ArmyDocDude

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Hey there,

So it seems like everyone who is on this forum has lots to say about the Navy and the Air Force. Is there anyone who can talk about the pros and cons of being an Army doctor? Just interested to know who's who...

ArmyDocDude
 

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What makes you think the army is so different? The deployments are a little longer, there are a few more active duty residency slots, the uniforms a little different color....everything else is exactly the same.
 
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ArmyDocDude

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Army guys have some difficulty with techonolgy. Precludes Internet forum use. Sorry
Techonolgy? :rolleyes:


Oh, and ActiveDutyMD, are you Army? If you are, could you please comment on the good and bad about Army medicine based on personal experience? If you are not in the Army, what branch are you, and could you recommend someone that you know is in the Army that I could talk to?
 

The White Coat Investor

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Techonolgy? :rolleyes:


Oh, and ActiveDutyMD, are you Army? If you are, could you please comment on the good and bad about Army medicine based on personal experience? If you are not in the Army, what branch are you, and could you recommend someone that you know is in the Army that I could talk to?
No, not army. Work with a few army docs though. If you know what specialty you're interested in I would call up an Army hospital (just google one) and ask to be connected to that particular clinic. Ask the person answering the phone if you can speak with one of the attendings. They might not have time to talk right then, but I would think it would be rare they wouldn't set up a time they could call you back.

I've had people ask me not to give out their emails/phone numbers/names on the internet when I asked so I don't do that.
 
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ArmyDocDude

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Thank you, ActiveDutyMD, those are very good ideas. I assumed calling a military hospital directly would be a waste of time. And I respect your stance on people's contact info.


To all else, are there really that few Army doctors that read and post on this forum? Where are you posting, if not here? I know that doctors in the Air Force and the Navy have lots of useful knowledge to share, but I was hoping to get it straight from someone Army.

Hard to believe...

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Thank you, ActiveDutyMD, those are very good ideas. I assumed calling a military hospital directly would be a waste of time. And I respect your stance on people's contact info.


To all else, are there really that few Army doctors that read and post on this forum? Where are you posting, if not here? I know that doctors in the Air Force and the Navy have lots of useful knowledge to share, but I was hoping to get it straight from someone Army.

Hard to believe...

ArmyDocDude
I haven't been keeping count, but I never realized there were no army doc's here. I'm Army, and I think most agree that the branches are for the most part fairly similar. The army probably gives you the best shot on average of getting into your preferred residency (in regard to specialty type, not location). However, we also have some of the worst locations to choose from once you've finished residency. The fact that Alaska is considered a good asignment should tell your something about the state of army medical locations.
 

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I'm an Army intern heading off into GMO/FS land next year.

There are some Army guys floating around the boards, but they aren't as vocal as the Navy/AF guys.

My perspective is ltd, but I've seen how things work in the system a bit.

The Army has the most robust GME programs, and, I believe, the strongest committment among the 3 services to GME. The programs across the board, however, are becoming hamstrung by lack of applicants and poor retention.

If you want to do Primary Care in the Army, you'll get straight through training, guaranteed, which is a plus. For the specialties, EM etc. it gets very dicey. The Army gives no/very few deferments, making the match something of a minefield.

There are some decent GMO/FS billets out there if you don't match, if you're into that sort of thing. With the lack of deferments and a need to have interns in the MTF's to man the wards and call pagers, the number of GMO's is increasing, not on par with the Navy but comparable to AF.

Downsides, the Army deploys a lot and for a long time. BC'd folks across most specialties are used extensively to fill GMO billets b/c of the OPTEMPO, which is exasperating for some.

Most of the complaints seen on these boards are service-wide and apply to the Army too, so I won't dwell on them.

Bottom line, if you want straight through training in Primary care, the Army is a good bet. Call AD docs O-4 and below and do some research before taking the plunge. Good luck.

GB
 

Mcrap

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I'm a pre-med thinking about the Army HPSP. Actually a little more than just thinking. I basically just need to get boarded and I’m in.

Been reading a whole lot of crazy things on the forum and lets say its pretty scary and disheartening to read how people's opinions on milimed changes as they hit the residency matching phase and beyond. I only hope I’ll end up half as jaded as some of the most frequent posters. Yet for all the negative things on these forums I still feel compelled to join and server as a doctor in the Army. I feel that our soldiers need doctors a lot and that fits with my view of medicine to go to where your most needed. In addition, I want to be a doctor not for the money but to help people. (I understand that seeing people get paid 2x or 3x more for what I’m doing might change my mind in the future) (I also understand the big problems such as AHLTA and the bureaucracy, which is milimed - thanks Galo and company)

I was wondering if any of the current Army med students, or residents know how competitive it is to get into Neurology or Psychiatry. In addition any one know what is going to happen to the Walter Reed residencies after it closes? If I’m not mistaken that would only leave Tripler for Psychiatry and Madigan for Neurology. From what little I have read both of these programs are decent.

