truebajrmd

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I was referred to this site because I am planning on joining the military because I want to serve my country. I am board-certified in Emergency Medicine and just finished my 10th year. I am looking for a physically and mentally challenging position because I like things high-risk and I am the gung-ho type. I am partial to the USMC, and seriously considered leaving medicine for 4 years to attend OCS, but was disqualified because of age ( I'm 41.) A buddy of mine suggested becoming a Navy flight surgeon and then being assigned to a Marine helo unit. He also mention becoming a Navy DMO. Another suggested a Battalion surgeon with the 82nd Airborne, the Rangers and possibly even Special Forces. I am looking for insight from current, former and future military physicians who have a "been there, done that" or a " hope to be there and do that" perspective on my questions. I am essentially looking for the "hardcore" military medical experience. I do plan on returning to my current group of ER docs after I finish my tour. Any information would be greatly appreciated. Thanks, DT
 

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truebajrmd said:
I was referred to this site because I am planning on joining the military because I want to serve my country. I am board-certified in Emergency Medicine and just finished my 10th year. I am looking for a physically and mentally challenging position because I like things high-risk and I am the gung-ho type. I am partial to the USMC, and seriously considered leaving medicine for 4 years to attend OCS, but was disqualified because of age ( I'm 41.) A buddy of mine suggested becoming a Navy flight surgeon and then being assigned to a Marine helo unit. He also mention becoming a Navy DMO. Another suggested a Battalion surgeon with the 82nd Airborne, the Rangers and possibly even Special Forces. I am looking for insight from current, former and future military physicians who have a "been there, done that" or a " hope to be there and do that" perspective on my questions. I am essentially looking for the "hardcore" military medical experience. I do plan on returning to my current group of ER docs after I finish my tour. Any information would be greatly appreciated. Thanks, DT
Being an officer is cool. Being a doctor and an officer is cooler. Don't do the line stuff. Stay staff corp. It's the best of both worlds really.

Did they disqualified a BC/BE physician or a 41 yo male looking to join the line? They would NEVER do the former. When it comes to MDs, most everything is waiverable (especially age).

If you want to go USMC, then you need to be a Navy physician, since the USMC has no staff corp. The DON supplies the USMC with physicians.

As a BC/BE EM doc, you'll have NO problem getting ANY billet you want with the marines. In fact, the military needs physicians so bad that any branch would only be happy to have you. If it's action you're looking for, then it's action you shall receive...I know surgeons and EMs docs near the front lines, who would only be delighted to be relieved. You'll find this action in Army and DON/USMC teams.
 

gravy4thebrain

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I spent 12 years in the Marines before going to medical school. You will definitely find what you are looking for as the battalion surgeon of a Marine infantry battalion. These days it does not matter if you are a West Coast (Pendleton or 29 Palms) Marine or an East Coast (Camp Lejeune) Marine; you will deploy to Iraq and/or Afghanistan (and elsewhere e.g JTF Horn of Africa, JTF 510, etc). In an infantry battalion, you will most likely deploy as the Ground Combat Element (a Battalion Landing Team is a reinforced infantry battalion) of a Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) aboard a large-deck amphib and two more smaller amphibs. The deployment cycle is 6 months of work-up (cool training and a lot of time underway), 7 or 8 months deployed (a majority of that time will be in Iraq or Afghanistan), hopefully you make some good liberty ports (Singapore, Thailand, Hong Kong, Australia) on the way home. After you get back there is about six months when the battalion is essentially not capable of doing anything due to turn-over and then it starts all over again. I never regretted my experiences in the Marines. Also, if you are in combat you will be (relatively) well-protected, considering that there is a minimum of three line companies in between you and the enemy, weapons company with 81's, TOWs, assorted Heavy Maching Guns, probably a direct support artillery battery, an attached Tank Platoon, AAVs, LAVs, and rotary-wing plus fixed wing close air support. The greatest threat is apparently command detonated IEDs and poorly aimed, indirect fire from mortars. You may also consider a Shock-Trauma Platoon- I am not sure of their security arrangement with regard to who would be tasked to defend them. Talk to a Navy medical officer recruiter and see if he can arrange a tour for you... may be there will be some training you can observe. You would be a very desirable applicant and I am sure they would work hard to get you to join.
best of luck.
 

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I'm a bit apprehensive to offer advice because my experience with the "gung ho" type of military physician hasn't been good...especially not one approaching middle-age with the impending crisis...Your medical skills MIGHT not come into question but your reasons most certainly will...not to mention you will come in the Navy as a LCDR at the least which will also raise eyebrows...just a point of view of what your enlisted warfighters will be thinking and have problems with. A LCDR who has zero knowledge of how the military works, how military medicine works, and "obviously couldn't make it on the outside and now wants to GI Doc..."...you see where this is going?

You can forget being a physician with Special Forces...unless you were a SpecOps operator. You will get sufficient "action" once you go active with the Navy and then Marine's...perhaps DMO with Marines will get you to a Recon unit. You will have to prove yourself every single step of the way and do so without jeapordizing your corpsmen lives & careers.
 

AubreyMaturin

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No military experience, but on my way:

Good for you. ER not high octane enough, need combat? Very cool. As long as your motivations are in the right place...Oh hell, it does'nt really matter why you want to do it, your are needed. Usually, the military as to wave HPSP around to get people to do what you are volunteering for.

From what I understand about the marines, Croooz is right, you will really have to prove yourself. But that is probably true for anyone. As my USMC freind put it, "they will respect you, but they will despise you cause you got it easy."

I asked a CAPT in the USN in charge of the HPSP program what the age limit was for flight surgeon. He said "the age limit for 'hazardous duty pay' was 35." don't know if that refers to the line as well, or if it is waiverable.

Best of luck
 

militarymd

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The real navy isn't JAG on CBS. Think doing admin is dirty, hot, smelly places.
 
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truebajrmd

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First, thank you for the outstanding responses and advice to my inquiry. I sincerely appreciate it. I now have more questions and comments, which I think is how this is supposed to work.

Second, I was disqualified from the USMC as a line officer because of my age It sounds strange that a doc would want to be a Marine, but if you cut me, I do bleed red, white and blue.

