csnitchl

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Random question (and if this has been covered before I apologize, didn't see it anywhere), is there a difference between Navy DMO and UMO? If so, is it just a difference in the billet you get after training? I've seen both terms thrown around and I'm just curious. Thanks
 
Mar 18, 2010
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There is no DMO (dive medical officer) who is not a UMO (undersea medical officer) Our training is 6 months long, 2 of those months are in Panama city FL at the Navy Dive school. You get trained to be a Navy Diver. Once you complete all of your training: Subs, Radiation, etc... you are a UMO. As a UMO you are often referred to as a DMO when dealing with the dive side of things. I personally deal with all of it Subs, Dive and radiation health issues, I have good friends who are UMOs who only deal with one or the other. Im living it right now so if you have any other questions feel free to ask. Its funny, I haven't been on SDN for years had some free time at work and was looking around and all these years later everyone has the same questions, concerns and fears in all forums. I had to register now that I am in a position to answer a lot of these questions. I am a NAVY HPSP guy who has so far been blessed with a great experience.

 
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blee

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Awesome, I've been hoping to find someone currently or recently in the UMO community.

So how does one gear up to apply for a UMO/DMO billet during PGY-1? Should I expect to take the dive PRT *before* I apply?

Oh, and are there any billets close to NMCP?
 
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If you want to become a UMO just work hard during internship and you will apply during the GME 2 application cycle. There is talk that they are going to try and have more strait through training and have more board certified UMOs and FS but I find it hard to believe that they will be able to accomplish that any time soon. If you want a competitive residency you will most likely need to do GMO, UMO or FS prior. You need to stay in shape and be medically qualified for training (take a look at the Navy Manuel of the Medical Department article 102 for medical qualification standards for Navy Diving (Google it). Yes, you will need to take the Dive PRT and at least be close to passing (pretty easy if you are in shape but internship can soften you up quite a bit) most people have an issue with the pull ups (6 perfect). Find a prior UMO early during internship who is staff and get to know him and ask him for a letter of recommendation. The rest is like any other application to GME. Most importantly do not procrastinate on getting all the stuff done if you wait to the last min it is hard to fit it all in. Also in the past as was in my class you get to pick your billet based on how you did in your Undersea Medicine training all aspects including physical fitness. The course work is brutal, not because it is so academically challenging but there is more course work and tests than medical school (a crap load of memorization). That being said the 2 months of dive school was awesome and you will likely be in the best shape of your life.

There are billets all over the place If there are Subs, Dive lockers or any shipyards there will be UMO billets. There are also several billiets with the marines and Special Operations teams.
 

BubblesnBugsDoc

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Some of the people in charge have changed in recent years. The focus has turned away from hard-charging, meat-eating docs who want to hang with the boys. The folks at the top want an egg-head doc who is hell-bent on being a hand holder, whose main job is visiting wives and kids in the hospital while the boys are deployed.

If you hold out long enough, you might not even have to do the Diver PRT because they are trying to take Dive school out of the curriculum, and are starting with eliminating the pullups from the requirement. Well, they are trying to, mainly to get wimps and chicks through.

Imagine trying to be respected as a physician because you are from X Medical School where they didn't teach basic sciences, so you didn't take USMLE Step 1, just put in the waiver and got licensed anyway. Same future awaits UMOs. The divers won't respect you once word gets out you are wearing a Dive Bubble on the sneak. Simply put, it won't mean s*#t. Might want to think twice.
 

blee

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Is this true?? Why would the community want to go this route?
 

BOHICA-FIGMO

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If you want to become a UMO just work hard during internship and you will apply during the GME 2 application cycle. There is talk that they are going to try and have more strait through training and have more board certified UMOs and FS but I find it hard to believe that they will be able to accomplish that any time soon. If you want a competitive residency you will most likely need to do GMO, UMO or FS prior. You need to stay in shape and be medically qualified for training (take a look at the Navy Manuel of the Medical Department article 102 for medical qualification standards for Navy Diving (Google it). Yes, you will need to take the Dive PRT and at least be close to passing (pretty easy if you are in shape but internship can soften you up quite a bit) most people have an issue with the pull ups (6 perfect). Find a prior UMO early during internship who is staff and get to know him and ask him for a letter of recommendation. The rest is like any other application to GME. Most importantly do not procrastinate on getting all the stuff done if you wait to the last min it is hard to fit it all in. Also in the past as was in my class you get to pick your billet based on how you did in your Undersea Medicine training all aspects including physical fitness. The course work is brutal, not because it is so academically challenging but there is more course work and tests than medical school (a crap load of memorization). That being said the 2 months of dive school was awesome and you will likely be in the best shape of your life.