-Another HPSP Lemming
 

colbgw02

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The WRAMC residencies won't go away. Those are already co-located with the Navy, so Bethesda will just take on a greater role. What I don't know is how much, if at all, Ft. Belvoir will get beefed up regarding Army GME.

Psychiatry is not competitive, in the Army or otherwise. I can't speak to neurology.
 

ilestudent

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Although new to this blogging thing, I am proof that Army docs can learn technology...it's just painful to use the knuckles after they've been dragging on the ground for so long. :)

I graduated from USUHS and did my FP residency at Fort Hood. I've enjoyed the military greatly and although it does have some parts that need improving, I can honestly say that I love my job and don't wish I was in the civilian sector. Being primary care means that my salary is more comparible with civilian physicians, but a lot of progress has occurred in the bonuses to try and compensate our specialists better.

Mcrap, I certainly encourage you to join. Joining doesn't mean that you'll make a career of the military; that being said, you may just find you like it. My career has been very rewarding thus far and I look forward to my future opportunities and challenges. Taking care of Soldiers and being a Soldier is incredibly rewarding...much more so than some extra cash in my pocket.

By the way, a few of us having been posting on the 1st military medicine site; pretty interesting reading. One thing I really enjoy is the candor and professionalism of those on the board, even when we disagree. Here's the link in case you can't find it.

Matt

http://forums.studentdoctor.net/showthread.php?t=277310&page=3
 

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Although new to this blogging thing, I am proof that Army docs can learn technology...it's just painful to use the knuckles after they've been dragging on the ground for so long. :)

I graduated from USUHS and did my FP residency at Fort Hood. I've enjoyed the military greatly and although it does have some parts that need improving, I can honestly say that I love my job and don't wish I was in the civilian sector. Being primary care means that my salary is more comparible with civilian physicians, but a lot of progress has occurred in the bonuses to try and compensate our specialists better.

Mcrap, I certainly encourage you to join. Joining doesn't mean that you'll make a career of the military; that being said, you may just find you like it. My career has been very rewarding thus far and I look forward to my future opportunities and challenges. Taking care of Soldiers and being a Soldier is incredibly rewarding...much more so than some extra cash in my pocket.

By the way, a few of us having been posting on the 1st military medicine site; pretty interesting reading. One thing I really enjoy is the candor and professionalism of those on the board, even when we disagree. Here's the link in case you can't find it.

Matt

http://forums.studentdoctor.net/showthread.php?t=277310&page=3
Welcome to the forum. We need all the active duty docs we can get. You reflect the positives of military service very well. I also enjoy the positives (and there are many.) For me, the negatives greatly outweigh them of course, but there are lots of docs who feel like you do, and not enough of them here to provide a true perspective of the service. Far too often the biggest advocates of military medicine here are so low on the medical training totem pole that their opinions are discarded (usually appropriately) as useless.
 

a1qwerty55

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Mcrap, I certainly encourage you to join. Joining doesn't mean that you'll make a career of the military; that being said, you may just find you like it. My career has been very rewarding thus far and I look forward to my future opportunities and challenges. Taking care of Soldiers and being a Soldier is incredibly rewarding...much more so than some extra cash in my pocket.

By the way, a few of us having been posting on the 1st military medicine site; pretty interesting reading. One thing I really enjoy is the candor and professionalism of those on the board, even when we disagree. Here's the link in case you can't find it.

Matt

http://forums.studentdoctor.net/showthread.php?t=277310&page=3
Agree that serving is important, and a is priviledge. I also have no regrets, but am ready to move on to the civilian world when my time is up, with health coverage, and an inflation adjusted retirement for life.
 

painmd87

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That stood out to me too -- there are very few Army "Don't do it!" threads going on here.

I'd like to see some other perspectives from Army docs too.

A lot of the complaints against milmed and HPSP seem tolerable. My father is a civilian perinatologist and deals with all of the bureaucracy, "they don't care" kind of stuff it seems military docs complain about.

I'm strongly considering Army HPSP with a few reservations. What are the numbers of Army docs who end up on a GMO tour as compared to Navy or AF?
 