Third, Crooz, do not be apprehensive about offering advice to me. I know nothing, and I do not pretend that having an MD after my name makes me one of the original three wise men. I do however, learn quickly because I am highly motivated, teachable and reasonably intelligent. Specifically, what experiences have you had with a gungho military doc ( like me) that haven't been good? Fire away, you won't hurt my feelings. You can only help me to be better at what I can and want to do. As to why I am doing this, my reasons are simple: 9/11 happened and we are at war. Throughout our country's history, men have responded when our freedom has been attacked by sacrificing the comfort of their lives in order to defend and preserve our liberty. It is what makes us unique in the world. I have sensed this same calling and it is stronger than ever. I would prefer to pick up an M-16 and do it, but realize my contribution will be in caring for those who do just that. As far as " not being able to make it on the outside", I don't really know how to respond to that except to say that.......I already have. I do want to know what a SpecOps operator is since I can forget Special Forces unless I am one. I welcome the challenge to "prove myself every step of the way", but am not sure exactly what you mean by that. Do you mean physically, mentally, showing good judgement, asking for help etc.? Be specific if you can.

Fourth, gravy4thebrain, the description you gave of what you did as a Marine sounds cool. Does the battalion surgeon follow the same rotation i.e. 6 month training, deployment, 6 months recovery, then repeat again? Do you go into the Navy as a GMO, then become a battalion surgeon? Do you get special training to become a battalion surgeon? During the 6 month recovery, are you stuck in a hospital seeing military dependants? I already do that now as we are 8 miles from a huge AFB and I just do not want to repeat what I am already doing as a civilian. How long is your contract when you join the Navy years-wise? 2,3,4?

Fifth, what about being a flight surgeon? One aspect of being one that appeals to me is it is a 2 and 1/2 year commitment, which would be easier on my family and ER group.

Finally, to militarymd, I don't watch much TV so I don't know what JAG is - what does "think doing admin is (or in) dirty, hot, smelly places" mean?

Looking forward to anyone's input. DT
 

qqq

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truebajrmd said:
Finally, to militarymd, I don't watch much TV so I don't know what JAG is - what does "think doing admin is (or in) dirty, hot, smelly places" mean?

Looking forward to anyone's input. DT
I think it means it may not be all it's cracked up to be.
 

Croooz

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The bad experiences are the fact that the gung-ho'ness is always at the expense of the troops.

-Coming up with elaborate mass casualty drills only to disappear during the drill and reappear at the end with the Marine brass to give the critique.

-Volunteering their corpsmen for every ridiculous assignment which comes down the pipe and even coming up with their own ridiculous assignments...for "character building". Trust me, if you go with the Marine's there will be enough character building without adding to it. Some of these assignments include volunteering the corpsman to man the ER for experience...sounds good? Problem was because of the way it works all we learned was how to walk lab chits to the lab. When we questioned why corpsmen who've been on ambulance division and have over 200 calls need this type of "experience"...we were ignored and basically told to "learn what we can". This is 4-6 hours we would have to "volunteer" 2-3 times a week in the evening. This was not a duty section so we were still required to stand our regular watches. It was a "good initiative, poor judgement" situation. Basically since 90% of physicians don't have a clue how the military works they place their corpsmen in situations that could be avoided with a phone call. Once they commit the corspmen they refuse to appear like the idiots they were and withdraw from the failed plan of action...better to appear decisive even when a private would know this is wrong.

-Always siding with the Marine brass and staff NCO's on what should or shouldn't be done with the corpsmen. A doctor who stresses the importance of being medical providers first is truely rare. A doctor who will actually say "My corpsmen aren't going to do that and here's why..." is the rarest bird indeed.

-Scheduling tons of medical "inservice" classes for the corpsmen with the promise of making us better medical providers only to rarely be there for the classes he scheduled, have the IDC teach, or teach it themselves with a disdain for the entry level of the subject matter.

-Scheduling themselves for all the high speed, low drag activities such as going with certain units firing all makes & models of the coolest weapons and then bringing his "best" corpsmen to merely provide medical coverage...translation=sit in an ambulance reading a book. This one was such a classic. He tells a couple of us that we are going with him to the Force Recon unit's armory to shoot some "really cool guns". We hop in the HumVee and away we go. When we arrive he explains that we will have to provide medical coverage during the shoot....strike 1. There's 3 of us so we figure we would take turns, 2 shooting while the other in the ambulance...nope! He said it would be best if we were all in the ambulance "just in case"...strike 2. Naturally he's shooting and doing all kinds of really neat stuff like room clearing and what not. During lunch we learn that they didn't have enough box lunches but our great gung ho doc gives us his boxlunch after he takes out the sandwich, soda, and chips...leaving 3 of us to share an apple, cookie, and napkin. Approximately around 2:30'ish this piece of trash tells us he's leaving but naturally we're required to stay on board till the shoot is over. When was that? 11:30pm! I wish I was making this stuff up. The next day we have to be at the BAS for PT at 5am...and guess who didn't bother showing up because "I was too sore from all that shooting..." I think we're at strike 6 or 7 at this point.

These incidents did not happen with the same MD. These are some of the incidents which occurred with the gung-ho MD's. The last thing a corpsmen wants to hear of is how the incoming doc is gung-ho...it's never been, in my experience, a good thing.

I always enjoyed the docs who kept their commonsense and treated us based on our actions. I have more but this should give you an idea. The gung-ho-ians get so caught up in doing the cool stuff that they forget the bigger picture. It's us in the ambulance which are going to be doing the room clearing, assaults, counter ambushes.... It's only cool stuff when you do it once in a blue moon. When you have to train and rehearse these maneuvers day in/day out, damn near blindfolded till you can do them in your sleep all this cool stuff is just part of the job. Sure it's cool but not to look at for 18 hours from a Humvee.

Let me know if this helps to bring things into focus for you. You will not get to do all the cool things I think you are implying about without taking the experience away from one of the guys who has to learn it. You're there to provide medical care and if you get to do the "cool" stuff then so be it. You're not there to do the cool stuff. Like MilMD said...be prepared to do admin work in the "hot spots" of the world and repeat stories of what you hear about some guys doing.

BTW, a SpecOperator is a member of the SEAL's, PJ/CCT, Force Recon, Green Berets...if you weren't one of these then being a physician with them is close to impossible. Add the fact of your age and potential rank if you join and close to impossible becomes completely impossible. There might be a snowball's chance in hell but that would be one enormous snowball in a pretty cool part of hell....
 

militarymd

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militarymd said:
The real navy isn't JAG on CBS. Think doing admin in dirty, hot, smelly places.
People who watch TV shows about our military get ideas about how exciting being a "whatever" in the Navy might be....when in reality...it is something else.
 

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I'm thinking a reasonably efficient way to get close to the SpecOps community might be to look into becoming a doc for an Army reserves Civil Affairs team. CA is deploying a lot right now, is part of SF in the Army, and you'll get your foot in the door and possibly hear about some fun opportunities. I know at least before 9-11 many CA units were looking for docs. Realize though, that by any route, getting into an all-high-speed-all-the-time unit is probably unrealistic.

