July 08, 2022 –
From the town of Bealeton in Virginia’s Fauquier County, U.S. Air Force Capt. Alexander Schloe, Family Medicine physician and medical director, 21st Medical Squadron, Schriever Family Health Clinic, wanted to be a doctor from a very young age.
“My parents have pictures of me when I was a three-year-old in scrubs with a little stethoscope running around,” said Schloe.
Growing up, Schloe’s mother had ongoing health concerns and his desire to help care for her reinforced his aspirations to be a physician.
“I was always trying to care for my mom in the midst of difficulty, with providers working to figure out what was going on,” said Schloe. “I knew I wanted to be a physician in family medicine.”
His undergraduate degree is in cellular, molecular and physiological biology with a minor in chemistry. Throughout college, he worked as an emergency medical technician.
“I was an EMT in Isle of Wight, Virginia,” said Schloe. “I once delivered a baby in the cab of a pickup truck because the three of them weren’t going to make it to the hospital in time.”
While in college, he applied to the Health Professions Scholarship Program and got accepted. The HPSP offers prospective military medical professionals a paid education in exchange for service as a commissioned medical officer. He continued onto Virginia Commonwealth School of Medicine, graduating in 2018. Schloe completed his residency with the U.S. Air Force Regional Hospital at Eglin Air Force Base, Florida.
“During residency, I had some really incredible patient encounters,” said Schloe. “One of my favorites was a World War II fighter pilot. He flew in Normandy and retired as a three-star general. He was inpatient at Eglin and I learned so much from him. He was the humblest guy I've ever met.”
Schloe went to the veteran’s 100th birthday, where the retired general showed him World War II relics and photographs of history he had experienced.
“He’s since passed, unfortunately,” said Schloe. “Early on, he told me he made cookies for the kids in his neighborhood every Saturday for 20-plus years. He was upset the first Saturday he was at Eglin because he couldn’t.”
Knowing that, Schloe brought the veteran some of his wife’s homemade chocolate chip cookies, sneaking a bag to him one morning during rounds.
“He had the biggest smile,” said Schloe. “I came back 30 minutes later, and he was in his recliner with crumbs everywhere. It was probably against dietary recommendations, but it was worth it for him.”
Currently, Schloe is stationed at Schriever Space Force Base, Colorado, working for the Schriever Family Health Clinic. He sees an average of 18 patients a day, performing physical exams, interpreting lab work and radiology studies, and coordinating diagnostic treatment plans. In addition, he oversees a team of five providers, three nurses and six technicians.
“I appreciate the medical knowledge and support Captain Schloe provides our clinic — his positive attitude, innovative way of thinking, compassion for people and being a spirited team player,” said U.S. Air Force Capt. Tatiana Gonzalez, Force Medical Operations Flight commander, 21 MDS. “He provides guidance and knowledge on the needs of our population and how we can best support them. He’s accomplished amazing work.”
U.S. Air Force Capt. Nicholas Bialobos, 21 MDS, family health element chief, echoes Gonzalez’s praise:
“Dr. Schloe is always willing to help and teach. He’s a brilliant physician and truly cares about the health of our patients and well-being of our staff. He’s an absolute pleasure to work with. He’s truly the best and most caring physician I’ve worked with, not only from a patient care perspective but also as a mentor.”
When asked how serving in both uniform and scrubs has changed him for the better, Dr. Schloe said, “I feel honored to wear the uniform. Serving in the military has forced me to strive to be a better person. I don't think there's any one particular instance that really changed me, it’s just continually serving. I have an incredible opportunity to take care of a great population of people. Ultimately, the Air Force has made me both a better person and provider.”