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That stood out to me too -- there are very few Army "Don't do it!" threads going on here.
I'd be very careful to taking approach.

There is no magic sauce about Army milmed that should make you discard the criticisms you hear from the more vocal folks from the other services.
I'm strongly considering Army HPSP with a few reservations. What are the numbers of Army docs who end up on a GMO tour as compared to Navy or AF?
The Army seems to have better % for getting folks in straight through training, but you still run a very significant chance for a GMO tour. It's a lot better than the Navy/AF, but do not believe the "no GMO tours" you still hear from folks here on occassion (usually pre-HPSP folks mentioning things they heard from recruiters).

The data I saw for the last match had a 25% GMO tour rate. If you're looking at a more competitive specialty, you should be pretty comfortable with doing a GMO tour.

If you're going family practice (and if you're an MS I, odds are good you will change your mind several times before the match), you probably have a great shot of going straight through. Emergency Med? Not so much.

Also, the Army, unless they've changed things, are even stingier about civilian deferments than Navy/AF.
 

notdeadyet

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Something I wonder about...

If there are fewer Army folks vocally negative about milmed, I wonder how much that has to do with the actual military medicine environment and how much that has to do with the culture of folks in the different services.

HPSP has two benefits: patriotic and financial. I know a lot of folks who took HPSP and folks who came close to doing so. One thing I noticed is that amongst folks with no military background, those who seemed to beat-the-chest/wave-the-flag with the most gusto seemed most likely to choose Army. The folks who seemed more to view HPSP as a free-tuition scholarship in which some years in the military are the price to be paid seemed most likely to join Navy/AF.

Obviously everyone is different. When I was seriously considering HPSP, I leaned very heavily towards Navy and not Army. From folks I talked to, the Navy had much less formal rank structure than Army. I preferred the Navy's base and GME locations to the Army's. Though the Navy sure seemed to do a lot of deployments over in Iraq/Afghanistan, the Army folks seemed to go over longer and more often. The Army, frankly, just sounded like harder living to me.

So I'm wondering if maybe just the volume of folks with complaints has more to do with the culture each service cultivates by the people it attracts. I'd imagine that if the Marines had their own medical corps, you'd probably find even less griping from the docs there than Army, even if conditions were truly god awful.

Curious on other peoples' thoughts. God knows I could be completely wrong. But 95% of the complaints that I hear on this site, regardless of who they are from, seem to be about issues that would be pretty pan-service. I have a hard time swallowing that Army is immune.

(Disclosure: I'm incredibly thankful about the vocal folks who point out the problems [as well as the benefits] that they see in military medicine. I came quite close to signing up for HPSP before reading up here. The more I have since looked at individual residency programs of interest and continue career planning and number crunching, I realize that HPSP would have been a truly terrible path for me personally. I owe lots of folks on this site for preventing me from making a mistake. I ended up going for ASR in the National Guard and it fits my goals a lot better while still allowing me the privilege of service.)
 
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armycutter

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Just stumbled onto this forum today. I'm an army subspecialty surgeon. USUHS grad. 4 years to go until I retire with 24 years. Happy to answer any questions about my experiences.
 

Mcrap

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Just stumbled onto this forum today. I'm an army subspecialty surgeon. USUHS grad. 4 years to go until I retire with 24 years. Happy to answer any questions about my experiences.
I was wondering first of all what kept you in for 24 years?
I was also wondering if at any time during your service you have had skill atrophy?
 

chaser08

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I'm Army.

I'm a first year resident. I haven't been on these boards in a while, but I know that when I used to frequent this board as a medical student, I noticed the same thing - most of the complaints were from AF/Navy rather than Army. Most of the complaints (GMO-land, lack of slots in non-primary care fields) were about something that was not as much of a problem in the Army. Maybe the Army HPSPers on this board realize that, relative to AF/N, there's less reason to complain regarding these issues, and therefore we don't. Someone mentioned above that maybe the Army HPSPers are more "Duty, Honor, Country" - this may be true. I don't consider myself super patriotic but it doesn't take a lot of research to know that you're going to deploy for longer to more austere locations in the Army than the other services. That's something I think most Army applicants have already accepted, so, again, hard to complain.

Here's been my experience: I got my first choice residency (non-primary care, relatively competitive) in my first choice location. Full disclosure: I'm prior service (that counts a fair amount) and I would have been competitive for my residency even in the civilian world. I've talked with some of the people who didn't get their first choice or who ended up Transitional/GMO and they were either trying for something super-competitive (in the Army, these would be the surgical subspecialties-esp Ortho-and radiology) for which there were not a whole lot of slots or they had stats that just weren't competitive.

