Allison Perry

By

College: Medicine

UK Surgeon Balances Military, Civilian Career

Published: Mar 18, 2013

LEXINGTON, Ky. (March 18, 2013) — It's difficult enough to manage one career, much less two — but University of Kentucky cardiothoracic surgeon Dr. Timothy Mullett is successfully managing a medical career for both UK and the U.S. Army Reserve.

 

Mullett, a colonel in the U.S. Army Reserve, recently returned to Lexington by way of Afghanistan. The military deployment was his second during the Global War on Terror, with his first to Iraq in 2004.

 

"I've had opportunities to deploy — and that hasn't been an onerous task for me," Mullett said, noting that open communication with his civilian and military superiors has been key to his achievements. "The Army Reserve has been very accommodating with regard to my civilian career." 

 

Certainly, he understands the impact of being away from his practice.

 

“Deployment has a big impact on my family and my coworkers," he said. "I couldn’t serve without their sacrifice.”

 

Over the years, Mullett, 51, said he has been able to focus his efforts where they were needed most. When he came to UK in 1996, it was as a surgeon who focused more on heart issues. However, after arriving, he quickly saw a void that needed to be filled and refocused his work on one of Kentucky's biggest health problems — lung cancer. Two years later, UK formed the Multidisciplinary Lung Cancer Program, naming Mullett as its director.

 

For the Army Reserve, he focused on advancing his military career by participating in training in events. He also participated in a Homeland Defense mission, being trained and ready to support potential terrorist activity within the United States.  He has been prepared for chemical/biologic and nuclear threats.  More recently, his attention turned to manning a Forward Surgical Team in a warzone.

 

Physicians and surgeons in the Army Reserve generally serve one weekend each month and approximately two weeks every year. They may be called upon for deployments as the need arises. However, those deployments are much shorter in duration than those of the average soldier. Mullett's most recent tour to Afghanistan was 90 days, boots on ground.

 

While he was in Afghanistan, Mullett said he was not as busy as he is in his civilian practice. In a warzone, that's a good problem to have. Mullett said it took "prayerful contemplation," to comprehend the importance of his role.

 

"What I came to understand is that the soldiers who were going outside the wire took confidence in the fact that we would be here for them if something happened," Mullett said.

Thoracic surgery is one of more than 100 medical specialties represented in the Army. Mullett is one of the few Army surgeons who holds this specific "area of concentration," as the Army refers to officer positions. Mullett says he's "kind of an anomaly" because there are very few thoracic surgeons serving in the Army.

 

"The Army has allowed me to expand my capacity by learning new skills and teaching others," Mullett said. “The Army is excellent at leadership and organizational structure, it has to be in order to respond the active threats. I’ve been able to bring some of that back to my practice. I also feel that the preparation for patients injured with the complexity of war wounds in an austere environment has made me a better surgeon.”

 

At UK, his work on lung cancer prevention and treatment is still going strong. In 2011, the New England Journal of Medicine released research from the National Lung Cancer Trial showing that CT scans, which are more sensitive than standard X-rays, are better at detecting lung cancer in its early stages.

 

Mullett is part of the UK Markey Cancer Center team working with Louisville's Norton Cancer Institute toward developing a program to provide CT scans as a means of early lung cancer screenings. Because lung cancer is often not caught until the cancer is in a late stage — meaning it has spread to other parts of the body — early screenings would be key to greatly improving survival rates.  He also directs the Kentucky Clinical Trials Network, a statewide organization of physician practices engaged in Lung Cancer research.  Enhancing Lung Cancer Screening in  Kentucky is a current priority of that program.

 

While working in several areas, Mullett credits flexibility in his dual roles, “the ability to shift my priorities between the Army and my practice has allowed me to build each area, as needed, for the past 24 years.  When there are demands from my work at UK, the Army career has to wait.  When the Army calls, I am able to work with my practice to achieve the best result.  It has been blessing to be part of these two great organizations and a privilege to serve.”

 

MEDIA CONTACT: Allison Perry, (859) 323-2399 or allison.perry@uky.edu 

mullet.jpgmullet.jpg
October
 
 
 
