FALMOUTH, Mass. — Dr. Maryanne Bombaugh spent seven years, from 1985 until 1992, inside the storied medical hospital that’s treated presidents for decades. She said watching President Trump being treated there had her reminiscing.
“All these memories starting wallowing back in my mind about my time there in ward 72, which was our version of the presidential suite there,” Dr. Bombaugh said.
Dr. Bombaugh is physician at the Community Health Center of Cape Cod and the immediate past president of the Massachusetts Medical Society. She served 12 years in the United States Army Medical Corps and finished her military service as the division chief of gynecology at Walter Reed Army Hospital.
In 2011 the hospital merged with a navy hospital to form the current Walter Reed National Military Medical Center. The name may’ve changed, but the buzz about caring for a president hasn’t.
“We would be aware certainly; the helicopter pad in front, you would see something was happening. It would change the normal workflow that we would typically have to something different, so we would know that there was a change happening in care,” she said.
Dr. Bombaugh said their concern was very much focused on security when such a high-profile patient, like a president, was being treated at the hospital.
“You had to secure parts of the main lobby and, of course, the elevators and stairways that would access to that ward. There would be an awareness, ‘oh we have somebody special here.’ We may not always know who it was though,” Dr. Bombaugh said.
Dr. Bombaugh added that she treated many high-profile politicians and dignitaries from around the world. Never a president, of course, since she’s an OB/GYN. She said there was always an elevated level of attention when a president was in the hospital, even for a routine exam.
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