My biggest complaints? Nurses that don't follow the orders that are written for the patients because they were at shift change or "I didn't get to it" :mad:, all the mandatory training (EO, POSH, TBI, PRT, etc), and getting paged at 2 o'clock in the morning because a patient wants to know if they are going to be able to eat bacon for breakfast :mad::mad::mad::mad::mad:. With the possible exception of #2, they seem to be problems that can occur in any residency in the nation, so there's no need to complain in the Mil Med-specific forum.

It's not all peaches and cream, and if you have any specific questions, I'm sure I can gripe with the best of them. As I've recommended before (and I did myself), find the HPSP reg for the branch you're interested in and read it thoroughly. It's amazing how many of the issues that people complain about are spelled out in the reg and therefore shouldn't come as a surprise.

I'm not exactly "Army - Don't Do It!" But, hindsight being 20/20, I'd probably steer you away from HPSP in general unless 1) you're prior service and therefore you understand the system and it could be financially in your favor, 2)you really have a strong desire to be in the military and are less likely to be annoyed with the rules/restrictions, or 3)you're thinking more on the order of primary care vs more financially rewarding specialities.

Just my 2 cents.
 

threepeas

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I'm a pre-med thinking about the Army HPSP. Actually a little more than just thinking. I basically just need to get boarded and I’m in.

Been reading a whole lot of crazy things on the forum and lets say its pretty scary and disheartening to read how people's opinions on milimed changes as they hit the residency matching phase and beyond. I only hope I’ll end up half as jaded as some of the most frequent posters. Yet for all the negative things on these forums I still feel compelled to join and server as a doctor in the Army. I feel that our soldiers need doctors a lot and that fits with my view of medicine to go to where your most needed. In addition, I want to be a doctor not for the money but to help people. (I understand that seeing people get paid 2x or 3x more for what I’m doing might change my mind in the future) (I also understand the big problems such as AHLTA and the bureaucracy, which is milimed - thanks Galo and company)

I was wondering if any of the current Army med students, or residents know how competitive it is to get into Neurology or Psychiatry. In addition any one know what is going to happen to the Walter Reed residencies after it closes? If I’m not mistaken that would only leave Tripler for Psychiatry and Madigan for Neurology. From what little I have read both of these programs are decent.

-Another HPSP Lemming
Dont get too worried about the negativity. Civilians have alot to complain about too, but they have no other options so they just put their heads down a get through it. Military can complain because they think the grass is greener on the other side. Also, most forums regardless of the subject matter will have a negative skew because complainers like to whine but the happy people just are too busy enjoying their lives. The most important thing is simply know what you are getting into (pros and cons) and have a good attitude to make the best of any situation.

Neurology and Psychiatry match is favorable to the applicant in the Army. I am at BAMC as a GS intern and love it. Great institution, facility and people. I love san antonio: food, weather, outdoor activities, friendly people, etc.

Good luck,
BTW...I love the comaradarie of the military that cant be found anywhere else. I have met some very interesting and admirable people so far.
 

threepeas

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The data I saw for the last match had a 25% GMO tour rate. If you're looking at a more competitive specialty, you should be pretty comfortable with doing a GMO tour.
Last year Army matched 85% into their top 3 choices.
 

threepeas

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My biggest complaints? Nurses that don't follow the orders that are written for the patients because they were at shift change or "I didn't get to it" :mad:, all the mandatory training (EO, POSH, TBI, PRT, etc), and getting paged at 2 o'clock in the morning because a patient wants to know if they are going to be able to eat bacon for breakfast :mad::mad::mad::mad::mad:. With the possible exception of #2, they seem to be problems that can occur in any residency in the nation, so there's no need to complain in the Mil Med-specific forum.

I'm not exactly "Army - Don't Do It!" But, hindsight being 20/20, I'd probably steer you away from HPSP in general unless 1) you're prior service and therefore you understand the system and it could be financially in your favor, 2)you really have a strong desire to be in the military and are less likely to be annoyed with the rules/restrictions, or 3)you're thinking more on the order of primary care vs more financially rewarding specialities.

Just my 2 cents.
As far as nursing goes...they are just as bad civilian or military (I was a civilian PA for 10yrs prior to medschool and HPSP). Most of the good floor nurses went on to be NPs or CRNAs.