FWIW,
 

surgintern

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In response specifically to:

"Fifth, what about being a flight surgeon? One aspect of being one that appeals to me is it is a 2 and 1/2 year commitment, which would be easier on my family and ER group."

Just so you know, yes, the tours are only 2-2.5 years, BUT figure on about a 6 month flight training program. There are 3 classes, I think, offered per year at different times and in different parts of the country.
(Anyone, correct me if I'm wrong).
 

surgintern

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I'm a 4th year, planning to apply for dive AND flight medicine this year.
My question is- where can I find a list of PFT requirements for each program, and where can I find a training regimen for preparation for the PFT?

Any information would be highly appreciated! :confused:
 

gravy4thebrain

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First- Croooz is 100% correct in his discription of out-of-balance gung-ho attitude. I hope the Marines that he was with took notice of his lack of leadership and offered advice. Unfortunately, none of the services provide adequate leadership training or experience to their prospective military physicians. Being a class coordinator of a community outreach program or president of a student interest group at medical school does not translate to being a proficient leader in the military. There are very low expectations throughout all of the services of the physician's leadership ability. In the case described, usually a senior enlisted at the battalion S-4 shop or company gunny (logistics) or another officer compensates by remembering to include their corpsmen in the necessary planning (e.g. meals, sleep plan, watch schedule, desirable training opportunities etc)... however, it appears this did not happen in Crooz's case which does not surprise me too much (special operations type units are given more latidute to train, freer reign and more resources and as a result loose interest in the more mundane and basic administrative activities like ensuring enough box lunches are brought). Accountability is huge in the Marine Corps and if the battalion doc were left to report his status there would a lot of missing corpsmen- so there are others looking after you (the doc) but you should seek as much as help as possible because it is dangerous not to know what to do or where to go.
The battalion surgeon is part of the battalion and participates in battalion training events. Company corpsmen are essentially attached to the companies and are the companies responsibility. You man and operate the battalion aid station which will most likely be nearby the logistics train or in the vicinity of the command post in order to improve security and conserve personnel. A typical day in garrison is probably very boring for the battalion surgeon. Every morning begins with PT and then sick call, treating whatever sick or injured Marines report. The administrative details include evaluating Marines for light duty, flat feet, "no-shave chits" and body fat (exciting!). Maybe you will have take an inventory of your equipment, make sure preventative maintenance is being done on the ambulance (i.e. that the doors, the glow plugs, or the radio and antenna mounts have not been stolen) , and hopefully conduct some good training... which since you are the resident medical expert- you should teach. In conclusion, take all of Crooz's advice.
Post-deployment is even more boring than you expected... no, most docs do not even continue to practice at a local clinic. They remain with the battalion (minus) and continue to hold sick call, PT, etc. But since you just completed 12 months of non-stop training, if you are smart, you will welcome the break and spend more time at home or doing the things you missed while deployed and during work-up. In my experience, the Marines treated their battalion surgeons very well and with much respect. We were especially happy to have a doc that wanted to be with us and tried to teach him about being in the field etc whenever the doc showed interest. The battalion surgeon is an O-3, so the lieutenants who could actually teach him the most were not too close to him. This is due to the rank structure in a battalion, where there is a clear division between the lieutenants (O-1 and O-2) and captains. Unfortunately there are only a few captains (the doc's peers in rank) and they are too busy dealing with their companies or planning. Hopefully the S-4 or S-3 alpha or H&S company commander befriends you and provides some mentoring.
 

RichL025

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Trueba,

Do not go into the military because you want to do neat high-speed stuff, because even amongst the "operators" in units who do that kind of thing, that's only a very small percentage of their job.

And as a doc, it will be a vanishingly small percentage of yours. If you find yourself, as a military doctor, doing all sorts of TV commercial-esque stuff, the chances are you are not doing what you're supposed to be doing (like the doc in Crooz's example above).

If you go into the military as a military physician, do it because you want to care for those who put themselves in harm's way.

If, instead, you want to do neato things like HALO out of an aircraft or swim a closed-circuit oxygen rebreather with a weapon strapped under you, well, I would tell you to forgo being a doc entirely and enlist, but that's about 20 years too late. Stuff like that is a young man's game. While there are 41-year olds out there doing it, it's because they have the experience of already doing it for 10-20 years....

The absolute WORST thing you could do is to come in the military as a physician, and then try and weasel a job with high-speed units so you can do high-speed stuff. Guys in a Special Forces battalion do not want a MD who can swim a Draeger. They want a doc who knows medicine, and is comitted to teaching and looking out for them and their families (that's why so many of them are FP guys).

I speak as someone who's done the "operational" side of things as a grunt for 12 years, before getting out of it and going to medical school. Depending on what I wind up choosing as a residency, I may want to get back into the community, but the hardest thing for me will be to not be one of the Walter Mitty-types who just wants to play, shoot, and blow things up.

You may find immense satisfaction just from serving with (and serving) guys who do things like that - I've met several physicians who found their calling as SF Bn surgeons. But again, not because they got to do neat stuff (they didn't, not much), but they got to take care of the people who do, and do so under very *ahem* austere conditions.

If you think it might be for you, consider denali's suggestion (CA teams), or look into your local SF National Guard unit - easier to get into as a civilian, and nowadays, the NG is deploying almost as much as the active duty guys. But, I have to warn you, if you're already 41 and have no prior military experience, it's gonna be hard to get your foot in the door (age waivers, etc).
 

GMO_52

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. But, I have to warn you, if you're already 41 and have no prior military experience, it's gonna be hard to get your foot in the door (age waivers, etc).[/QUOTE]

Not sure I buy this. My FST surgeon retired from an academic trauma surg practice and came in in his 50s. The comments about admin and adjusting to being a mid-level officer (which in many ways is worse than being junior) are very valid. But if you want to come in, the military will let you. As for not having military experience, spend a few months in Iraq and you'll know plenty.
My concern is what you think your job will be. The war will end and then you'll work as an ER doc in an MTF (glorified acute care clinic). To paraphrase an old friend, you'll be disappointed if you expect to be door gunner on the space shuttle. The line guys don't need or want docs who want to be line officers.
 

