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Navy commander takes on second career as doctor in Brooklyn

Trades in Navy Dress Blues for Medical Whites

October 16, 2017 Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Dr. Edwin Keeshan, courtesy NYU Langone
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After a 24-year career in the Navy spanning both Gulf Wars, Commander Edwin Keeshan just began his second career — as a primary care doctor in Brooklyn.

Six months ago, Dr. Keeshan started seeing patients at NYU Langone Brooklyn Heights Medical on Remsen Street, and he says he is grateful every day for having the “the best job I’ve ever had.”

Medicine was an interest of his as a young boy, but it wasn’t something that he felt his working class Irish family — who were veterans themselves — would understand. So at age 17, he followed his family’s footsteps and joined the armed forces, by way of the U.S. Naval Academy.

Keeshan earned an MD from Saint George’s University in Grenada in 2013. He performed his residency, specializing in Family Practice, at SUNY Downstate Medical Center in Brooklyn in 2016.

Keeshan says he was lucky to be able to come back home and do something else, “something positive — a continuation of living a life of duty.”

He also serves as the Post Surgeon for his local Veterans of Foreign Wars post, VFW Post 1819, where his job is to promote and put into effect health programs for the benefit of the post and community.

In both roles, he sees behavioral health as key to overall good health. He has witnessed “kids” in their 20s coming back from Iraq and Afghanistan and having a difficult time readjusting. He explains, “The younger you are and the less experienced you are, the more profound the negative impact of PTSD can be. I have a responsibility and now I have the ability to help these young vets.”

Keeshan notes similar aspects of being a commander and now a doctor: “At NYU Langone, we foster an ethos that puts the patient first. This is important because as a doctor, I need to look at the larger picture of what’s important to the patient, not just a medical diagnosis, but how the care fits into their lifestyle and personal goals. In the Navy, we couldn’t focus too closely on just the tactical planning; we always had to keep our eye on the larger scope, and be willing to improvise to win.”


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