No doubt specialty pay is less in the Army but...
1) you work less in the Army and therefore have more time to enjoy your life
2) the more you make, the more you spend. I know many "wealthy" people and they are no happier than me. Also it is easier in the Army to focus on patient care issues rather than billing, overhead, getting sued, seeing as many patients as possible to make a buck.

BTW i got my first choice in urology. I agree most peeps who get transitional/GMO were gunning for specialties for which they were not competitive and would of failed in the civilian world too.
 
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bogatyr

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Dont get too worried about the negativity. Civilians have alot to complain about too, but they have no other options so they just put their heads down a get through it. Military can complain because they think the grass is greener on the other side.
Except that the grass is greener on the other side. Have you ever met anyone who got out of the military and then signed back up? I haven't. Sure, there are a whole lot who come back to the MTF as contractors, but not back on active duty.
 

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As far as nursing goes...they are just as bad civilian or military (I was a civilian PA for 10yrs prior to medschool and HPSP). Most of the good floor nurses went on to be NPs or CRNAs.

No doubt specialty pay is less in the Army but...
1) you work less in the Army and therefore have more time to enjoy your life
2) the more you make, the more you spend. I know many "wealthy" people and they are no happier than me. Also it is easier in the Army to focus on patient care issues rather than billing, overhead, getting sued, seeing as many patients as possible to make a buck.

BTW i got my first choice in urology. I agree most peeps who get transitional/GMO were gunning for specialties for which they were not competitive and would of failed in the civilian world too.
1) As an attending, I agree with this statement. I've talked with some attendings who have worked both civilian and military and say they work about half as much as they did as a civilian (for less pay, but the pay is still "adequate"). However, at least at my institution, as a resident I routinely break the 80 hr work week. It has nothing to do with my efficiency, either - It's strange - obviously we have less patients than most civilian hospitals on average...Maybe its the time spent fighting the bureaucracy/nurses who know they can't be fired that eats up the time...:rolleyes: But I'm looking forward to those cush attending hours.

2) Again, I agree to an extent. I don't consider myself to be particularly money-minded - not looking to be a millionaire - and I live comfortably within my means while putting away plenty for retirement. However, when I look at the fact that as an attending, I will be making approximately half of what I could be making on the outside, it really feels like I'm throwing money away. I'm single w no kids now, but if I had kids to raise and pay for, I think that knowing that fact would give me even more heartburn.

Congrats on urology - that is def a hard one to get - only one spot/location! I think that last point can't be stressed enough - people think that the military match is not as competitive, and sometimes it isn't. But you really can't count on that.
 

chaser08

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Except that the grass is greener on the other side. Have you ever met anyone who got out of the military and then signed back up? I haven't. Sure, there are a whole lot who come back to the MTF as contractors, but not back on active duty.
I have, but agree that it is very rare. Per one person in particular, they work less than they ever did on the outside for decent pay, and have to deal with less headaches.
 

Sarg's kid

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Thank you, ActiveDutyMD, those are very good ideas. I assumed calling a military hospital directly would be a waste of time. And I respect your stance on people's contact info.


To all else, are there really that few Army doctors that read and post on this forum? Where are you posting, if not here? I know that doctors in the Air Force and the Navy have lots of useful knowledge to share, but I was hoping to get it straight from someone Army.

Hard to believe...

ArmyDocDude
I have emailed and sent letters. Both of which were more than answered. I was put in contact with several different people who were more than willing to answer my questions.
 

threepeas

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Except that the grass is greener on the other side. Have you ever met anyone who got out of the military and then signed back up? I haven't. Sure, there are a whole lot who come back to the MTF as contractors, but not back on active duty.
This is a true statement, but just about every doctor i have met in 10years as a PA who spent time in the military wish they had stayed in for their 20, or at the very least reminisce regularly about the good times they had in the military when they found out i was going in. They realized after decades in the private sector, there are certain things they miss about the military.I think doctors close to their retirement add up what they sacrificed to have a successful practice in the civilian market and wished they had more time to spend with family and pursue hobbies. The grass is not greener, just different type of grass. In addition military medicine has room to improve and evolve just like civilian medicine.

the bottom line is there is nothing inherently wrong with military medicine or inherently grand with civilian medicine that should keep someone from trying the military for a specified time period. if you have the right attitude it can be a rewarding experience that can generate pride for a lifetime.
 
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threepeas

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2) Again, I agree to an extent. I don't consider myself to be particularly money-minded - not looking to be a millionaire - and I live comfortably within my means while putting away plenty for retirement. However, when I look at the fact that as an attending, I will be making approximately half of what I could be making on the outside, it really feels like I'm throwing money away. I'm single w no kids now, but if I had kids to raise and pay for, I think that knowing that fact would give me even more heartburn.