qqq

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GMO_52 said:
. But, I have to warn you, if you're already 41 and have no prior military experience, it's gonna be hard to get your foot in the door (age waivers, etc).
Not sure I buy this. My FST surgeon retired from an academic trauma surg practice and came in in his 50s. The comments about admin and adjusting to being a mid-level officer (which in many ways is worse than being junior) are very valid. But if you want to come in, the military will let you. As for not having military experience, spend a few months in Iraq and you'll know plenty.
My concern is what you think your job will be. The war will end and then you'll work as an ER doc in an MTF (glorified acute care clinic). To paraphrase an old friend, you'll be disappointed if you expect to be door gunner on the space shuttle. The line guys don't need or want docs who want to be line officers.[/QUOTE]

door gunner on the space shuttle . . . :laugh:
 
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truebajrmd

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Gee Cruz, guess I was wrong......you did hurt my feelings ( just kidding.) Seriously, the docs you describe do sound like jerks and, at least in a good civilian ER, they would not keep their jobs very long if they abused the staff or their position in the manner described. One conclusion reached after reading all the posts, is that the military tolerates that crap because they need doc's and are willing to put up with it - is that true? Second, it is very disappointing to hear that their is very little expected of doctors, leadership wise, and that there is little accountability when they screw up - people only rise or fall to the level of the expectations deemed by their peers or superiors. I sincerely want to do a good job in whatever I do, medicine or otherwise. But if no one trains me or makes me accountable, how do you I do it, esp. in the military?

When I use the word gungho, I mean someone that wants to be part of a team ( an Army of one does not appeal to me), that loves his country, wants to serve, has a good attitude, is enthusiastic, will work very hard, loves PT (really!), loves to teach, likes getting dirty and cares about people. My niece's husband, who is a corpsman, just returned from Iraq and he told me the doctor with his unit couldn't care less about the men or his job. That is NOT the way I am.

One post said the battalion surgeon was generally respected, especially if he wanted to be there and showed an interest in being in the field. They tried to teach him what it was like being in the field. It seems like there's a fine line you have to walk - being interested, but not too interested, lest you offend those around you. How do you do it?

What is a FTS surgeon?

Still waiting to hear from someone about being a flight surgeon with the Marine Corps or a DMO.

Finally, I truly appreciate the candor and frankness of your posts. I know the cool stuff will be a tiny portion of what I will be doing, but being in a position to at least be exposed to it and sometimes do it does appeal to me.
 

Croooz

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truebajrmd said:
One conclusion reached after reading all the posts, is that the military tolerates that crap because they need doc's and are willing to put up with it - is that true? ....but if no one trains me or makes me accountable, how do you I do it, esp. in the military?

When I use the word gungho, I mean someone that wants to be part of a team ( an Army of one does not appeal to me), that loves his country, wants to serve, has a good attitude, is enthusiastic, will work very hard, loves PT (really!), loves to teach, likes getting dirty and cares about people. My niece's husband, who is a corpsman, just returned from Iraq and he told me the doctor with his unit couldn't care less about the men or his job. That is NOT the way I am.

It seems like there's a fine line you have to walk - being interested, but not too interested, lest you offend those around you. How do you do it?

What is a FTS surgeon?

Still waiting to hear from someone about being a flight surgeon with the Marine Corps or a DMO.
The military has always put up with it...because there has always been a need for physicians...well at least in the last 20 years. The training is there but you have to be open. The Chiefs are there for you but then if you get an E7 and not a Chief you're not going to learn anything. There is also the issue with many senior enlisted who have a very sensitive chip on their shoulder about officers. Classes in management which discuss all the many theories (X, Y, Z or Maslow or....) would help the leadership in the military but many times, many many many times, many many many many times (see a trend here?) the leaders are taught by the old leaders who were taught by............no one. In the military it's kinda up to the individual. At the end of the day all that matters is the work was done. How you got your troops to do it doesn't matter much. Is that a problem? Definitely.

I know what you meant as a civilian what gung-ho means to you. It's not really used as a positive term in the military. At least it wasn't in the circles I was in. Motivated, hard-charger, great leader, dedicated, goes the extra mile....but never gung-ho. Like I said, not in the circles I was in.

I think many docs care but after a while of getting shafted, believing they got/getting shafted, and the medical "leadership" many become bitter and just want to be left alone. You really see this alot on deployments. Back in the states the docs can put on a face for the few hours they're around but when you're stuck on a ship or tent for upteen hours a day for months at a time..."people stop being polite and start getting real".

Being interested is always good, just don't get overzealous. If you want your guys to do some high speed training ask your hookups what they'll be doing and learning. Get all the details, make sure there are no assumptions. Utilize your Chief because more than likely he will have contacts but make sure he's aware that you guys are researching for now. Once things are concrete then present it to the guys. Show up and see how their training is going....hang out and make sure they're getting treated well. Don't be a know it all. Learn what it is each guy wants to be "when they grow up". You will not be liked by all but you will be respected....IF YOU'RE GENUINE.

It ain't easy but it is doable. The old adage that people don't care how much you know till they know how much you care. If your corpsman don't think you care about them, their families, or their careers don't expect more than just "yes sir" "no sir". One good thing you should do is learn what it takes to become a corpsman. What A school is like. Then what it takes to become a nurse, PA, & physician in the military. You'd be surprised at how many corpsman have dreams of becoming physicians but won't research it. I just spoke to a HM1 who always wanted to be a physician but assumed USUHS was only for officers. We got him straight and he's taking his MCAT in April and Godwilling coming into the 2010 class.

Hope this helps.
 

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From what you have written about yourself, I do not think that you would enjoy being a squadron flight surgeon. There is some good training, 6 months at Pensacola where you will learn to fly, know the checklists, fly with an instructor, etc but you will not be a naval aviator or NFO. Do not expect to get much stick-time when you get to the squadron (helicopter squadron). All the pilots must be qualified in various skills (e.g. NVG deck quals) and there is limited hours to accomplish this. That means that the last person on the schedule will be the flight surgeon (if ever). Also, the structure and "lifestyle" of a squadron is much different from that of a battalion (many more officers in the squadron). Do you like to sleep? Then join the squadron. I didn't see some pilots until the end of our deployment- they skipped breakfast and slept-in, getting their required crew-rest... don't get me (too) wrong, when I was a passenger I hoped that my crew had enough sleep. The squadron ready room is like a club-house. You get to wear a flight suit all the time. I can't say many good things about being in a squadron.
 

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truebajrmd said:
I am the gung-ho type
I'm sorry to interrupt, but what exactly are you so "gung-ho" about? I wonder how you feel about some of the comments in this thread regarding "gung-ho" military doctors. Do you FEEL that "gung-ho" is an odd match for a medic/doctor. Why not? Why don't you?
 