There are billets all over the place If there are Subs, Dive lockers or any shipyards there will be UMO billets. There are also several billiets with the marines and Special Operations teams.
Ditto. Not everyone passes dive school. Everyone passes flight med. Plus there is something to be said for the "street cred" with the fleet for having the warfare pin(s).
 

blee

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Ditto. Not everyone passes dive school. Everyone passes flight med. Plus there is something to be said for the "street cred" with the fleet for having the warfare pin(s).
I want to do this. Actually, check that; I want to go straight through. But if that's not in the cards, I want to do this.
 

BubblesnBugsDoc

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If you want to go straight through, do it. More and more folks are offered spots because of the growing need for BC/BE docs. You can go UMO afterwards if you do the right residency.

Check 1.: UMO pin is not a warfare device. It only gets you an AQD.

Check 2.: Street cred is still there, but it won't be for long if the Community goes the route I described.

Check 3.: Do not go to UMO if you only have a certain job in mind. Two things can happen: either the job you want won't be open or someone else will get the only cool one instead of you. For example, if you are a kick-ass diver and score lower on the radiation health exams than the 130lb. guy who kicked and screamed out the sixth pull-up, guess who's going to Great Lakes to do physicials for two years instead of MDSU-not him.

Check 4.: Don't fall into the trap of fantasizing about how its 'gonna be' in med school when folks who have 'been there,done that' are throwing back free gouge.
 

blee

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I'm going to be a gen surg intern at NMCP this summer. Gen surg sends a severe minority of its interns straight through, which means that I need a good contingency plan. Of all the GMO options, I personally think the DMO/UMO route is the most interesting. I'm not a physical powerhouse but I can meet the requirements. I was hoping to find a GMO option that gave me the highest chance of staying in Tidewater for my tour, but it sounds like that's an up-in-the-air sort of thing no matter which way I go. (In fact, if I wanted to go Marine, I might as well keep all of my moving boxes packed until the GMESB meets in December.)
 

BubblesnBugsDoc

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I'm going to be a gen surg intern at NMCP this summer. Gen surg sends a severe minority of its interns straight through, which means that I need a good contingency plan. Of all the GMO options, I personally think the DMO/UMO route is the most interesting. I'm not a physical powerhouse but I can meet the requirements. I was hoping to find a GMO option that gave me the highest chance of staying in Tidewater for my tour, but it sounds like that's an up-in-the-air sort of thing no matter which way I go. (In fact, if I wanted to go Marine, I might as well keep all of my moving boxes packed until the GMESB meets in December.)
Despite what truths I purport, I am still partial and it really depends on the kind of person you are. Having written that, if you are one of those people who value location over job, go GMO. There is a better statistical chance of getting WHERE you want. UMO could wind you up in Guam, Japan, Italy etc. Cool places, but it depends on what you want out of your choice.

The detailer does not give you fifty choices for twleve people to figure out. He gives you twelve slots: oops that one changed at the last second; Oh I mean this one is still there but that one is gone; I mean, the original one is still on the table but only for 3 years; Oh oh oh I almost forgot, the Special Admiral's son in your class got promised this job before...twelve spots. Starting to see the picture? It is a gamble we all took, but a gamble nonetheless. Good Luck.
 

FNU LNU

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BubblesnBugsDoc,

You mentioned going UMO after getting BC/BE in the right residency; can you elaborate on which residencies are desired? I am interested in ortho, EM/IM w/ sports med fellowship, and anesthesia; will any of these do the trick? Obviously I am not going to pick my specialty based on the chance to go to dive school, but it would be great if things worked out. Thanks for the inside scoop.
 

BubblesnBugsDoc

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BubblesnBugsDoc,

You mentioned going UMO after getting BC/BE in the right residency; can you elaborate on which residencies are desired? I am interested in ortho, EM/IM w/ sports med fellowship, and anesthesia; will any of these do the trick? Obviously I am not going to pick my specialty based on the chance to go to dive school, but it would be great if things worked out. Thanks for the inside scoop.
The truth is that it depends on two factors.

1. The attitude of the specialty leader at the time. If they are undermanned, its hard to get them to justify letting a guy go for a couple years to "play" as they see it. You basically have to get them to buy off on skipping your Utilization tour unless the UMO billet is coded for FP or ER.

2. The residency you do. Outpt type residencies are easier. FP, ER, IM maybe (but see 1.). Here is the kicker. If your specialty cannot be practiced away from a hospital: Surgery, ortho, anesthesia, then you can pretty much forget it.

There has been a swing towards getting BC/BE docs to fill the previous UMO slots. Recently, they backed off on it, but it is still expected to happen, just not so fast. The sooner they do that, the sooner you can expect to go UMO post GME. However, if you are dead set on one of the "forget it" specialties in 2., do UMO first to hedge your bets. Hope this helps.
 
U

UMO

Some of the people in charge have changed in recent years. The focus has turned away from hard-charging, meat-eating docs who want to hang with the boys. The folks at the top want an egg-head doc who is hell-bent on being a hand holder, whose main job is visiting wives and kids in the hospital while the boys are deployed.