Congrats on urology - that is def a hard one to get - only one spot/location! I think that last point can't be stressed enough - people think that the military match is not as competitive, and sometimes it isn't. But you really can't count on that.
In the civilian world you run with different crowds. Ones that drive nicer cars, have bigger houses, expensive suits, etc. ie...the more you make the more you spend; not the more you make the more you're happy. there is nothing inherently wrong with pursuing financial solvency but it shouldn't be the carrot that gets you excited about civilian medicine. It is not something to judge one over the other, just something to keep in mind when trying to be objective about ones choices.

In the army with have 7 urology spots: 5 at army medcens and 2 dod-va sponsored civilian spots. i think the navy has one, and the AF 2 (not including deferments).

i agree with your last statement about the match: it is tricky to predict because it can change from year to year, but yes sometimes the military match successes can have the same numbers as their civilian counterparts.

best wishes...
 

The White Coat Investor

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This is a true statement, but just about every doctor i have met in 10years as a PA who spent time in the military wish they had stayed in for their 20, or at the very least reminisce regularly about the good times they had in the military when they found out i was going in.
#1) Reminiscing is NOT the same (or even close to the same) to wishing you stayed for 20.

#2) What kept them from going back in? There were several docs in their 40s and even 50s in my COT class. If it was all that great they could have gone back in. The fact that they didn't says something.

#3) I know dozens of military docs, and I don't know any who got out and regret it. I know some that stayed in and are glad. I know some that got out and are glad. But I don't know a single one who got out and wished they'd come back. I'm having a hard time reconciling that experience with yours. Perhaps one of our sample sizes is simply too low.

#4) Military medicine used to be a lot better than it is now. Perhaps they are reminiscing about times that were better than now.
 

The White Coat Investor

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1) As an attending, I agree with this statement. I've talked with some attendings who have worked both civilian and military and say they work about half as much as they did as a civilian (for less pay, but the pay is still "adequate")..
This statement is VERY specialty and assignment specific.
 

a1qwerty55

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This statement is VERY specialty and assignment specific.
Very true.
If you are a one person shop, get ready to work MORE than the residents. I have several colleagues but we deal with very sick patients and cannot just leave when a patient isn't doing well. We generally leave well after the last resident, and come in not too infrequently on call. It all depends on your specialty, your committment to the patient, and the numbers in your department. There is no blanket statement. For me, I work more hours than my civilian colleagues, for less money. Despite this, I am not too bitter and do not regret my decision.
 

secretwave101

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I'm finishing civilian FP residency, and I'm in Army STRAP. For those not familiar with this program, I signed to the Army inactive reserves and have been getting monthly pay and yearly loan repayment while in residency. Once out, I'll come in as an officer and owe 6 years of reserve duty. If called up (likely) I'm only supposed to be deployed for 3 months and then returned to civilian practice.

I'm thinking, however, that I might just flip over to active duty instead. My big concern is deployments because I have 4 kids and I don't really want to be separated from them for years of their lives. I have no problem moving around and would be happy to move overseas (actually, this is my goal), just would like to stay connected to family.

So, the question is: do FP's get some flexibility with deployments, especially if they volunteer for overseas, etc? Or is the reality that I likely would be deployed frequently for 15 month stints without family?
 

Sarg's kid

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Except that the grass is greener on the other side. Have you ever met anyone who got out of the military and then signed back up? I haven't. Sure, there are a whole lot who come back to the MTF as contractors, but not back on active duty.
I think that in general, this statement is correct. However, when I did the HPSP physical/tour at BAMC, there was a FP doc and an Optometrist who were both signing up for active duty. The FP doc was prior service, but the Optometrist was not.
 

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I was wondering first of all what kept you in for 24 years?
I was also wondering if at any time during your service you have had skill atrophy?

Sorry for the delay in replying.

Started USUHS with 4 years of enlisted reserve plus 1.5 years of active duty training time. 4 years at USUHS. 1 year surgical internship. 1 year flight surgeon tour in Korea. 4 year surgical residency. 2 years as staff surgeon at Landstuhl. 2 years in a sponsored civilian vascular fellowship. At that point, I had 11.5 years towards retirement (USUHS years don't count for establishing retirement) and had 4 years of commitment left (7 for USUHS minus 3 years paid back; fellowship commitment is concurrent not additive). So, my obligation would take me to 15.5 years. Decisions, decisions. It happened that the MASP (bonus for extending your obligation) significantly increased at that time. I took the four year MASP; that was four years ago. Four and a half to go. I'm glad I did it; the main benefit is not having to agonize about the decision every year like many of my colleagues do.

