GMO2003

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There are some definite benefits of being a GMO: great pay, great working hours, usually have weekends off, few acute emergencies, increased level of responsibility while still having support when you need it....

However, the biggest negative thus far is being away from my wife. I think I've passed the clinical depression stage about a month ago...I wish I was kidding...It is definitely hard being away from my better half...sometimes in the middle of the day I close my eyes and try to imagine her and remember all of the things I love about her...I call her frequently but I don't tell her how depressed I am...she is already sad enough for the both of us...I keep telling myself that it is only temporary and that I will see her soon...however, I was wondering if any of you guys reading this have some suggestions on how you handled your tour away from your significant other...
 

DrBloodmoney

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GMO2003 said:
There are some definite benefits of being a GMO: great pay, great working hours, usually have weekends off, few acute emergencies, increased level of responsibility while still having support when you need it....

However, the biggest negative thus far is being away from my wife. I think I've passed the clinical depression stage about a month ago...I wish I was kidding...It is definitely hard being away from my better half...sometimes in the middle of the day I close my eyes and try to imagine her and remember all of the things I love about her...I call her frequently but I don't tell her how depressed I am...she is already sad enough for the both of us...I keep telling myself that it is only temporary and that I will see her soon...however, I was wondering if any of you guys reading this have some suggestions on how you handled your tour away from your significant other...

God... even though I don't believe in you...

thank you (if you had any part) for letting me randomly choose the army.

I love the Army
 
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GMO2003

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DrBloodmoney said:
God... even though I don't believe in you...

thank you (if you had any part) for letting me randomly choose the army.

I love the Army
:confused: I'm in the army as well...some of us are not as lucky :( if you're in residency...you're safe...afterwards...let's just say even path and derm are not safe from the PROFIS system
 

trixmd

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Hey -

I know it's tough, but hang in there. My husband and I spent our first 2 years apart (I was in Lejeune and he was in Gitmo), and then each did a 6 month stint away during the next assignment. It got easier for me when I started hanging out with other geobachelors = we got to comiserate and keep each other sane. I also liked being able to have a support network where other people knew his name and asked about him., and I was able to tell him stories about them. It just gave us more common ground, if that makes sense. The other thing I did was to take advantage of my "personal" time, stuff I may not do if he was around. For example, I love animals, but he's not so much into them, so I spent riduculous amounts of time volunteering at an animal shelter. I also got into great shape and played an all military sport, which I don't do now because it takes too much time away from home, and I"m fat and lazy.

Hope that helps.
Trix

GMO2003 said:
:confused: I'm in the army as well...some of us are not as lucky :( if you're in residency...you're safe...afterwards...let's just say even path and derm are not safe from the PROFIS system
 

Trajan

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just out of curiosity, what sort of GMO tour are you doing? I've heard that FS and UMO are much better for those with families, as your deployments are fewer and shorter than those with the Marines or on ships. Does anyone have more information about this?
 

ishii123

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Navy GMO billets as a Naval Flight Surgeon (FS) or Undersea Medical Officer (UMO) are much better than generic GMO billets. FS's take care of Navy and Marine squadrons. UMO's generally take care of submarine squadrons, Navy SEAL's, Marine RECON units, and dive recovery teams.

I've been a Naval Flight Surgeon for a USMC F/A-18D Hornet squadron for the past year. Really, it's an easy job. I work Monday thru Friday 0700 - 1600, but I have a lot of down time to just hangout at the clinic or squadron. There's no call. I'm the doctor for approximately 200 Marines.

Here's what I think are the PROS and CONS of being a FS. Honestly, I cannot comment for UMO's because I'm not one.

PROS of being a FS:
1. It's fun! FS get to fly. UMO's get to dive.
2. You get more $$$ for being a FS or UMO. Flight Pay! Dive Pay!
3. FS and UMO docs generally are responsible for a smaller number of military personnel. So you really get to know your people. Plus, it's easier to manage medical and dental readiness. Generic GMO's (eg. USMC infantry, Navy boats, etc) are responsible for a larger number of people.
4. Less paperwork! I think aviation and undersea squadron are healthier than what I've seen in the regular GMO billets. I have only written 2 limited duty boards (LIMDU) in the past year and ZERO PEB boards (aka "medical boards")...knock on wood :D The regular GMO billets at my clinic (eg. infantry, MALS, H&HS) are writing LIMDU and PEB boards all the time.

CONS of being a FS:
1. You must commit to be a GMO for AT LEAST 3 years (after Internship). You go to STUDENT flight surgery or undersea school for 6-7 months. Once you graduate, you are then required to do 2 years as a FS or UMO. The generic GMO can apply for Navy residency after 2 years, and sometimes even 1 year (eg. Okinawa billets). So if you really just want to get back to the hospital and start your residency, FS or UMO tours are not for you. Honestly, after 3 years as a FS or UMO, it's time to move on to residency and become a board certified physician.