If you hold out long enough, you might not even have to do the Diver PRT because they are trying to take Dive school out of the curriculum, and are starting with eliminating the pullups from the requirement. Well, they are trying to, mainly to get wimps and chicks through.

Imagine trying to be respected as a physician because you are from X Medical School where they didn't teach basic sciences, so you didn't take USMLE Step 1, just put in the waiver and got licensed anyway. Same future awaits UMOs. The divers won't respect you once word gets out you are wearing a Dive Bubble on the sneak. Simply put, it won't mean s*#t. Might want to think twice.
Are you kidding me?

Yes, you are correct that new senior UMO leaders want to tone down the hooyah culture. Why? Because too many doctors were populating the UMO community looking to play diver or SEAL operator instead of practicing medicine. But guess what my badass friend, EOD didn't pay for you to go to dive school and Undersea Medicine isn't at BUMED because UMO's do dive physicals. The UMO program and community exist because of Naval Nuclear Propulsion -- period.

So if you don't like it, take it up with ADM Donald who is the Chief of Undersea Medicine's boss, and thus by extention yours as well. I'd like to see you share your thoughts on what makes a good UMO to ADM Donald's face.....

Will letting "wimps and chicks" through UMOC training usher in the end of the UMO community? Ask the line. The submarine officers and master chiefs that I worked with on many occasions told me that they don't give a damn how "badass" their doctors are. They have come across more than a few wannabe SEAL tools in our community who kicked and screamed when billeted to NSSC jobs. And guess what, they generally don't make a very good impression on the line community.

So yes, I am an egghead doctor who was not honor man at NDSTC, but who frequently practiced the metaphorical hand holding that you scorn. I'm glad that I did that and helped improve the reputation of the UMO community among senior NCO's and the line community. Our patients deserve no less.

And if you think that this outlook applies only to submariners and that the dive community feels differently, think again. Any master diver would take a wimp who can barely do six pullups but knows how to run a dive casualty over a wannabe warrior who is either clueless clinically or out PT'ing all day leaving patient care to the IDC's. Unless, of course, they think that a physician could never understand how to treat the bends unless he can keep up with 23 year old ND3's at the gym. Do you?
 
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BubblesnBugsDoc

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UMO,

I am sorry if you found the recitation of the Specialty Leader himself offensive, but these are empirical facts about the Community that folks who are looking at UMO should understand. I think you would agree that many come to UMO with a misconception about what they will be doing. You have so indicated in your angry post. This being an agreed upon point, I am also sure that you would support fair, unvarnished presentation to these inquiries to abolish any undue diappointment when those more HOOYAH aspirations are absent from the job on the other side.

I regret that you have chosen to take personal offense to an issue which the Command Staff at NDSTC even find problematic, i.e lowering the standard for DMO candidates to get wimps and chicks through in order to give the Navy politicians diversity brownie points, calling them Navy Divers all the while. These are not fabricated, but published discussion topics at conferences and briefs among our leaders.

I hate to break it to you, but there are quite a few folks who have the brains and the brawn while maintaining the respect of the line community all the while. The tone of your post only serves as a bulwark to my previous inference. Most importantly, UMOs in the Community weigh in to give insight, not infight. Please embrace your inner leader and come in for the big win.
 
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I read this thread and thought I might be able to piggy-back to get some info from some qualified people about becoming a UMO after medical school. I am on the navy HPSP scholarship and am finishing up my 1st year of medical school. My basic question is, what can I do now and for the next few years to get into the UMO program? Furthermore, I would appreciate any info. on how I can best prepare myself for the training. Thanks to anyone who can give advice on the topic
 

7502

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Sorry to revive an old thread, but when you guys say DMOs are full Navy Divers, do you mean that DMOs are actually rated second class divers or are trained to a lesser extent than the real second class divers but are still allowed to do dive stuff?
 

blee

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Sorry to revive an old thread, but when you guys say DMOs are full Navy Divers, do you mean that DMOs are actually rated second class divers or are trained to a lesser extent than the real second class divers but are still allowed to do dive stuff?
No, DMOs are not Navy second class divers. There is a separate curriculum for diving medical officers that covers all aspects of Navy diving and includes qualification in SCUBA, Mk 20 (face mask), and Mk 21/KM-37 (surface supplied hard hat) diving. The curriculum may also include instruction and qualification in rebreathing rigs, but that depends both on available time and possible revisions to the curriculum. At 9-10 weeks, it is significantly shorter than the second class diver course, and therefore involves much less bottom time per rig. You also will not do things like drill, weld, or other similar work underwater.

A few years ago, there was a pretty big hulabaloo on SDN about UMOs and the UMO training program. I will not revisit that discussion, but I will say that having gone through the program and being a UMO myself, I am very happy with the decision and I love my current job.
 

CajunMedic

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I will not revisit that discussion, but I will say that having gone through the program and being a UMO myself, I am very happy with the decision and I love my current job.
I'm wanting to volunteer for UMO, any chance I can PM you and pick your brain?