As far as skill atrophy, I have been lucky in that my first combat deployment was four months and my second was six months. Six months is about the limit before skill atrophy becomes significant. Also, I was at a CSH both times so I actually did a fair number of vascular repairs. If anything in my skill set decayed, it was in the endovascular realm. Some of my vascular colleages have had the misfortune of deploying 12 to 15 months at an FST, where they did almost nothing. Major atrophy.
 

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Hey guys. I am looking into an ARMY HSPS scholarship program for many reasons first of which is that I am enrolling in a DO school and I hear that the ARMY match treats MD=DO? In addition I was told that you are able to pick your residency in that if you get accepted in either the Army match or Civilian match you can take it and the Army wont send you away to do gp things. My recruiter told me that he has never had a scholarship student not match to his first choice, and in addition 50% of people make it straight through their fellowship with out being deployed? It seems that I am confused when I compare this info to that posted on the blog? How hard is it to get an Army Ortho residency?
 

psychbender

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Hey guys. I am looking into an ARMY HSPS scholarship program for many reasons first of which is that I am enrolling in a DO school and I hear that the ARMY match treats MD=DO? In addition I was told that you are able to pick your residency in that if you get accepted in either the Army match or Civilian match you can take it and the Army wont send you away to do gp things. My recruiter told me that he has never had a scholarship student not match to his first choice, and in addition 50% of people make it straight through their fellowship with out being deployed? It seems that I am confused when I compare this info to that posted on the blog? How hard is it to get an Army Ortho residency?
You recruiter is lying to you.

The ONLY way that you can do a civilian residency is if in the Army match you receive "civilian deferral for x," where x is your specialty. You don't get to choose.

I take it from your screen name that you are at Virginia Tech. If so, then I know who your recruiter is. The reason that your recruiter hasn't had anybody not match their first choice is because he's a new recruiter, and none of his recruits have made it to match stage yet (he only started in the office about 2 years ago).

I am also fairly certain that the fellowship match rate is NOT 50% (have not experienced this yet, though).

Army Ortho? Fairly competitive.
 
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You recruiter is lying to you.

The ONLY way that you can do a civilian residency is if in the Army match you receive "civilian deferral for x," where x is your specialty. You don't get to choose.

I take it from your screen name that you are at Virginia Tech. If so, then I know who your recruiter is. The reason that your recruiter hasn't had anybody not match their first choice is because he's a new recruiter, and none of his recruits have made it to match stage yet (he only started in the office about 2 years ago).

I am also fairly certain that the fellowship match rate is NOT 50% (have not experienced this yet, though).

Army Ortho? Fairly competitive.
Which recruiter are you talking about? I'm from the area and have dealt with a SFC A. E. (female), who operates out of Richmond.
 
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Mirror Form

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Hey guys. I am looking into an ARMY HSPS scholarship program for many reasons first of which is that I am enrolling in a DO school and I hear that the ARMY match treats MD=DO?
Mostly true.

In addition I was told that you are able to pick your residency in that if you get accepted in either the Army match or Civilian match you can take it and the Army wont send you away to do gp things.
Not sure what you mean by this. If you get an army residency, or get granted a deferment for a civilian residency, then you won't have to do GMO tour (which is what I believe you were refering to).

However, it is quite possible that you'd get accepted into a civilian residency but not be granted a deferal by the military, in which case you'd have to do a GMO tour.

My recruiter told me that he has never had a scholarship student not match to his first choice,
HAHAHAHAHAAHAHAHAHAAHAHAHAHAHA:laugh:

How would your recruiter even know this? Do you think he keeps in touch with students 4-5 years after they signed the hpsp contract????? By the time you go through the match he'll be on a different assignment somewhere else. Recruiters know absolutely nothing about medical training, the match, residency, etc.

and in addition 50% of people make it straight through their fellowship with out being deployed? It seems that I am confused when I compare this info to that posted on the blog? How hard is it to get an Army Ortho residency?
Due to the small number of people in the army match, it's extremely variable. You may get lucky or get screwed.
 

buffdoc

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Hey guys. I am looking into an ARMY HSPS scholarship program for many reasons first of which is that I am enrolling in a DO school and I hear that the ARMY match treats MD=DO? In addition I was told that you are able to pick your residency in that if you get accepted in either the Army match or Civilian match you can take it and the Army wont send you away to do gp things. My recruiter told me that he has never had a scholarship student not match to his first choice, and in addition 50% of people make it straight through their fellowship with out being deployed? It seems that I am confused when I compare this info to that posted on the blog? How hard is it to get an Army Ortho residency?
I don't understand this. If you were enrolling in an MD school you wouldn't be considering the Army HPSP program?