As for deployments, FS's and UMO's can deploy just as often as generic GMO's. I've already done a 6 WEST PAC month deployment. I'm scheduled to go to Iraq next year. I know of USMC Cobra helicopter squadrons deploying every 6-7 months! Example: 6 months deployed to Iraq, then 6 months home, then 6 months deployed again...etc, etc. But honestly, it depends on your billet. If your a FS at a training squadron, you can be 99% sure you will Not deploy. I don't know much about UMO, but my UMO buddy says if you are taking care of submarine squadrons, you deploy for less than 3 months every year!

Overall, FS life is great! It's fun and I've met great people. Aviators are hilarious! Also, I've gotten to fly in a multi-million dollar, fast, and maneuverable F/A-18D Hornet going MACH speed :laugh: !!! 1-2 month Deployment are fun and exciting. The bad stuff is ADMIN and long deployments. Deployments over 3 months suck because I'm away from my wife. It's not natural for a family to be separated. ADMIN (aka "paperwork") sucks, but all GMO's are stuck with that too.

Hope this info helps!
ISHII
 

r90t

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I had my wife send lots of email pix/cds of the kids while I was gone. I was also able to call home every couple of days. This was expensive, but, you can budget for a couple of chats per week to catch up on everything. I also discovered the aviator time machine. Their theory is, if you sleep 12 hours/day, you are only gone for 3 of a 6 month cruise.

We actually had spouses (not me) of the wardroom fly into Dubai while we were in port. It was a long trip around the world but they had several quality days together. If I was married without kids this would have worked. Others had spouses fly into Singapore on our way home. Mine met me in HI about 2 weeks before we were home.
 
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GMO2003

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geobachelors = we got to comiserate and keep each other sane
that's funny....I'm gonna have to start a local chapter and hold weekly meetings...I've been hitting the gym pretty hard myself...it's always been a good way to get rid of alot of stress...I just can't wait to see her...just 26 more days to go...thank gawd :)
 

LaLa773

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GMO2003 said:
There are some definite benefits of being a GMO: great pay, great working hours, usually have weekends off, few acute emergencies, increased level of responsibility while still having support when you need it....

However, the biggest negative thus far is being away from my wife. I think I've passed the clinical depression stage about a month ago...I wish I was kidding...It is definitely hard being away from my better half...sometimes in the middle of the day I close my eyes and try to imagine her and remember all of the things I love about her...I call her frequently but I don't tell her how depressed I am...she is already sad enough for the both of us...I keep telling myself that it is only temporary and that I will see her soon...however, I was wondering if any of you guys reading this have some suggestions on how you handled your tour away from your significant other...
Hello! First and foremost, cheer up and smile b/c you have lots to smile about (your wife too)! :) It SUCKS right now, but remember that it's only temporary. This is ishii123's wife. I'm a Navy nurse and a Navy wife as well :love: My hubby (FS) and I were separated for 6 months while he was deployed to Asia. It was PAINFUL and the time went by like molasses. We tried to keep in contact daily via phone, e-mail, IM, letters, cards, and daydreaming too (hee hee). We were separated on Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years, AND his 30th B-day (BIG sigh). Truthfully, I got thru it by praying and just keeping busy (lottsa reading). I was on the phone constantly with family and friends who understood (not really, but tried to) my pain and kept reminding me that "It's only temporary."

Hope this helps... :)
 

COnavydoc

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I lived through two WestPac deployments with my husband from the shore side. The rest of the replies are absolutely correct-it totally, absolutely sucks. We both got in incredible shape though and emailed at least everyday if possible. We also made countdown list to mark off days and wrote letters-something nice but something we never normally do for each other. The only last thing I'll add is, it is the absolute worst possible feeling to watch someone leave on deployment, but the homecoming is truly unbelievable. It doesn't make it all worth it but it is an amazing day, nothing compares to it. The end is in site, you are so close-don't despair. Just start planning where you'll eat and how you'll spend that first day/week back home!
 
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GMO2003

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COnavydoc said:
I lived through two WestPac deployments with my husband from the shore side. The rest of the replies are absolutely correct-it totally, absolutely sucks. We both got in incredible shape though and emailed at least everyday if possible. We also made countdown list to mark off days and wrote letters-something nice but something we never normally do for each other. The only last thing I'll add is, it is the absolute worst possible feeling to watch someone leave on deployment, but the homecoming is truly unbelievable. It doesn't make it all worth it but it is an amazing day, nothing compares to it. The end is in site, you are so close-don't despair. Just start planning where you'll eat and how you'll spend that first day/week back home!
Thank you so much for the replies. It does make a difference knowing that there are others that can relate to my angst.