01-23-2001, 04:09 PM
Everyone has talked about the benefits of the programs, but I have yet to hear from anyone who has been in them beyond the early years of medical school. I have two weeks to decide about the Army and I'm getting nervous. Can anyone please tell me what the job is like? Do you have to march a lot and spend time in the trenches? Or do you work mainly in the hospitals? What is a MASH unit like?
Come on, guys, there were a lot of posts on this subject a while back. Can anyone help me out?
[This message has been edited by osteoguy (edited 01-23-2001).]
01-24-2001, 06:46 AM
well - not a doc, but I am a flight medic so I do see them once in a while. Also, I'm a guard soldier so not an everyday job. With that out of the way...
Being a doc in the army means a few things. First, your an officer. Second, your a doc. That means that life is not too bad. However, yes, you will spend time doing army stuff. Is this a bad thing - nah. Could be worse, let's put it that way. Will you march much? Really doubt it - once in a great while at change of commands and such. You will salute, you will the uniform correctly, etc. The trenches - as you put it - I assume you mean playing in the dirt. Not so much. The majority of time you will be working in hospitals or clinics. There is the opportunity to do field work and you will do some, but the vast majority of physicians spend time where they can do doctor work - ie the hospital. However, there is every-chance you may end up in some other country doing that also - and yes, perhaps living in a tent while doing it. I just spent almost 7 months in bosnia working dustoff while co-located with a hospital - built of wood - kind of a very fancy huge tent - but full surgical suite, CAT scan, lab, pharmacy, etc.
The main point is simple - the military (any branch) is a life, not just a job. If you don't think you are going to enjoy the challanges thrown at you for a few years then don't do it. However, the military can probably teach you more about life than med school ever did.
Good luck in your endevours and email if you have further questions.
01-24-2001, 08:42 AM
Again, not a navy person and my experience with that branch is minimal, but I highly doubt that any branch will let you sign up for CONUS (Contenental United States -- ie, not over seas) only. The US believes in placing its front lines as far from the native ground as we can get - and thats where the military goes...
01-24-2001, 09:38 AM
My friend was a priest (yes, I know, that's not the same as a doctor... but he was a professional and an officer) in the Navy for a few years. He was 6 months on a ship somewhere and 6 months in the US, then back on the ship. I assume that's probably the same for other "professionals," except maybe lawyers... (not a dig at lawyers...)