From what I understand, if you are competitive for the residency that you apply to, you will get it. If you are not competitive for the residency that you apply to, you will likely do a GMO tour.
 

DrMetal

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HAHAHAHAHAAHAHAHAHAAHAHAHAHAHA:laugh:

How would your recruiter even know this? Do you think he keeps in touch with students 4-5 years after they signed the hpsp contract????? By the time you go through the match he'll be on a different assignment somewhere else. Recruiters know absolutely nothing about medical training, the match, residency, etc.
Just out of curiosity: Is it unlawful on SDN to post the names of these recruiters? And if somebody did so, would they be expunged and their post erased?

I ask b/c it would be nice to know exactly who the good/bad recruiters are. It would be nice to stick it to the bad ones who are dishing out such BS, by calling them out here. Then everyone would know who to avoid.

And by doing that, maybe we can turn the tide of crappy recruiting. Now I know there's probably some legal reason that you can't call a recruiter's name out here . . . but come to think of it, recruiters are in the public scope. Their name is probably on a public website somewhere. Their business isn't entirely private, right??? maybe we should start a ratemyrecruiter.com

In contrast, would also be nice to know where the good and honest ones are.
 

notdeadyet

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Just out of curiosity: Is it unlawful on SDN to post the names of these recruiters? And if somebody did so, would they be expunged and their post erased?

I ask b/c it would be nice to know exactly who the good/bad recruiters are. It would be nice to stick it to the bad ones who are dishing out such BS, by calling them out here. Then everyone would know who to avoid.
PMs are probably the best way to do this. Publicly tearing someone down by name while remaining anonymous yourself isn't really appropriate. Lots of folks who have axes to grind could publish all sorts of nastiness about folks doing their job.

I don't see why someone can't just post that they're looking for a recruiter in New Mexico and please PM with anyone you recommend to use or avoid.
 

psychbender

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Which recruiter are you talking about? I'm from the area and have dealt with a SFC [NAME DELETED], who operates out of Richmond.
I know her, and have had some limited interaction with her through the school. She seemed like a fairly nice person, and I thought that she recently left? I believe this gentleman is in the same office (or maybe Beckley, they kind of share this area), and I just made Captain in the last year or so (met him ~2 years ago when he started in the area as 1LT). If I'm incorrect in the identification, then I appologize for my statements.
 

VTHOKIE

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I don't understand this. If you were enrolling in an MD school you wouldn't be considering the Army HPSP program?

From what I understand, if you are competitive for the residency that you apply to, you will get it. If you are not competitive for the residency that you apply to, you will likely do a GMO tour.
Yes you are correct if I was attending an MD program I might second guess the HPSP program. Since I am enrolling in a DO program, I am capitalizing on the Army match which I believe treats DOs and MDs equally moreover I believe that I can take the Comlex and not have to take the USMLE yet still match to a what would by a allopathic residency in the civilian world. Well at least that is how it was explained. But then again my recruiter did not bother to mention GMO...
 

buffdoc

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Yes you are correct if I was attending an MD program I might second guess the HPSP program. Since I am enrolling in a DO program, I am capitalizing on the Army match which I believe treats DOs and MDs equally moreover I believe that I can take the Comlex and not have to take the USMLE yet still match to a what would by a allopathic residency in the civilian world. Well at least that is how it was explained. But then again my recruiter did not bother to mention GMO...
If you go in with the attitude of "What can I do for the Army?" you will be fine. If you go in with the attitude of "What can the Army do for me?" chances are you will be miserable.

It sounds to me like you would end up being miserable. You may end up doing very well in medical school and making yourself very competitive for a competitive residency like Army Ortho. However, if this is true, you would also be competitive at ACGME civilian institutions and you wouldn't need the Army. At ACGME civilian institutions, DOs who match are also treated like MDs and you would end up wishing that you were in a civilian program rather than a military program.
 
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mslall

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moreover I believe that I can take the Comlex and not have to take the USMLE yet still match to a what would by a allopathic residency in the civilian world. Well at least that is how it was explained. But then again my recruiter did not bother to mention GMO...
i'm not sure if thats true or not, but a recruiter is the last person I would ever expect to have any clue about medical licensing exams