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81st Medical Group - Keesler Medical Center

Location: Military Medical Center

Military Hospitals and Clinics: Keesler Medical Center

Number of Graduate Medical Education programs: 2

Number of Graduate Allied Health Education programs: 3

Total number of Residents/Fellows: 63

Number of inpatient beds: 50

Major inpatient clinical services: Ward, MICU

Number of Operating Rooms: 4

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About Us

The 81st Medical Group at Keesler Air Force Base operates one of the largest Air Force medical facilities. Its primary mission is to maintain medical readiness for worldwide contingencies by providing quality, cost-effective health care for more than 22,000 enrollees, including almost 4,500 active duty service members. The 81st Medical Group provides the most comprehensive array and quality of services available in the Gulf Coast area. TRICARE Prime is the Department of Defense's premier program for delivering comprehensive health care. The 81st Medical Group is clearly the best place to enroll for most all health care situations.

On average, Keesler deploys more than 60 personnel annually in support of contingencies around the world as well as medical-deployment-for-training (humanitarian) missions. The 81st Medical Group is also one of three Air Force medical facilities designated to support the National Disaster Medical System as a Federal Coordinating Center. They manage and maintain memorandums of agreement with 24 civilian medical facilities throughout the Gulf Coast.

The hospital offers almost 60 services and education programs with a staff of almost 1,700 military and civilian members. The hospital has seven newly renovated surgery suites and a myriad of improvements throughout the ground floor including flood barriers on external doors and a re-alignment of high-dollar assets to floors above the basement level. Construction of a new $50+ million inpatient tower began in late 2009 and completed in September 2011. A new $10 million Radiation Oncology Center was completed in October 2009 and began treating patients in March 2010.

The hospital has 66 training affiliations with 35 different institutions/organizations to train medical physicians, technicians, and nurses. The General Surgery residency program is integrated with the Naval Hospital Pensacola, and the 96th Medical Group at Eglin Air Force Base, both in Florida, and has a long-standing integration program with the Veterans Affairs Hospital in Biloxi, Mississippi.

The 81st MDG Hospital and VA Gulf Coast Veterans Health Care System have been designated official DOD/VA joint venture partners. Titled "Centers of Excellence," this joint venture ensures enhanced federal health-care delivery along the central Gulf Coast by enhancing and combining certain clinical/administrative product lines shared by the Keesler hospital and the Biloxi VA campus.

The 81st Medical Group opened its state-of-the art Family Birthing Center unit in January 2007. The unit offers large, airy rooms where women spend their entire stay throughout the delivery experience. They are light filled, decorated with pastel colors and have wood floors. The medical equipment in the rooms is state-of-the art. Most important to mothers, the birthing center rooms have private bathrooms, and each room has its own coastal theme. Babies stay with their mothers most of the time. In addition to the delivery rooms, there are also antepartum rooms for expectant mothers who experience medical problems early in their pregnancies, and two operating rooms for Caesarian deliveries.

The Keesler Warfighter Refractive Surgery Center is the Air Force's flagship for laser eye surgery in the Southeast. In addition, the 81st Medical Group is a teaching facility with medical, surgical, and dental residencies, as well as physician assistant training and a Doctor in Nursing Practice program. Eight enlisted phase II training programs are also offered.

The 81st Medical Group is one of three Air Force medical facilities with formal clinical investigation programs specifically designated to facilitate clinical-based research and training that meets the needs of DOD medical readiness, force protection, clinical medicine, graduate medical education, and homeland defense. Training areas include neonatal intubation, emergency procedures for non-physicians, Special Operations damage control surgery and suturing techniques for dental officers.

Furthermore, the medical group operates the only medical genetics center in the DOD. The USAF Medical Genetics Center provides laboratory and consultative support to military medical facilities around the world. Laboratory capabilities include chromosome, gene, and DNA testing. Currently the laboratory performs 50,000 tests annually, a number that is growing rapidly.


The 81st Medical Group's mission is to maintain medical readiness for worldwide contingencies by providing quality, cost-effective health care for more than 27,000 enrollees, including almost 7,500 active duty service members.


Forging premier medical leaders of a globally ready force


  • Integrity – Ensuring our actions are ethical, honest, and transparent
  • Excellence – Striving for the best performance and outcomes in all we do
  • Teamwork – Incorporating the interdisciplinary strengths of all to achieve the mission
  • Service – Putting the needs of others and our organization ahead of our own
  • Diversity – Promoting the strength of a variety of backgrounds
  • Stewardship – Using our resources wisely and responsibly
  • Innovation – Advancing our education and practices creatively with the future in focus


  • Recruit diverse, talented and compassionate physicians
  • Provide the full breadth of training and prepare residents to succeed in the next phase of their careers
  • Support and promote academic excellence through mentorship, resources and access to cutting edge medical technology and research centers
  • Allow our trainees to develop additional expertise in leadership, quality improvement, health systems science, global health, research, advocacy, and medical education to meet their ultimate career goals
  • Foster a supportive and engaging learning environment for students, residents and faculty
  • Foster a culture supporting diversity and equity for residents, faculty, patients and our community
  • Closely collaborate with our current residents and alumni to adapt and improve our training program, aiming to best equip residents for future practice
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