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Discussion in 'Military Medicine' started by flako, Jan 1, 2009.
What is the likelyhood of getting any of your top 5 choices for base assignment in the AF?
Avianno, Spang, Hickam....no
but i had a bro who just got lucky and was able to go to italy right out of internship. better to pick a majcom (go ACC, dont ever ever go AFMC) and then rank those bases. i'm at Holloman and its surprisingly a good time. fly in a T-38 at least 1-2 times a week, F-4 as well.
Why choose ACC over AFMC?
I will preface this by saying that this info is mostly for Flight Surgeons...
If you are ACC, you are assigned to a flying squadron and you're chain of command is the line. Although you still have a chain of command in the med group, most of your "admin/paperwork" goes through your flying squadron. Sometimes, it is a difficult line to walk with 2 different chain-of-commands, but most ACC docs seem to be happy with their MAJCOM because they feel like they are treated more like line officers. However, this could also be a bad thing if you have a squadron commander that like to "Micromanage" the healthcare of his squadron troops. In addition, deployments are much more predictable (i.e. You go whereever your squadron goes), both in length of deployment and location. Now, with all AF docs moving to 6 month deployments, ACC flight docs (Also called Squadron Medical Elements, or SME for short) only deploy how long the rest of their flying squadron deploys, which is still (but may not be for long) 2-4 months.
AFMC docs are generally assigned to med groups and, therefore, only have one chain of command. Administative Headaches are usually greater. Deployments are generally longer and more unpredictable (1 doc in my office "deploying" to Germany, while another went to Iraq)
Every flight doc has their own preference. Mine is also ACC, but I have been lucky to have 2 very good squadron commanders that defer to myself and the other flight doc in my squadron for medical decisions and don't second-guess us.
I am planning on being a flight surgeon after internship (this summer 2009). i have called force health multiple times to schedule a initialy flying physical, and also email messages, with no response. What should I do?
Also, what is the timeline to getting a base assignment?
If you are in Boston, trying to schedule at Hanscom, you will have a lot of problems trying to schedule. My suggestion is to try to take a off day and go down there if they are dodging your calls. I am not even sure how "active" their flight med department is at Hanscom. The next closest base would be McGuire, which has a very active flight med department that can easily help you out. I would highly recommend avoiding Hanscom, all together.
You will sumbit your rank list of 20 bases. The assignments officeer with rolling into a nice little ball to wipe their a** with and then give you your choice of 2-4 very undesirable bases once your initial flying class physical has been approved. Please note that if any waiver is needed that the process of approval wil be extended by a couple of months as this will be approved by AETC, which is notoriously slow for approving waivers.
Westover ARB (Chicopee, MA-straight shot out on the Pike) has very active flying units and aeromed units. Though it's reserve, I would think it quite possible to schedule your flying physical there-probably much easier than Hanscom or McGuire.
I don't know j-rad, all of my experience with the reserves has been mostly negative. It seems that it is very hard for them to "accomplish" waivers or complete flight physicals, especially when it comes to PEPP. Just because a reserve base has active flying units doesn't mean their flight med dept is competent. If a waiver has to be done for a flight physical, chances are the waiver will be "pending flight surgeon" for a couple of months. In fact, we actually find that we pick up their slack (more than often) and submit the waiver ourselves because we are tired of seeing the patient's name on our DNIF roster.
Just my opinion, though, maybe you have had a different experience.
Nope, I defer to the wisdom of those with more relevant experience. I was only looking at it from the simple perspective of them having the resource there; but I am sure you have made a valid and more relevant point. Purely for curiosity's sake, do you find that to be consistent throughout all reserve aeromed units you've worked with, or does size/business seem to make a difference (the Westovers and Charlestons [huge/active] vs the little aeromed element at a small ANG flying unit)? I suppose (s)he could call the Westover people and ask how may active duty flying physicals they do and how often they get stuck in paperwork limbo, but, again, I would consider your experience more relevant than mine.
Thanks for the information. I need to up date my profile as i'm no longer in Boston. I'm actually a DGMC intern but of course GS is at UCD for the whole year so its a little difficult for me to get there. They finally got back to me... guess they are real busy at Travis and I'm looking at February or so for my physical.
My sample size in dealing with the reserve aeromed bases is small (N=2). Most of the docs working at reserve bases how civilian jobs, so this is their "second job". It stands to reason that an AD doc would be able to dedicate more time to physicals, waivers, etc. because this is their primary job. However, now, I guess it doesn't make any difference since they are at Travis, not Boston.