patho

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I did a search and didn't find a specific answer to my question, so I apologize if this is a repeat.

I'm about to finish medical school (3 weeks) and matched into an IM residency. I was curious if anyone could help me answer some questions. I am interested in joining the Army National Guard, but wasn't sure how that would work, specifically in terms of drill time and OBC. Does anyone have any specific experience with this that they could comment on?

My specific questions are when would I be able to drill during internship/residency? I know people do it, but wasn't sure of the specifics. Has anyone run into any specific issues in completing their residency, when serving in the ANG?

When do most people go to OBC? I can't predict a time of getting 27 consecutive days off, so that seemed like another issue.

I would probably sign again after fellowship, but I would like to start now, so I was hoping to have a few questions answered. I am waiting for a call back from a recruiter, but I figured you guys would have some good input on here, too.

Thanks.
 

USCguy

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Did you ever get these questions answered and did you end up joining the guard? I'm looking into joining the STRAP program once match day comes, but have questions about how you swing things during residency such as OBLC, what your rank when you join would be (O-1 vs. 0-3), etc.


Edit: I guess I should ask if anyone knows these answers.
 

Mr. Freeze

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If you've already graduated medical school when you join you will come in as 03. There was one surgical resident at OBC when I went, but when I looked up his program he was not on the roster, so they may have fired him while he was gone.
 

USCguy

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Can you delay OBC until you have elective time during 2nd or 3rd year? I saw something online about taking "phase 1" within 1 year of enrollment and then doing "phase 2" Also, people say it is 27 days or 25 or whatever, but then you see other places 2 weeks being mentioned for OBC, with the possibility of it being split if you are already a doctor; would a resident qualify for this?
 

DeadCactus

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You have a few years from when you join to finish OBC. We had a resident in his final year of IM when I went through. He had to take his entire year's vacation time to come and do OBC.

He did seem to have a pretty flexible residency program, though. A few months after he returned from OBC, he was scheduled to go on a deployment. His residency was apparently letting him count it as an elective. He was set to start a fellowship and wanted to get a deployment in while he could to minimize the risk of getting pulled out of fellowship for a deployment.

He seemed happy with his choice to take STRAP though...
 

notdeadyet

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Can you delay OBC until you have elective time during 2nd or 3rd year?
Per regs, you are required to complete BOLC within 24 months of your commissioning date. But you can also get a waiver from your state for an extension of an additional 12 months.
I saw something online about taking "phase 1" within 1 year of enrollment and then doing "phase 2"
Phase 1 is just a 40 hour online learning component. It's being required starting in 2011 as a prerequisite to the in-person BOLC training, which will stay the same length.
Also, people say it is 27 days or 25 or whatever, but then you see other places 2 weeks being mentioned for OBC, with the possibility of it being split if you are already a doctor; would a resident qualify for this?
It's 26 days, done as one course, at Fort Sam Houston, Texas. I've never heard of a split course (not to say there isn't talk). Anything different than the 26 day course is either rumor or old info. Navy OIS is two weeks, I believe.
 

USCguy

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When would be the best time to get the ball rolling if I did decide to join? I think I would prefer to wait until at least match day, probably graduation. I would think it would be best to join after moving so that I wouldn't have to change my unit or whatever it is called. These were my thoughts having no insight into the system; so any advice would be appreciated.


Going to the ARNG recruiting place tomorrow to try to get more info and find out who the AMEDD person is for my state is.

Thanks
 

notdeadyet

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When would be the best time to get the ball rolling if I did decide to join? I think I would prefer to wait until at least match day, probably graduation.
If you did that, there would be the real risk of not getting STRAP for all your time in residency. It takes anywhere from 4-9 months from getting the application to being sworn in and I don't think they give STRAP retroactively.
Going to the ARNG recruiting place tomorrow to try to get more info and find out who the AMEDD person is for my state is.
You can save yourself the shoe-leather and call 800-Go-Guard and ask who the AMEDD recruiter is for your state. DO NOT take anything the enlisted recruiters have to say about AMEDD recruiting seriously. The programs, benefits, responsibilities and options for physicians in the Guard is unique and there's a lot of misinformation out there, much of it distributed by enlisted recruiters only trying to be helpful.
 

USCguy

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If you did that, there would be the real risk of not getting STRAP for all your time in residency. It takes anywhere from 4-9 months from getting the application to being sworn in and I don't think they give STRAP retroactively.
That would be okay with me actually. I don't "need" the money per se, and since they base it off 6 month increments, a 5 year pay back for 2.5 years of STRAP would put me right at the end of the original 8yr MSO. That being said, in my mind, ~$25k/year during residency is a lot more money than 25k/year bonus when you are out of residency making ~150k or more per year (I realize the 1:1 "payforward" vs. 6mth:1 payback difference between the two). I think that in my case, the money initially caught my attention and made me investigate Guard Medicine more, but more of a desire to serve both home and abroad in times of need/crisis is driving my further interest. The money also makes the whole situation more palatable to my wife ;).

Can you give a brief run down of what takes place during that 4-9 months

You can save yourself the shoe-leather and call 800-Go-Guard and ask who the AMEDD recruiter is for your state. DO NOT take anything the enlisted recruiters have to say about AMEDD recruiting seriously. The programs, benefits, responsibilities and options for physicians in the Guard is unique and there's a lot of misinformation out there, much of it distributed by enlisted recruiters only trying to be helpful.
Thanks for that tidbit. Will call that number instead of hitting up the local enlisted guys.
 

USCguy

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Meeting with the ARNG AMEDD recruiter tomorrow, any advice/questions that I should ask that I, as a civilian, might not think to ask about?