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I'm new to this site and currently in high school planning for my future. I know I have a lot of time to decide these things, but I'd like to have a general idea about it now. I wish to be a pediatrician in the air force, and I have a lot of questions.

1. How often do pediatricians get deployed? How long are these deployments usually?

2. I want to double degree in psychology and biomedical engineering which may take 5 years, would ROTC pay for that?

3. Do I have any say as to where I'm stationed? How often do you move? If I have a husband and kids, do I get my own house to take care of them?

4. Do you get deployed while your pregnant? If I breastfeed, would I get more time being undeployable so I could properly care for my child?

I really want to serve this country, and my passion is becoming a pediatrician, but I value my family above all else. I wouldn't be able to do 12 month deployments, especially when I'll probably have kids from 0-7 years old.
 

Vandalia

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Unfortunately, any answer that could be provided today will almost certainly be very different 10 years from now. The Air Force Medical Service that I left 20 years ago bears almost no resemblance to the situation today, and even with that there were radical changes from when I started and when I retired.

1. You may not be deployed at all, or you may be overseas continually in a wartime environment in 10 years.
2. The details of ROTC scholarships can be complicated, and it is unlikely anyone here would have the current answer.
3. You may have a say, or you may not. You can be at one place for your entire service, or move every year. It all boils down to "needs of the service."
4. The military continually juggles that issue and there are a number of proposals for "sabbaticals" and the like, who knows what will be implemented in 10 years.
 
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deuist

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I'm new to this site and currently in high school planning for my future. I know I have a lot of time to decide these things, but I'd like to have a general idea about it now. I wish to be a pediatrician in the air force, and I have a lot of questions.

1. How often do pediatricians get deployed? How long are these deployments usually?

2. I want to double degree in psychology and biomedical engineering which may take 5 years, would ROTC pay for that?

3. Do I have any say as to where I'm stationed? How often do you move? If I have a husband and kids, do I get my own house to take care of them?

4. Do you get deployed while your pregnant? If I breastfeed, would I get more time being undeployable so I could properly care for my child?

I really want to serve this country, and my passion is becoming a pediatrician, but I value my family above all else. I wouldn't be able to do 12 month deployments, especially when I'll probably have kids from 0-7 years old.
1. Rarely. 6 months if you do.


2. Don't. Psych is completely useless for a physician. Biomedical engineering is potentially useful if you don't get into medical school.


3. Yes, you can "say" whatever you want, but the Air Force doesn't have to listen. You'll move every 3-4 years. You buy or rent a house for you husband and children.


4. No deployments while pregnant, but you can deploy several weeks after delivery. Breastfeeding is not considered a non-deployable condition.


You can serve your country in underserved areas.
 
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SirGecko

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1. Specifics for this question will be different by the time the answer is relevant to you. Basically you should assume that you would deploy as much as any other primary care physician, if they even allow you to train in pediatrics by the time you get to that point.

2. Doubt that they will pay for five years for that. Pick one of those majors, that combo sounds like something a high school student would think is helpful to be a doctor but the reality is you should just pick something you actually want to do that gives you a good backup in undergrad. You won’t be a better doctor because you double majored in undergrad. Don’t know what the specifics are now but the Air Force used to tier their majors for compensation and neither would have been one of the majors you got full tuition for. (Depending on the cost of your school) The navy actually switched to a system like that years ago as well. (Again I don’t know what the specifics are currently though)

3. You don’t really get a say where they put you. You can ask for stuff but generally it’s going to be up to the needs of the military. You move roughly every three years. As an officer you get BAH (housing allowance) and are responsible for your own housing so you can live where you want. Sometimes you may want to live on base (yes you would have a house) depending on where you are stationed, they take your BAH if you do that though.

4. You don’t deploy while pregnant. Maternity leave is three months. Breast feeding is not something that makes you non deployable however I think they may have written something in this years defense authorization act that allows moms to defer deployment a year post partum. HoweverI think it’s more of an optional standard so the military could say they need to deploy you earlier.

General advice:
If you already know you want to do medical corps don’t do ROTC. Go to the cheapest decent undergrad you can. ROTC exists to produce line officers not medical corps officers. Basically you should assume you won’t get medical corps when you join. Would you still be happy? Then ok fine. It’s possible (I went right from NROTC to USUHS) but you are putting up road blocks unnecessarily. Also it’s signing on for a long potential commitment to something that might be super different in the at least 11 years it will take you to get to the point where you are attending.
 
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