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From what you have written about yourself, I do not think that you would enjoy being a squadron flight surgeon. There is some good training, 6 months at Pensacola where you will learn to fly, know the checklists, fly with an instructor, etc but you will not be a naval aviator or NFO. Do not expect to get much stick-time when you get to the squadron (helicopter squadron). All the pilots must be qualified in various skills (e.g. NVG deck quals) and there is limited hours to accomplish this. That means that the last person on the schedule will be the flight surgeon (if ever). Also, the structure and "lifestyle" of a squadron is much different from that of a battalion (many more officers in the squadron). Do you like to sleep? Then join the squadron. I didn't see some pilots until the end of our deployment- they skipped breakfast and slept-in, getting their required crew-rest... don't get me (too) wrong, when I was a passenger I hoped that my crew had enough sleep. The squadron ready room is like a club-house. You get to wear a flight suit all the time. I can't say many good things about being in a squadron.

The training part (6 months in Pensacola etc.) sounded interesting to me, but after that, what exactly does a flight surgeon do, except rarely or never fly? Do they get deployed with a Marine Helo unit, or get left home? Also, since I know little about the military and a squadron is full of officers, wouldn't I be able to learn from them, since it was mentioned earlier mentors are lacking for docs.

You said the squadron is like a clubhouse - do you mean a country club or a football lockerroom? Could you explain more how the "structure and lifestyle" of a squadron is different from a battalion?

When you become battalion surgeon, do you spend 6 weeks being inducted as GMO, then get assigned to a battalion?

Still interested in finding out what a DMO does, if there is an age limit, the type of work you would be doing etc.

Finally, Crooz, I everything you have written so far has been very helpful. Same goes for everybody else. DT
 

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Howdy -

I'm a LCDR flight surgeon who has been both greenside and with the carrier airwing. Since the Navy has paid for a lot of school for me, I'm almost at the end of my commitment and will be applying for a civillian residency program, (PMR, for which the Navy doesn't have GME spots) in 2 1/2 years. I've truly enjoyed many experiences and hated many of my experiences, and think I"m a better physician, officer, and person for it. As someone else said, there is a lot of paperwork and BS involved with being an operational doctor, but it's got a unique flavor. Not too bad at first, but can get tiresome after a while.

Being a doctor with the Marines had a sharp learning curve, and they expected me to meet their standards and took me in as one of their own when I did. As such, I'm pretty comfortable with a 9 mm pistol, have a working knowledge of the M16, and I think I"m a better officer than most doc's. The Company Grade Jihad (the junior officers) did a great job of taking me under their collect wing and teaching me about the working end of being an officer. I'm also pretty good at "making do" when I don't have exactly what I need to take care of my patients in less than ideal environments. One of the other flight docs was with a cobra/huery squadron, and flew enough to qual as a co-pilot. My roommate was with another 46 squadron, and flew almost as much. I think how much you fly depends on your squadron. My husband was with an infantry unit, so his experience was a little different. Grunts are a different breed than air guys. Marine doc's (air and ground) usually deploy with the MEU (Marine Expeditinary Unit) for 6 to 9 months.

I really like being with the carrier airwing too, as it's the stuff that they use to recruit doc's into the Navy - cat shots, traps, and the battle clearly being up in the air vice the supporting the infantry. I'm at an FRS currently,where the newly winged pilots learn how to fly their specific airframe. When we travel, it rarely involves living in tents or carrying a flak vest and kevlar with my flight gear. I fly about twice at month at home (these guys are great about putting me on the flight schedule) and when we travel. Sometimes it's stick time, some times I'm truly riding - it depends.

I like the ready room setting - it's a lot like the surgeons lounge in many ways. Yes, there is a lot of juvenile tom-foolery going on, but it's where the pilots and NFOs go to let down their guard and relax amongst peers. Hence, tricks of the trade get passed, some mentoring gets done, etc.

I'm also finally not "away from home" so much, that I can take advantage of the good deals for flight docs - Tropical Medicine in S America, being medical support for space shuttle missions in Florida. I've not seen that in any residency program overview.

I have a couple buddies who were dive guys with SEAL teams or Force Recon units. They got to do the cool training - UMO school in Conn, followed by DMO school at Panama City, with the added bene's of jump school (I think the age limit for that is 36, so you're SOL), and HALO (high altitude, low opening). I think for real world ops, they stay at home at the head shed, and their units send out det's with corpsmen. Not sure but I can get you contacts if you wish.

There are ED bubbas with the Fleet Surgical Teams - my husband deployed with a general surgeon, a ED guy, and an anesthesiologist. (He's an orthopod.) During OEF, some were on ships, and some were out in the sand box. Can't remember specifics. I think the community is undermanned at the moment because of operational requirements.

Are you ever going to be Billy Bad @$$ as a doc? Not likely, but you will have some once in a lifetime opportunities, and in the current world setting you are going to deploy, as a reservist or as an active duty guy. And you'll get to serve your country in a way that you otherwise couldn't.

Every flight surgery class has it's odd cats and dogs who don't meet the standard just-out-of-internship LT mold. Five or years ago there was 40 something ENT who went thru. Last year there were 2 residency trained orthopods, and a 50 something GYN ONC (reservist) in the basic flight surgery class. There are also residency trained guys in the Residency in Aerospace Medicine (it should be called a fellowship, really), not all of whom were flight doc's in a previous life.

Check out the website at www.nomi.med.navy.mil for both flight and dive information. Sorry so long. Hope this helps.

Cheers -
Trix MD
 

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Thanks for contributing Trix. Great stuff! Please stick around and help those who want to be Flight guys/gals.

Question: Your DMO pals actually got to go to HALO? Navy HALO or Army HALO?
 

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There tends to be wide variability in what docs get to do.

My experience (as a non-doc) in the army was that they didn't get to do much in the way of schools and such - basic airborne of course, but certainly not HALO or scuba (combat diver).

But, just when I think I've got the system figured.... I just heard that SF sent their first physician in a decade or so through the Q course - six months of not having a MD work as an MD. I woulda thought that with a war on and such, they couldn't afford that, but I guess I'm wrong....
 

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RichL025 said:
There tends to be wide variability in what docs get to do.

My experience (as a non-doc) in the army was that they didn't get to do much in the way of schools and such - basic airborne of course, but certainly not HALO or scuba (combat diver).

But, just when I think I've got the system figured.... I just heard that SF sent their first physician in a decade or so through the Q course - six months of not having a MD work as an MD. I woulda thought that with a war on and such, they couldn't afford that, but I guess I'm wrong....
Rich,
HALO & Scuba (dual cool) qualified personnel are not the rule, at least not in the Army & Marines. I've met quite a bit of SF guys & Force who had one or the other but not both. PJ/CCT's are 100% dual qualified & now SEAL's are approaching 100%, since the Navy started it's own HALO school.

