Brigadier General Speaks About Career As Military Doctor

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Brig. Gen. James T. Turlington speaks to members of Baylor's ROTC unit.
Oct. 1, 2003

by Brent J. Atema, Student Newswriter

United States Air Force Brigadier General and Baylor graduate James T. Turlington, a former Air Force doctor, recently spoke to more than 200 cadets at a Baylor Air Force ROTC leadership lab.

Turlington's speech, which he loosely titled "I Am Not Supposed to Be Here," focused on providing leadership and advice to students interested in a career in medicine and/or the Air Force.

"You have to be proactive in your career," he said, "At any point in your career, there will be a crossroads. You may not be able to take the path you want, so know where the other one leads."

Turlington said he was turned down numerous times in his career endeavors to be in the Air Force, but he found a way in through the back door. "Throughout your career you can't sit back and let things happen to you," he said.

At the end of his speech, he reminded the cadets stay well educated and to "be persistent, be proactive, do not give up, and look for alternatives."

Turlington graduated from Baylor in 1966 with a biology degree and was also a member of ROTC. He received his doctorate from Baylor College of Medicine in 1970 and served in active duty in the Air Force as a surgeon until 1981.

He currently serves as Mobilization Assistant to the Air Mobility Command Surgeon General Staff on Reserve Medical Affairs. He also runs a private urology practice in Muskogee, Okla., as a Federal Aviation Administration medical examiner and is on the staff of the Muskogee Regional Medical Center and St. John's Medical Center in Tulsa.

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