 business hours to begin the mentorship process!