The biggest folly I see on these boards is pre-meds that want to do HPSP soley for finacial reasons. However, a close second would have to be the line officers that think they have a good idea about what military medicine is like based on their prior service. Sorry, but doctors aren't just all complaining b/c they're pampered whiners who got a bad assignment.
Agreed. I'm not the type to ever rub another man's rhubarb (to quote Jack Nicholson) - that is why I was asking the questions, and I am not here to lambast anyone on their personal decisions and opinions. From milmed folks posting on the board, it seems that MSC and Nurse corps leadership (or lack thereof) is a major point of contention, but then I hear that the "good" physicians aren't taking leadership roles because they can't treat patients. You can't have it both ways.
So what is the real deal? I'm sorry, but when I hear that the number one reason not to be a military doctor is because there is no where to masturbate, I have to question things a bit. I of course respect the experience and expertise of everyone who has navigated the road to becoming a doctor, but as someone trying to make a decision to whether I should continue to serve as a physician in the military or I should take my business elsewhere because milmed is not worth the time... I need a bit more. I am absolutely determined to be a doctor either way, but the important question is if I will be in uniform or not.
I think there is an issue with being a specialist in an organization that is heavily bureaucratic and prizes, for the most part, those with broad skills. On the line, our specialists are LDO's - limited duty officers. They are experts in their fields, prior enlisted, without the opportunity to ever command - and most of them never make any rank past O-4, and only make that rank if they are lucky. These officers are highly prized and respected, but there is only so far they can go... some might say there is only so far they want to go.
It seems there is angst at the choice that needs to be made - be the best possible physician, or be a high ranking officer. And it seems that those who make the latter choice in milmed are usually not looked upon well. Who is better to make the decisions required in military medicine than a fully qualified physician? But if none of the best want to take on that responsibility, the bureaucracy has to turn to other means to fill spots. What is the solution? Maybe this is the rotten core of the problems that milmed faces? I don't know, because I don't know enough about the environment yet... just looking for some discussion from those who do know.