Moffitt Surgeon Serves His Country in the Navy Reserves

March 14, 2007

Tampa, FL – Growing up one block from the Naval Base Coronado in California, a young boy had dreams of flying jets for the Navy. Dr. W. Bradford Carter, cancer surgeon and chief of the Comprehensive Breast Division at the H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center & Research Institute, realized his dream after finishing his medical training and joining the Navy Reserves in 1996.

Carter was promoted to captain in the Navy in January. “It is a great honor to serve my country as a senior officer,” said Carter. “As a surgeon, we are sought after because during the war, they have a lot more needs and need the support of the Reserves.”

He is a physician in a critical wartime specialty, and may be called to serve in the war in Iraq. Carter spends one weekend a quarter or two weeks a year in training and preparation.

Carter was mobilized in March 2003 right before coming to Moffitt in September. He spent four months overseas working in a hospital and on the USS Carl-Vinson treating U.S. troops. If the war continues and the president authorizes more troops, Carter could be mobilized for more than the two-year maximum.

“When you get recalled for three months, you are a hero. When you are gone for one or two years, you are forgotten. Leaving can be disruptive to your practice and patients, as well as being difficult for your family,” said Carter.

As a program leader at Moffitt, Carter believes the military has developed his leadership skills and has taught him the importance of teamwork. He believes that recognizing skills in your team is just as important as identifying the weaknesses and he considers that the key to success.

About H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center & Research Institute

Located in Tampa, Florida on the University of South Florida campus, H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center & Research Institute ( is the only Florida-based cancer center with the NCI designation as a Comprehensive Cancer Center for its excellence in research and contributions to clinical trials, prevention and cancer control. Moffitt currently has 15 affiliates in Florida, one in Georgia and two in Puerto Rico. Additionally, Moffitt is a member of the National Comprehensive Cancer Network, a prestigious alliance of the country’s leading cancer centers, and is listed in U.S. News & World Report as one of America’s Best Hospitals for cancer. Moffitt’s sole mission is to contribute to the prevention and cure of cancer.