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U.S. Army gains new pediatric radiologist

By Lori Kullberg 3rd MRB

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“I can’t think of a better way to serve others then by caring for the Soldiers who serve our country.”

This sentiment from Dr. Janice McDaniel led to her recent commissioning as a major in the U.S. Army Reserve. McDaniel, director of pediatric interventional radiology at Akron Children’s Hospital, made the leap from civilian to Soldier this summer and is ready for the new challenges and opportunities working in Army medicine will afford.

“The decision to apply to serve as a medical professional in the U.S. Army allows me to pursue excellence, serve others, and grow as a leader," she said. "I want to make a difference.”

McDaniel, born and raised in Cincinnati, Ohio, completed her undergraduate degree at the University of Cincinnati and attended University of Cincinnati College of Medicine. McDaniel has been at Akron Children’s Hospital since 2014, which has one of three well-established pediatric interventional radiology programs in Ohio.

Getting into medicine in the first place was prompted by a very personal experience. After McDaniel’s first child was born prematurely, he remained in neonatal intensive care for six weeks. During this time, McDaniel became intrigued by everything that could be done for infants. Treating and caring for sick and injured children became her goal.  According to McDaniel, “Pediatric intervention radiology is very rewarding because it offers minimally invasive image-guided procedures and can save many children from surgery.” 

Dr. Gwyneth Hughes, a pediatric neurosurgeon at Akron Children’s Hospital and a lieutenant colonel in the U.S. Army Medical Corps, administered the oath. Proud family, radiology staff, and other hospital colleagues were in attendance, as well.

“I am proud to be a part of this elite group,” McDaniel stated, adding that she is excited about learning new skills through Army training, particularly leadership skills through the Basic and Advanced Officer Leadership Courses. 

“I’m ready to go wherever I am needed for deployment.  Wherever I end up, I look forward to an adventure,” she said.

McDaniel offers this advice to other medical professionals considering the U.S. Army, “Whether you are just starting medical training or already in practice, there are many options for you in the U.S. Army, including full time active duty or Reserve. You should definitely do some research on your own."

McDaniel shared that she has a physician colleague from Akron Children’s Hospital who is currently in the Reserve and was great at answering her questions. She mentioned her uncle was also a physician in the Army Reserve several years ago and he gave her a good overview of what to expect.

"In addition, I spoke to active reserve Soldiers in my specialty of radiology," McDaniel said. "We even went to dinner with an active reserve Soldier and her spouse so my husband could hear the spouse’s perspective. It is a huge commitment and should not be entered into lightly. That being said, I am thrilled to have commissioned in the U.S. Army Medical Reserve and I look forward to serving my country.”