Nov 16, 2011
19
0
Status
Medical Student
I'm sure this question, or a version of it, has been asked somewhere on this site but I've spent about two full days searching the site with search terms and the what not and can't find an exact scenario. So here we go...

I'm a MS2 engaged to another MS2 who just so happens to be in the HPSP w/ the Air Force (forgive me if I don't quite understand all the shorthand on here, tho it's improved). So my question is fairly obvious (I feel like I/we have a good plan of attack on how to approach residency but any advice is appreciated in terms of staying close), is there a chance in that burning red fire place that post residency we will be able to stay in one place together-not that it won't require moving or some time apart-for any period of time longer than a vacation period? She's been asking these questions and getting some answers, but in this case the horse's mouth seems like an idyllic representation. My main questions I guess are: can non military doctors (I'm hoping for some form of surgery, tho am pretty flexible at this point and she is thinking surgery as well) get jobs where their spouse is stationed and if so, is it safe to say that the AF/military doesn't help much? Also, how does getting pregnant effect deployment (both pre-post birth and for male/female perspective)?

Are there any "outside the box" recommendations (e.g. certain specialties to pick both as spouse and the one in AF)? And while I know about the only easy solution to this in terms of all these problems is cutting the engagement, but would rather avoid that so any and all advice/info is appreciated.
 

Kingfisher

Active contact
10+ Year Member
Apr 25, 2008
366
40
Haze Grey
Status
Attending Physician
Yes, we have addressed similar questions on here before but here it goes anyways:
This perspective if from my experience in the Navy but still can be applicable.
1. Yes, post residency you can be together and employed but it will take creativity. I have seen spouses work together in a military facility (one military and one civ) but in all but one example the spouse was primary care. The exception was an OB. I have not seen a civilian general surgeon or orthopod at a military mtf but maybe someone else has seen it happen. You could join a civ practice but as you can imagine it will be hard to get into a group if they know you might have to move in a couple of years. If she gets stationed overseas your chances are close to zero.
2. No, the military really won't help you out.
3. Pregnant service members do not deploy. If she becomes pregnant after deploying, she will get sent home.
4. After she is pregnant she will be able to continue to work normally until her 3rd trimester and her work hours will be restricted to 40 hours (by Navy instruction at least). She will get 6 weeks of post partum CON leave.
5. Not sure what you are looking for in a male perspective?
6. Dual surgical specialties will definitely be challenging as you will BOTH have heavy work schedules to deal with as well as your marriage to work on. Good Luck!
 

Perrotfish

Has an MD in Horribleness
10+ Year Member
May 26, 2007
8,062
3,980
Status
Attending Physician
I'm sure this question, or a version of it, has been asked somewhere on this site but I've spent about two full days searching the site with search terms and the what not and can't find an exact scenario. So here we go...

I'm a MS2 engaged to another MS2 who just so happens to be in the HPSP w/ the Air Force (forgive me if I don't quite understand all the shorthand on here, tho it's improved). So my question is fairly obvious (I feel like I/we have a good plan of attack on how to approach residency but any advice is appreciated in terms of staying close), is there a chance in that burning red fire place that post residency we will be able to stay in one place together-not that it won't require moving or some time apart-for any period of time longer than a vacation period? She's been asking these questions and getting some answers, but in this case the horse's mouth seems like an idyllic representation. My main questions I guess are: can non military doctors (I'm hoping for some form of surgery, tho am pretty flexible at this point and she is thinking surgery as well) get jobs where their spouse is stationed and if so, is it safe to say that the AF/military doesn't help much? Also, how does getting pregnant effect deployment (both pre-post birth and for male/female perspective)?

Are there any "outside the box" recommendations (e.g. certain specialties to pick both as spouse and the one in AF)? And while I know about the only easy solution to this in terms of all these problems is cutting the engagement, but would rather avoid that so any and all advice/info is appreciated.

For residency she will match in December of MS4 if she matches military. Your match will be independent of hers, and your only chance to stay together is to match wherever she happens to match. So you need to apply to basically every program in every city where she can match. If she ends up a transitional year to GMO, of course, then her residency and duty station are unlikely to be in the same place until you finish residency. Similarly if your residency is longer than hers you will likely be separated for the difference.

For post-residency, her duty station will be decided on by her specialty leader. Medical subspecialties are smaller, older communities compared to most in the military: these people aren't heartless and will likely know you somewhat personally. Though there are no guarantees, its likely they will work with your spouse somewhere to work where you can work with your license. However they also need to spread out a lot of bad assignments, so don't be surprised if your request for an American working environment lands you in a swamp, desert, or island where you work at a very low quality community hospital. They will absolutely not help her get out of deployments to keep you together.

In terms of what career to choose: the more flexible your credentials in terms of where you work, the more likely it is that you will be able to work where your spouse is. There are few communities too small for an General Surgeon to find a locums job, but there are quite a few that might not support an ENT. Alternatively, you might actually find it the lesser of two evils to just join up.

Finally: A woman getting pregnant means she can't deploy while she's pregnant and for some set period of time after she delivers (forget how much). A man's wife being pregnant does not affect deployments in any way.
 
Last edited:

Kilgoretrout 65

7+ Year Member
Feb 5, 2012
265
40
USA
Status
Non-Student
I have seen a variety of civilian docs employed in AF MTFs (almost always retired military) but with the budget shortfalls I doubt you can count on that years from now.
You could join the Air Force. But you had better be sure of this marriage thing. You can also join via FAP or later as a direct accession as a way to postpone that additional commitment.
 

drcrispmd

Gold Donor
5+ Year Member
Sep 5, 2013
373
219
Springfield, MO
Status
Attending Physician
There are actually a lot of jobs available for civilians for family medicine docs worldwide. Ex husband was AF so that was my original plans. Still may consider it down the line. Salary is typically lower (unless it is Alaska) but the benefits make up for it. As a surgeon, probably will not be as easy to find a job. If you cannot deal with being apart from your wife, you may want to rethink the speciality.