Chris "Doc" Goehner
OIF US Navy (FMF) Veteran
DOC'S JOURNEY WITH THE DOCTOR
The deep connection between "Doc" Goehner and Dr. Mastaw was forged through their shared experiences during their deployment to Al-Taqaddum, Iraq, in 2005. In the crucible of war, Dr. Mastaw meticulously trained "Doc," equipping him with the skills to handle over 1,200 trauma cases and perform more than 450 life-saving operations. Shoulder to shoulder, they confronted the daunting challenges of war, adapting to the most arduous circumstances and enduring the menacing threat of incoming mortars. Their bond grew unyielding amidst adversity, transcending the battlefield and evolving into a lifelong friendship rooted in trust and mutual respect.
However, the transition back to civilian life presented "Doc" Goehner with a new battle that exacted a toll on his physical and emotional well-being. The burden of pain from lifting patient litters and the weight of survivor's guilt became overwhelming, ultimately leading to "Doc's" medical discharge due to post-traumatic stress.
Dr. Mastaw, on the other hand, remained on active duty, rising to the rank of Lt. Commander. Driven by his unwavering commitment to serving others, he embarked on a path of specialization in pain management. He pursued a fellowship in pain management at his esteemed alma mater, the University of Michigan, further honing his expertise and expanding his ability to provide comprehensive care to those in need. While their paths diverged, the indelible bond they formed on the battlefield remained unbreakable.
In 2017, fate orchestrated a reunion for Dr. Mastaw and "Doc" Goehner at the President G.W. Bush Presidential Library. During their visit, a poignant encounter unfolded as they connected with the family of a service member they could not save during their time in Iraq. This profound meeting stirred a whirlwind of emotions within them as a powerful reminder of the weight of their experiences and the lasting impact of their service.
The shared pain and grief created an unbreakable bond, offering a bittersweet moment of solace and closure. It reignited their awareness of the sacrifices made and underscored the enduring resilience of the human spirit.
After exhausting various therapeutic avenues, "Doc" Goehner found himself once again ensnared in the clutches of despair. Determined to find solace and healing, he sought refuge at the Veteran Affairs (VA) hospital, opting for in-patient therapy. During this time, as he checked himself in alongside his devoted wife, he discovered the profound impact of ketamine therapy, which the VA had been utilizing since 2017 to provide relief and support for veterans grappling with anxiety, depression, and post-traumatic stress.
"Doc" in 2011
Painting completed by President G.W. Bush of "Doc" from the book, Portraits of Courage
"Doc" after completing his ketamine therapy series
Motivated by their shared vision, Dr. Mastaw and "Doc" Goehner sought the collaboration of Julio, a trusted classmate, to turn their vision of DOC'S Ketamine Clinic into a tangible reality. This dynamic collaboration merges "Doc's" profound understanding of the challenges veterans and survivors face, Dr. Mastaw's extensive medical expertise and specialized training in ketamine therapy, and Julio's experience in providing exceptional mental health care. Together, they dedicate themselves to establishing a healing sanctuary where patients can bring back the best version of themselves.