How to Play a Medical Officer

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Welcome to Star Fleet and the Medical profession! This is a guide for those who are interested in pursuing the career of an RPG Medical Officer. Being a medical officer is an exciting job, one that you will always be proud to complete. As a medical officer you will:

  • Be relied on in situations where the lives of the crew, and yours will depend on your ability, skill, and ingenuity to save the day.
  • Go on away teams, explore strange new worlds, seek out new life, deal with unknown diseases, see wonders, and maybe create new procedures for the Medical community.
  • Your skills can put you in charge of teams and sometimes bring your character to the forefront of a main plotline. Many good Captains and First Officers were originally Medical officers.

The course will be broken down in to several lessons containing valuable information.

Medical Knowledge

I would like to start off by saying that you don’t need to be a doctor to play one on Federation Space. As a player you are not expected to have a large medical vocabulary and the knowledge to complete the most complicated of surgeries. All you need to do is give the impression that you know what you’re talking about. For example, your readers do not need to know what type of anesthetic you are using, what instrument you are using, or what place you are cutting. You simply need to let them know what kind of action you are taking, not the details of that action.

However, a little knowledge can go a long way. There are many resources you can use to help add to your posts in the Star Fleet Medical Command section. If there is something you can’t find there, try www.startrek.com or a traditional Google search. If you still have questions, ask your department head, another experienced player, or you may even email the Surgeon General.

Standard Ship Duties

As a Medical Officer aboard a starship, you will have certain duties. You will likely be playing a doctor, and sometimes there will be patients to attend to. These patients can result from some of the following situations:

  • GM-run plots
  • Player-run plots
  • Your own imagination

Take note of that last. Sometimes there aren’t any patients around played by other characters. In these instances, it is up to you to find something to busy yourself with. You can contact your department head or other players to run a subplot, or you can make up a situation of your own. For example: Ensign X comes in with a broken arm that needs to be fixed.

There are also Medical experiments that can be done. Again, you can work with your department head to come up with these experiments, or simply come up with one yourself. For example: A cure for the common cold.

Away Team Duties

It is standard procedure for a medical officer to be assigned to an away mission as a precaution. On an away mission, your job is mainly as a field medic: if someone is hurt, you fix them up. You can also be on the lookout for environmental factors that will affect the away team’s performance. And, of course, you must follow the duties assigned to you by the away team leader.

A few important notes regarding away missions:
1. You will not accompany every away mission.
2. A standard medkit should always accompany you. It contains many things including a medical tricorder, some basic hyposprays with drugs, a tourniquet and dermal regenerator.

Interacting with Other Players

Whether your patient is a PC or an NPC played by another character, it is important not to take things too far when it comes to a medical situation. If the patient is injured by a GM, the GM will give you the extent of their injuries. If the player is injured by another player or of their own accord, you should request to know the extent of their injuries. There are cases when you will be asked to make some things up yourself, but remember that you are not allowed to kill or permanently injure any character without their expressed permission.

Open-Ended Posting

When a patient is injured by a GM, and you are required to fix them, make sure that you leave your treatment open-ended. In other words, if you are performing surgery on someone and you attempt to fix them, make sure you don’t post the results of your surgery. Ask the GM if your procedures worked.

In the case of another player injuring themselves, you might want to contact them by email to see what they have in mind.

Closing

As a Medical officer, you will be making an important contribution to the success of the mission. Don’t worry if you don’t know everything there is to know about medicine, you will pick up a lot as your go. Good luck and welcome to Federation Space!

Written by Lein Meor and Aloysia Yvette.