I'm of the opinion that a SF doc is a good thing. The SWAT groups in the country are pushing for this. The golden rule has now morphed into "the sooner qualified hands touch the patient, the greater the chances of recovery". With the war I would expect that there will be more SF guys who also happen to be medical officers...it'd be interesting to know the exact situation. Following in this SF doc's footsteps would be a dream come true for me...combining those 2 worlds would be great. Do you have any specifics?
 

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Crooz,

I can only speak from my previous knowledge of "how things work" in SF - I've been out since before this last brouhaha (pre-med, then med school).

In regular SF units, the Bn surgeon is _not_ going to be the first "qualified" hands on the patient - the 18D (SF medical sergeant) will be. Remember those news clips from early in the Afghanistan war of SF guys riding on horseback with the Northern Alliance? A 18D was the only medical personnel they could count on seeing for several hours to days post-injury.

There is no strict doctrinal need for docs to be HALO or Scuba qualified because they are not going to infiltrate in with SF teams. Same goes for the Q course. An argument can be made that the Bn surgeon should have those qualifications so he can better appreciate the stresses his men are working under, but that's about it. (While I personally don't think it's a very convincing argument, I sympathize with guys who want to do the cool training).

When a SF battalion deploys as a FOB (meaning the entire battalion is working out of a forward depolyed area) the Doc will certianly go with them, but so will the clerks and supply guys... no HALO into that scenario ;)

As far as operators go - yes, dual CD & HALO qualified are rare - because teams are designated either one or the other. The army experience has been that it is exceedingly difficult (OK, impossible) to maintain both skills to a level compatible with using it for tactical infiltration. Tha Navy spec ops community has come to a different conclusion. I personally think it is possible to maintain both skills, but then the other skills that SF supposedly brings to the table (langauge, advanced medical/engineering, intell, etc) will atrophy. If you only have so many training hours in a day, you have to pick & choose.

As far as docs getting to go to the qualification schools (Q course, CD, HALO, and other fun stuff) it would probably be very dependant on both the Bn commander, and in some cases the USASOC Surgeon (who oversees all SF docs) - can they spare the doc away from the unit for the time period of the school?

I'm not really qualified to comment on how SWAT teams run their docs, except to wonder if there is that much more that an MD can do pre-hospital than a good advanced paramedic can do. I mean really, if you take a EM doc out of his ER, what more could he accomplish pre-hospital? The only reason SF medics get primary provider type training is that, by doctrine, they are supposed to manage injuries & illnesses for extended periods of time without casevac - and also manage indigenous patients for whom casevac is not an option at all. "Do the best you can" type of ethic.

Feel free to ask any more specific questions, but realize most of my information is 5-6 years old...
 

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Don't tell me we have a former SF guy on here? Got your coin? The amount of scammers who ask about the coin is outrageous.

Thanks for the brief. I'm familiar with that and was wondering about the SF doc and what he did.

With SWAT what they're finding is being able to do the more advanced procedures sooner is key. It's similar to the SF medic doing the stuff while under fire. I only suggest that more docs get Q course training because it would help in appreciating where their men are coming from and if needed to able to get to where the men are going, if it's an "extended" stay. I don't foresee SF docs taking over but to be in charge of SF medics it would be more respectable...or something along those lines for the physicians to be able to hold his own. Not sure if how I wrote that makes any sense?

I'm glad you pointed out the specificity on the SF groups mission. SEALs & PJ/CCT's have a different mission and are naturally required to have this type of training. If too many Army SF's become "shark men" then the turf wars begin and another Panama is quite possible.

Thanks for the info. Welcome aboard!
 

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Welcome aboard!
Thanks!
With SWAT what they're finding is being able to do the more advanced procedures sooner is key. It's similar to the SF medic doing the stuff while under fire.
This is what I don't get. "Care under fire" should equal quick tourniquets as needed, and then getting the casualty away from the bullets.

SF medics have more advanced training because conventional casevac may be non-existant, and they may find themselves (like I once was) trying to treat large full-thickness burns in a child. Situtations like that are exactly why SF medics receive "provider" training, and not just pre-hopsital provider (and no, if you must ask, I did not do a good enough job on her)

What kind of advanaced procedures would a doc perform in a SWAT environment pre-hospital? Advanced airway management should be a EMT-P level task, same with chest needle thoracentesis. Any "advanced procedures" the MD does in the SWAT environment would seem to me to be delaying definitive evac to somwhere where a really sick person can get definitive surgical treatment.

Not trying to bait, but can you give an example of a scenario where a MD on-scene (SWAT scenario only) is worth more than a good paramedic? Because the only reason SF medics have advanced skills is the possibility of increased time to evacuation (or complete lack, like the example above).

Let me tell you, if I were a civilian EP, I would absolutely LOVE to go through SWAT training, and roll with them on calls. Speaking objectively, though, I'm trying to figure out what kind of good I would do.
 

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I was under the impression that Army DMO-trained docs covered down on both CD & HALO because their training covered both hyper and hypobaric med. Maybe it's just a function of being in the community and knowing about the opportunities.
 

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Oh, yeah, almost forgot -
If too many Army SF's become "shark men" then the turf wars begin and another Panama is quite possible.
If the powers-that-be would enforce doctrine, this wouldn't be a problem. SF uses scuba to infiltrate into an area. Navspecwar is responsible for direct-action on maritime installations and within 5km of the shoreline. Doctrinally, there is little, if any, overlap.

AFSOC is a different bird (pardon the pun) with specifically defined missions that complement army & navy spec ops, not really conflict with them. The best SF commo guy in the world is not going to manage as much airflow into an airfiled somewhere as a decent CCT guy.
 

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denali said:
I was under the impression that Army DMO-trained docs covered down on both CD & HALO because their training covered both hyper and hypobaric med. Maybe it's just a function of being in the community and knowing about the opportunities.
Close, but not exact. For "coverage" of HALO training evolutions, any old type of army MD is just fine. Actually, a medic can perform that duty (mishaps during training cause the same type of accidents that static-line parachuting does). But for physical exam and fitness-for-duty issues, the MD is supposed to be a qualified flight surgeon (means different in the army than the navy & AF)

For dive operations, coverage only requires an enlisted medic who is a DMT (Dive Med Tech) with a DMO on close consult - except for specially designated "high-risk" training which requires the DMO on-site.

The above applies for Army only, I'm not sure about Navy regs for diving & such.
 

