SDN Members don't see this ad. (About Ads) With great interest, and occasional dismay, I've read through the posts on this thread. I think it is fair to say that most of you agree that most of the physicians in the military are above average to exceptional. I would agree with that statement. Most of the negative comments I read were directed at poor management or individual circumstances that were, to refrain from more colorful language, sub-optimal. I am an active duty Army physician and started my military career about 15 years ago at West Point. I attended USUHS and did a military residency (FP). Since I am a primary care physician, I will avoid commenting on the surgeon specific issues listed in other posts for I do not have the expertise nor personal experience to comment on those issues. What I intend to do is give those of you considering military medicine a different viewpoint from what I've seen on this blog. Furthermore, for those still in the service who are upset or frustrated with their current situation, I give a few helpful suggestions. For those of you who have completed their service (whether your opinions of the military are positive, negative, or a mix, thank you for your service). Although the military medical system is not perfect, it provides excellent care to the active duty, dependent, and retiree population on a daily basis. Sure, administrative and personality issues arise, but unfortunately this exists in almost all work environments (from a solo provider office to a lofty academic major medical center). What truly separates the path of the military physician from one in the civilian sector is being part of a bigger system: the system that protects the national interests of this country. Without diverging too much into national security strategy and DoD's role, we military physicians are able to serve individually as service members as well as taking care of the Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, and Marines. Some of the comments in other posts relate to poor leadership and management situations. Those are of course unfortunate, but one of the other unique aspects of being in the military as a physician is that we are also officers. Our role as officers is to find better ways for the system to function, to find alternative strategies for dealing with people, and discovering new ways to solve old problems. I certainly don't believe that anyone out there thinks that the civilian system is perfect and when looked at from a bigger picture, the military system is pretty good. We are paid well, respected for our opinions, and given the opportunity to branch out into other areas than just clinical medicine (if you so choose). The systems in place also encourage professional growth (basic course, advanced course, and CGSC/ILE). The medical departments want (need) officers of character that instead of simply stating how "bad" things are, take action to improve the situation. Any organization that continually wants to improve its employees (i.e. making short term sacrifices for long term benefit) is one that has its priorities in order. I appreciate you taking the time to read this and I look forward to your responses. Hopefully for those of you thinking of joining our profession of arms, this encourages you to make the commitment. MAJ Matt Fandre, ILE Class 09-001 The comments in the posting are my own. They do not reflect the views of the US Army Medical Department, CGSC, The Department of the Army, or the Department of Defense.