Does the Air Force really force unmatched residents into GMO or Flight Surgeon?

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kg062007

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I have been reading the HPSP threads for the air force and it seems like something I would love to do. I am interested in internal medicine, neurology, psychiatry, and emergency medicine. I hear if you do not match, the AF basically makes you a GMO or FS for 2 years? Is this true? I would like to be able to defer if i can't match airforce. Are the other two branches doing something similar to this? I also searched for updated salary info, but couldnt find any. Is it out of the question for a new IM doc to make 120-130k before taxes? I know it isn't about money, I want to serve and help others. I would appreciate any info.
 

Charlie0318

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If you can't match out of school, you do a transitional (intern) year and apply again. If you do not match anything a second time you have to do something and every branch will make you do a GMO tour.

If by the grace of God, the military needs more of the type of doc you want to become and you have a decent resume you may get a civilian deferment. The odds of this are slightly higher in the AF, but not guaranteed by any measure.
 

Droopy Snoopy

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I have been reading the HPSP threads for the air force and it seems like something I would love to do. I am interested in internal medicine, neurology, psychiatry, and emergency medicine. I hear if you do not match, the AF basically makes you a GMO or FS for 2 years? Is this true? I would like to be able to defer if i can't match airforce. Are the other two branches doing something similar to this? I also searched for updated salary info, but couldnt find any. Is it out of the question for a new IM doc to make 120-130k before taxes? I know it isn't about money, I want to serve and help others. I would appreciate any info.

Making the big assumptions that all incentives/bonuses hold stable for the next 10 years, and stable raises in base pay/allowances, and no prior service, and a normal CONUS duty station (i.e. not collecting hazardous duty pay because you're working a FOB in Iran or Egypt) you're probably looking at around $110K gross just out of residency.
 
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If you can't match out of school, you do a transitional (intern) year and apply again.

A transitional year is not the default PGY1. Transitional years are often competitive (think of all the derm, rads, anes, etc hopefuls that have high numbers but don't want a prelim surgery/IM internship).

The military is only obligated to find a PGY1 position for USUHS grads. HPSP grads can find themselves not matched to an inservice .mil PGY1 spot at all - they need to do their internships as civilians and reapply.
 

kg062007

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Making the big assumptions that all incentives/bonuses hold stable for the next 10 years, and stable raises in base pay/allowances, and no prior service, and a normal CONUS duty station (i.e. not collecting hazardous duty pay because you're working a FOB in Iran or Egypt) you're probably looking at around $110K gross just out of residency.

isn't~ 110k about what an internist would make now?
 

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I have been reading the HPSP threads for the air force and it seems like something I would love to do. I am interested in internal medicine, neurology, psychiatry, and emergency medicine. I hear if you do not match, the AF basically makes you a GMO or FS for 2 years? Is this true? I would like to be able to defer if i can't match airforce. Are the other two branches doing something similar to this? I also searched for updated salary info, but couldnt find any. Is it out of the question for a new IM doc to make 120-130k before taxes? I know it isn't about money, I want to serve and help others. I would appreciate any info.

YES it is possible (even when they tell you it won't happen). For IM, however, it's extremely unlikely to not get straight-through training. If you should have a change of heart and want to do something competitive, your chances of having to do a gmo/fs tour increase exponentially/logarithmically/drastically.

Best of luck.
 

MaximusD

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A transitional year is not the default PGY1. Transitional years are often competitive (think of all the derm, rads, anes, etc hopefuls that have high numbers but don't want a prelim surgery/IM internship).

The military is only obligated to find a PGY1 position for USUHS grads. HPSP grads can find themselves not matched to an inservice .mil PGY1 spot at all - they need to do their internships as civilians and reapply.

But the military lingo according to the AF paperwork is to call, in general, all three (surg prelim, transitional year, med prelim (and osteopathic rotating year)) all transitional years. Just sharing my experience...

But in the civilian world, you are right... transitional year is very competitive.
 

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But the military lingo according to the AF paperwork is to call, in general, all three (surg prelim, transitional year, med prelim (and osteopathic rotating year)) all transitional years. Just sharing my experience...

But in the civilian world, you are right... transitional year is very competitive.

Being Navy, I don't have much direct experience with AF or their lingo ... but I'd argue that a "med prelim" year is nothing like an actual transitional year. It's going to be the full swirling vortex of suck that any other IM PGY1 year is. Which may be endurable if your goal is to be a hospitalist or claw your way into a subspecialty. Less so if your eyes are on dermatology or ophthalmology.

True transitional years (ie, specific programs with their own PDs and APDs and required rotations and curriculum) are relatively competitive in the military ... something I was acutely aware of when I applied for a spot. I was terrified I'd wind up getting stashed as an IM 'tern ... tortured with months and months of inpatient ward duty and weekly "continuity clinic" when postcall.

I'm not nitpicking for the sake of being pedantic :) ... just be careful with the line of thought that backing into a transitional spot is likely. The Orwellian Newspeak those Air Force wankers fling around may call a prelim surgery spot a "transitional" year but calling a 3-legged pig a golden retriever won't get your newspaper fetched. :D
 

MaximusD

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Being Navy, I don't have much direct experience with AF or their lingo ... but I'd argue that a "med prelim" year is nothing like an actual transitional year. It's going to be the full swirling vortex of suck that any other IM PGY1 year is. Which may be endurable if your goal is to be a hospitalist or claw your way into a subspecialty. Less so if your eyes are on dermatology or ophthalmology.