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The PJs have a new officer AFSC called a CRO - casualty receiving officer who goes on their missions. One of my classmates from med school was a USAFA grad who'd gone thru free fall and some other high speed classes (can't remember exactly.. those brain cells died off long ago) and was a flight doc for an F16 squadron. When I saw him 5 years ago, he was trying to resign his medical corps commission along (with all the bling-bling bonus money to be a CRO). Never heard if they entertained his application or not. The dudes I've met who are CROs are usually former enlisted PJs who came back after commissioning.

The Recon guys were going thru Navy halo school, I believe.

There is a CME class in Arizona that specifically teaches medical people how to think under fire - it costs a ton, and requires that your unit front you like 1000 rounds. It's supposedly great, but I've not gotten NSHS to buy off on me going (yet).

Finally, the mostly high subscribed to class in NATO is called "Operational Emergecy Medicine Skills" and is run by the same dudes who advise the FBI Hostage Rescue team. I've taken it twice - as a student and again when I was with the Marines. Very high speed class intended for Spec War corpsmen - I went thru with SEAL and FAST medics, PJs, Rangers, 18 D's and some guys from Europe who had "real world" experience. We did all kinds of procedures and animal labs. The final lab was keeping a "simulated casualty" alive for 24 hours with what is carried in a SF medic bag. Great training. It used to be a USU elective, but I think they've parted ways with the mothership. The FS conference I attended last month talked about sending all corpsmen and doc's who deploy with the Marines to that course, as well as a month in a trauma unit doing initial stabilization. OEMS is better for learning how to think on your toes in an austere environrment, but repeated application of those skills on living breathing people is also great experience.
 

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OEMS is still available to USUHS students as a "experience" between the 1st & 2nd year - five or six people from my class went to it, they had nothing but raves about the training - and one of the attendees was a former 18D.

I think they guy who runs it used to be affiliated with USUHS in some way, but I forget the details.
 

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Not to split hairs but CRO stands for Combat Rescue Officer. It's very new and the AF wants guys who can cut it, usually this is former/current PJ's with degrees. These are some very humble and dedicated men. I was about to go that route but after speaking with an active-duty PJ was advised against it. Comes down to what you want to do. If I was a physician already then I would have definitely gone that route. I'm no spring chicken and going CRO then physician down the road doesn't seem doable.

Rich,
I'd love to be able to say exactly or even remotely what an EP would do with a SWAT team but I can't. I can direct you to a website with a couple of physicians who work with SWAT teams. They are readily accesible, I spoke with the main guy on the site and took his recommendation to go back in the military and get the training at USUHS class. He made some good recommendations besides joining up again. He pointed out that there seems to be more physicians who want to work with the teams than there are paramedics. Perhaps that is a reason...?

I know if the powers that be stuck to doctrine turf wars wouldn't happen but they do or better said did. As you well know, the SpecWar Command was created to avoid this. Unfortunately Force isn't included and loses out quite a bit. Poor redheaded step kids....

Boy am I glad we got some operational folks posting now. Makes me all misty... :smuggrin:
 
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Trixmd,

Your post was very helpful, lot of information and lingo to pore over - I get the parts you ( and others ) don't like about being a military doc, tell me more about the specific things that you do enjoy, esp. as a FS with the Marines. Very happy to hear you did receive mentoring to become a good officer, gives me hope I can do the same. Heard from another source that the FS often doesn't deploy with the team because sometimes you are not needed. True? Finally, if possible, would really appreciate finding out what your husband thought ( or thinks ), about his time with the infantry and any contacts you have with your dive buddies so I can learn more about DMO's.

Thanks, DT







trixmd said:
Howdy -

I'm a LCDR flight surgeon who has been both greenside and with the carrier airwing. Since the Navy has paid for a lot of school for me, I'm almost at the end of my commitment and will be applying for a civillian residency program, (PMR, for which the Navy doesn't have GME spots) in 2 1/2 years. I've truly enjoyed many experiences and hated many of my experiences, and think I"m a better physician, officer, and person for it. As someone else said, there is a lot of paperwork and BS involved with being an operational doctor, but it's got a unique flavor. Not too bad at first, but can get tiresome after a while.

Being a doctor with the Marines had a sharp learning curve, and they expected me to meet their standards and took me in as one of their own when I did. As such, I'm pretty comfortable with a 9 mm pistol, have a working knowledge of the M16, and I think I"m a better officer than most doc's. The Company Grade Jihad (the junior officers) did a great job of taking me under their collect wing and teaching me about the working end of being an officer. I'm also pretty good at "making do" when I don't have exactly what I need to take care of my patients in less than ideal environments. One of the other flight docs was with a cobra/huery squadron, and flew enough to qual as a co-pilot. My roommate was with another 46 squadron, and flew almost as much. I think how much you fly depends on your squadron. My husband was with an infantry unit, so his experience was a little different. Grunts are a different breed than air guys. Marine doc's (air and ground) usually deploy with the MEU (Marine Expeditinary Unit) for 6 to 9 months.

I really like being with the carrier airwing too, as it's the stuff that they use to recruit doc's into the Navy - cat shots, traps, and the battle clearly being up in the air vice the supporting the infantry. I'm at an FRS currently,where the newly winged pilots learn how to fly their specific airframe. When we travel, it rarely involves living in tents or carrying a flak vest and kevlar with my flight gear. I fly about twice at month at home (these guys are great about putting me on the flight schedule) and when we travel. Sometimes it's stick time, some times I'm truly riding - it depends.

I like the ready room setting - it's a lot like the surgeons lounge in many ways. Yes, there is a lot of juvenile tom-foolery going on, but it's where the pilots and NFOs go to let down their guard and relax amongst peers. Hence, tricks of the trade get passed, some mentoring gets done, etc.

I'm also finally not "away from home" so much, that I can take advantage of the good deals for flight docs - Tropical Medicine in S America, being medical support for space shuttle missions in Florida. I've not seen that in any residency program overview.

I have a couple buddies who were dive guys with SEAL teams or Force Recon units. They got to do the cool training - UMO school in Conn, followed by DMO school at Panama City, with the added bene's of jump school (I think the age limit for that is 36, so you're SOL), and HALO (high altitude, low opening). I think for real world ops, they stay at home at the head shed, and their units send out det's with corpsmen. Not sure but I can get you contacts if you wish.

There are ED bubbas with the Fleet Surgical Teams - my husband deployed with a general surgeon, a ED guy, and an anesthesiologist. (He's an orthopod.) During OEF, some were on ships, and some were out in the sand box. Can't remember specifics. I think the community is undermanned at the moment because of operational requirements.

