10+ Year Member
Oct 7, 2007
Hello everyone,
despite my current status I'm actually an MS1, and just haven't updated my student doctor account in awhile. Anyway, I was curious about GMO training and how it would work out of I held a 2 year HPSP scholarship. So, if I took an HPSP scholarship for my 3rd and 4th years, could I then delay a residency and grab a GMO gig in the Navy??? Would this put me at any disadvantage besides being set back time wise? Also, do you think this would be a good route?? I'm just curious because it could give me a taste of the military, and a good job for a few years while I'm young. Doing something like DMO for a few years while I'm in my early twenties doesn't sound so terrible.

Anyway, just curious, any thoughts??

Thank you.


Belt-fed Physician
10+ Year Member
Dec 7, 2004
High and right
Resident [Any Field]
Well, you certainly could do a GMO tour if that is what you wanted and are physically qualified. For GMO options, there are four: (1) run of the mill surface warfare GMO on a big deck CVN or LHD/LHA (2) GMO tour with the marines (3) flight surgeon (4) undersea medical officer. All of these require you to complete one year of internship and have a valid medical license (which you will get during internship). Also keep in mind that the physical qualifications for flight and dive medicine are very stringent, and dive even requires a harder, more extensive physical fitness test than the usual Navy PRT.

Things to consider: (1) surface warfare jobs are two year gigs, and you can earn the SWMDO warfare qualification. You might get the opportunity to deploy, but this is very ship dependent and not a sure thing (2) the marines is usually a 2yr gig which will likely give you many deployment opportunities plus the chance to earn the FMF warfare qual (3) flight surgery will give you the flight surgeon warfare qual and flight pay. This is a 3yr gig due to training time. You may be assigned to a squadron, but you will still end up doing a lot of primary care clinic work and physicals (4)undersea medical officer offers entre into the sub and special ops communities. You will earn the Dive Medical Officer AQD and have the chance to earn the Undersea Medicine Officer warfare qualification, the most difficult of warfare qual for medical officers to earn. Again, while there are SOME cool billets, most are unglamorous jobs in a clinic somewhere doing physicals and acute primary care. You will have very little say regarding where you are assigned after training unless you are married. You will earn dive pay if you keep your quals up. This is a 3yr gig.

Some final words: be VERY careful before considering joining the Navy. While some GMO billets are very cool, you are, for the most part, cheap medical labor for the Navy. Most of your tasks could be performed by a mid level RNP or PA, but the regs. mandate an MD/DO for certain things. You WILL experience a delay in residency training, but you will have a definite leg up if you choose to apply for a military residency.

Anyway, that is my $0.02 Take it for what is worth and get multiple opinions.