True transitional years (ie, specific programs with their own PDs and APDs and required rotations and curriculum) are relatively competitive in the military ... something I was acutely aware of when I applied for a spot. I was terrified I'd wind up getting stashed as an IM 'tern ... tortured with months and months of inpatient ward duty and weekly "continuity clinic" when postcall.

I'm not nitpicking for the sake of being pedantic :) ... just be careful with the line of thought that backing into a transitional spot is likely. The Orwellian Newspeak those Air Force wankers fling around may call a prelim surgery spot a "transitional" year but calling a 3-legged pig a golden retriever won't get your newspaper fetched. :D

lol you typed a lot when i wasn't disagreeing with you.

agreed on all points. med prelim = awful vs transitional years. As someone who was *planning* on entering anes, I looked for transitionals and traditional rotating years (osteo). Had zero interest in med prelim and surg prelim!

Thanks for elaborating on the fact that there is a difference between ACTUAL transitional, surg prelim and med prelim years in the military. I neglected to address that directly. They do tend to call all three "transitional year"s in military paperwork, however.
 

i want out

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Don't forget that HCFA funding for residency is also based on what internship you do.

So no matter what the AF wants to call that IM internship, if its really an IM internship, then you decide to do a civilian surgery residency you won't have full funding for a civilian residency.

Good luck
 

Droopy Snoopy

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Don't forget that HCFA funding for residency is also based on what internship you do.

So no matter what the AF wants to call that IM internship, if its really an IM internship, then you decide to do a civilian surgery residency you won't have full funding for a civilian residency.

Good luck

My understanding is that a prelim year uses a year of funding but doesn't set the clock on a 3-year training course. So a prelim IM year would be 1 year wasted (given that you'd have to repeat as a surgery intern) for funding purposes but still leave you 4/5 funded. If you instead went on into anesthesia that prelim year would not be wasted and you'd still be fully funded. Is that correct?
 

Droopy Snoopy

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isn't~ 110k about what an internist would make now?

My rough math says about $100K as a fresh O-3 pending board cert but getting $15K ASP, $20K ISP, BAS, and some average amount of BAH. Figure annual pay increases should bump that up by $10K in 8-10 years. IDK just an estimation but you're welcome to work out the numbers.
 

kingcer0x

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If you instead went on into anesthesia that prelim year would not be wasted and you'd still be fully funded. Is that correct?

Yes. I recently did exactly that.

However, I know plenty of people who had to 'repeat' PGY-1 in a civilian program after finishing their ADSC. As far as I know, they got a salary. Dunno if the program got funding or not, but it didn't affect their match.
 

i want out

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My understanding is that a prelim year uses a year of funding but doesn't set the clock on a 3-year training course. So a prelim IM year would be 1 year wasted (given that you'd have to repeat as a surgery intern) for funding purposes but still leave you 4/5 funded. If you instead went on into anesthesia that prelim year would not be wasted and you'd still be fully funded. Is that correct?

If it is truly a prelim year, or a transitional year, then your correct.

However if its an IM internship, it doesn't matter what the .mil calls it because HCFA doesn't follow military rule.

http://www.stritch.luc.edu/gme/sites/default/files/whateveryresidentshouldknow.pdf

is a PDF of the brochure that addresses what you should know about funding.

point 9 specifically used a military example of an IM internship followed by GMO and then a surgical residency.



as for whether this will effect your residency search, thats hard to tell.

I brought it up when I was interviewing at a civilian program because I wanted to make sure they knew I had done a transitional year, and it wouldn't start my clock. The head of residency selection didn't know what I was talking about.

If a program has had a problem with funding in the past, then someone may know about this little technicality, and it could effect you.

I certainly wouldn't have brought it up in my interview if I thought it would have decreased my chance of getting in.


Good luck

I want out (i am out)
 

kg062008

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Another question I had, that I could not find the answer to anywhere else. Does the military care about science GPA or what GPA you use? My MCAT is 28 my aacomas gpa is 3.45, 3.25 for amcas and ugrad. Also, I know you are suppose to get the process of applying to hpsp started early. So If I started applying now, for the entering class of 2017, when would I have to do meps? At current, I am 215 pounds, and would have to get down to 185 before meps I think. Im 5'9.5 with shoes on, So I dont know if I would have to meet the weight standards for 5'9 or 5'10.
 

Charlie0318

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Im 5'9.5 with shoes on, So I dont know if I would have to meet the weight standards for 5'9 or 5'10.

Seeing as how your regulation height will never be measured with shoes on, perhaps you should go with the height that you are without shoes on.
 

kg062008

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Another question I had, that I could not find the answer to anywhere else. Does the military care about science GPA or what GPA you use? My MCAT is 28 my aacomas gpa is 3.45, 3.25 for amcas and ugrad. Also, I know you are suppose to get the process of applying to hpsp started early. So If I started applying now, for the entering class of 2017, when would I have to do meps? At current, I am 215 pounds, and would have to get down to 185 before meps I think. Im 5'9.5 with shoes on, So I dont know if I would have to meet the weight standards for 5'9 or 5'10.
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