1
Internship Info Session
LNFS Presents: Dallas Buyers Club
College of Law Welcomes Trevor Potter
Wed
2
Dancing at Lughnasa
LNFS Presents: Notes on Marie Menken
LNFS Presents: Edge of Tomorrow
UK Jazz Ensemble/ UK Lab Band
Earth & Environmental Science Student Open House
"Nerd Night" Exhibit and Concert
"Anne Braden: Southern Patriot" Film Screening and Discussion
Thu
3
Dancing at Lughnasa
LNFS Presents: My Neighbor Totoro
LNFS Presents: (500) Days of Summer
Men's Soccer vs. Old Dominion
Kentucky Volleyball vs. Alabama
Fri
4
Dancing at Lughnasa
Kentucky Football vs. South Carolina
Free Saturday Swing Dance Lessons
Rock Climbing @ Red River Gorge
Cross Cultural Workshop 2014
Swing Dancing!
Sat
5
Dancing at Lughnasa
Cross Cultural Workshop 2014
UK Children's Hospital/Birthing Center Annual Perinatal Loss "Walk To Remember"
Kentucky Volleyball vs. Texas A&M
Sun
6
Dancing at Lughnasa
Murals of Baltimore
Resumes and Cover Letters
Mon
7
Dancing at Lughnasa
Murals of Baltimore
Networking and Job Search
UK Choristers
Rock Star Professionalism Series
Stillness in Motion: The Essence of Symmetry - presented by Dr. Carl Lee, Mathematics
Tue
8
Dancing at Lughnasa
Murals of Baltimore
LNFS Presents: Night of the Living Dead
UK Law Day
Wed
9
Dancing at Lughnasa
Murals of Baltimore
LNFS Presents: Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
Mark Berry, Guest Percussion Recital
National Depression Screening Day
LNFS Presents: Torch Song Trilogy
Thu
10
Dancing at Lughnasa
LNFS Presents: Shut Up and Play the Hits
LNFS Presents: Watchmen
KLJ Data Privacy Symposium
Family Weekend Check-in
Big Blue Pantry Food Drive #1
Kentucky Women's Soccer vs. South Carolina
Family Weekend: Derek Hughes
Fri
11
Dancing at Lughnasa
Kentucky Football vs. ULM
Free Saturday Swing Dance Lessons
UK International Tent/ Tailgate Party
CT Surgery Symposium: Advances in the Surgical Management of Cardiothoracic Diseases:
Family Weekend Tent Party
Sat
12
Dancing at Lughnasa
DNT 101: A Taste of the Kentucky Doughnut Trail
Big Blue Pantry Food Drive #2
Kentucky Volleyball vs. Auburn
Sunday Lunch at Historic Spindletop Hall
Men's Soccer vs. Marshall
Sun
13
 
Mon
14
Job Club - Social Media and Your Career
Massage on the Go
Tue
15
LNFS Presents: The Last Samurai
UK Symphony Band Concert
Women's Forum Conference 2014
#TrendingTopics: Pornography vs. Morality
Wed
16
Career Assessment Workshop
LNFS Presents: The Tree of Life
LNFS Presents: Guardians of the Galaxy
UK Wind Symphony
Thu
17
LNFS Presents: Princess Mononoke
LNFS Presents: The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy
Kentucky Women's Soccer vs. Ole Miss
Berlin Philharmonic Wind Quintet
Fri
18
Paint the Town Blue
Free Kaplan Entrance Practice Exams
4th Annual Big Blue Soccer Tournament
Men's Soccer vs. New Mexico
Swing Dancing and Costumes?
Sat
19
Paint the Town Blue
UK Men's Chorus and acoUstiKats
Jazz Spectacular
UK Student Pajama Party
Kentucky Volleyball vs. LSU
Kentucky Women's Soccer vs. Florida
Sun
20
Paint the Town Blue
Midterm of 2014 Fall Semester
Returning to Work and Breastfeeding
Open Access Week Kickoff Event (Webcast)
Grad School 101
Royalty Showcase
Mon
21
Graduate and Professional School Prep Week: Preparing for Law School
Graduate and Professional School Prep Week: Grad School Panel: Surviving Your 1st Year
Film & Panel Discussion: Be Like Others
Graduate and Professional School Showcase
Your Publication, Your Choice: Choosing the Right Open Access Journal
Graduate and Professional School Prep Week
Graduate and Professional School Prep Week
Kitty Karnival
Tue
22
Study Tips for Medical School
LNFS Presents: Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
Thank-A-Donor Day
Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Information Session
Getting Into Medical School
Wed
23
Writing a Winning Personal Statement
Career Assessment Workshop
LNFS Presents: Marimbas From Hell
LNFS Presents: The Fault in Our Stars
Generation Open: Researchers' Roles in the Age of Openness
Homecoming Street Fair
Thu
24
LNFS Presents: Kiki's Delivery Service
LNFS Presents: The Secret Life of Walter Mitty
"see blue." Day at Keeneland
Pumpkin Carving Tournament
Fri
25
Kentucky Football vs. Mississippi State
Free Saturday Swing Dance Lessons
Sat
26
UK Women's Choir and Paws and Listen
Bill Cooper Faculty Recital
Sun
27
UK Trumpet Ensemble
Undergraduate Research Information Session "How to Find A Mentor"
Mon
28
Job Club - How To Get A Job at UK: Updates on IES Applicant Tracking System
Common Reading Experience Author Lecture: Presenting Ishmael Beah
Tue
29
Internship Info Session
LNFS Presents: The Shining
Pinterest Party
Leadership Assessment
"see boo." Halloween Party
Society for the Promotion of Undergraduate Research (SPUR) Meeting
#UKEDTALKS: Design Thinking with Dr. John Nash
Kentucky Volleyball vs. Tennessee
Wed
30
Career Assessment Workshop
LNFS Presents: Lucy
LNFS Presents: Papirosen
Kentucky Women's Soccer vs. Alabama
Thu
31
LNFS Presents: ParaNorman
LNFS Presents: Carrie
All Hallow's Eve Concert (UK Symphony Orchestra)
Work-Life Retirement Conference
Fri
 
Oct 20
Midterm of 2014 Fall Semester 10/20/2014
Reset Page