Are you ever going to be Billy Bad @$$ as a doc? Not likely, but you will have some once in a lifetime opportunities, and in the current world setting you are going to deploy, as a reservist or as an active duty guy. And you'll get to serve your country in a way that you otherwise couldn't.

Every flight surgery class has it's odd cats and dogs who don't meet the standard just-out-of-internship LT mold. Five or years ago there was 40 something ENT who went thru. Last year there were 2 residency trained orthopods, and a 50 something GYN ONC (reservist) in the basic flight surgery class. There are also residency trained guys in the Residency in Aerospace Medicine (it should be called a fellowship, really), not all of whom were flight doc's in a previous life.

Check out the website at www.nomi.med.navy.mil for both flight and dive information. Sorry so long. Hope this helps.

Cheers -
Trix MD
 

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truebajrmd said:
Trixmd,
...and any contacts you have with your dive buddies so I can learn more about DMO's.
Do a search for user "Navy Dive Doc". He has dozens of postings that relate specifically to working as a DMO. Or you can just search for the term DMO and you'll find lots of information. It's an interest of mine as well and I've found great amounts of detail about the job on this site. I'd definitely read up as much as you can before ping'ing folks.
 

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What is the best way for a physician to get combat scuba school? Would it be to go regular dmo and then be assigned with recon or seals and hope for a slot? or perhaps try to be a gmo with airforce pj/cct squadron? or is it army?
thanks
 

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True, I would pick up the phone and call the Navy Emergency Medicine speciality leader and ask how you guys can help each other out. It sounds like a job with the Marines is what you are looking for. You have to be careful because the hospitals will try to grab you because they will see an extra ER doc floating around in the system. Make sure you tell the speciality leader you want an operational tour and not a hospital based job.

You could look up the number for the Navy Bureau of Medicine (BUMED) off the internet. They would have the contact info for you.
 

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mumiitroll said:
What is the best way for a physician to get combat scuba school? Would it be to go regular dmo and then be assigned with recon or seals and hope for a slot? or perhaps try to be a gmo with airforce pj/cct squadron? or is it army?
thanks
None of the above.

As a doc you are NOT an operator. If you were assigned to a special operations unit you could attend the DMO school, but you would get your hard-hat diver qual out of it, not combat diver (either navy or army).

There have been a very few one-time "crack deals" where med students / docs have attended the SFUWO school in Key West. To the best of my knowledge, the very few who tried - none of them passed. And the previous SF command surgeon who sponsored them is no longer in that job position, so good luck trying to convince the new guy that you should go to Key West to wear a funky badge.
 

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RichL025 said:
None of the above.

As a doc you are NOT an operator. If you were assigned to a special operations unit you could attend the DMO school, but you would get your hard-hat diver qual out of it, not combat diver (either navy or army).

There have been a very few one-time "crack deals" where med students / docs have attended the SFUWO school in Key West. To the best of my knowledge, the very few who tried - none of them passed. And the previous SF command surgeon who sponsored them is no longer in that job position, so good luck trying to convince the new guy that you should go to Key West to wear a funky badge.
Thanks for the info!
 

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I was wondering what the previous service guys saw their dentists in an operational role? Are there dentists attached to individual battalions? I know that in a field hospital setting with a bunch of docs, the dentists maybe triaging the patients and doing a few small procedures if it is very 'busy' but how does this work?
 

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In the event that I decided I would prefer to go to a civilian residency but was not granted a deferment, could I fulfill my 4 year ADO by doing FS and UMO instead of just doing one or the other and then extending to meet my 4?

Typically, how long are each of their tours anyhow? Would training + the respective tour of duty for both of these be greater than 4 years? Has anyone heard of a Navy doc doing this...is it possible? Thanks.
 

backrow

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In the event that I decided I would prefer to go to a civilian residency but was not granted a deferment, could I fulfill my 4 year ADO by doing FS and UMO instead of just doing one or the other and then extending to meet my 4?

Typically, how long are each of their tours anyhow? Would training + the respective tour of duty for both of these be greater than 4 years? Has anyone heard of a Navy doc doing this...is it possible? Thanks.
Holy search function batman....nice job :thumbup:

You get three yes's to your questions
1)Yes, the training + tours would be greater than 4 years. Both UMO and Flight Surgery training are >6mos each and each tour is at least 2yrs long.
2)Yes I've heard of people doing both
3)Yes, it's possible

Tours are typically 2-3yrs depending on a few variables. (there are also some 1 yr billets out there)
 

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I can't think of anyone who did both of the top of my head, although I agree that its probably not impossible. Would make you a 6-year GMO. Hope you don't want to do a clinical specialty after that.
 

J-Rad

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I can't think of anyone who did both of the top of my head, although I agree that its probably not impossible. Would make you a 6-year GMO. Hope you don't want to do a clinical specialty after that.
There was a guy in my residency who was both. He, indeed, was a GMO for 5-6 years. He had to redo his internship prior to finishing up his (pediatrics) residency. The only thing that made that suck less was that his second internship was post 80 hour work week (and, according to scuttlebutt that I considered legit, in the pre-80-hr-workweek era, the surgery residents used to pity the peds residents).
 
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In the event that I decided I would prefer to go to a civilian residency but was not granted a deferment, could I fulfill my 4 year ADO by doing FS and UMO instead of just doing one or the other and then extending to meet my 4?

Typically, how long are each of their tours anyhow? Would training + the respective tour of duty for both of these be greater than 4 years? Has anyone heard of a Navy doc doing this...is it possible? Thanks.

Please read this thread before considering UMO:

http://forums.studentdoctor.net/showthread.php?t=717920
 
Jan 25, 2011
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Hi there,

I am applying to med school right now and strongly, strongly considering HPSP. I've read a ton on these forums, but have yet to post anything re: mil med. Basically, I'm trying to decide whether navy or af is where I want to be...

1) Seems like Army has higher match rates and I have seen the numbers for 2010 (ratio of applicants to spots)...but for the AF and Navy I haven't been able to acquire these numbers, or anything similar...anyone have ANY notion of about how many applicants/year (approximately, percentage-wise?) DON'T match, and therefore funnel into FS/GMO or Transition Years?

2) IF I were to end up as a FS for the AF, what are the different tracks for flight surgery, and how does one apply to them/how are people selected for them? How long are the minimum FS commitments?

3) IF I were to end up as a GMO for the Navy, same questions as above.

ps, by "tracks" i mean flight med, dive med, with seals or marines or special forces, etc etc...apologies if I am making up random 'tracks', I have NO military background

I have tons of questions...but figured I'd start with these and see if I get any useful feedback. Thanks in advance to anyone who tries to help!