Navy GMO/GTFO into surgery - PGY1 advice

ItsGleasonThen

New Member
2+ Year Member
Dec 30, 2016
1
0
  1. Medical Student
    Hi all, was hoping to get advice on an issue that I couldn't find in the otherwise excellent GMO/GTFO advice thread. I'm a rising M3 interested in pursuing surgery after paying back my ADSO as a GMO for 4 years. My initial thought was to try to match into a surgical intern year. However, between learning that many surgery residencies will want me to repeat intern year and knowing that I would retain little surgical ability after my GMO time, would it make more sense to aim for a medical intern year before GMO to better prepare me for the fleet and to start surgery fresh when I separate?

    Thank you in advance!
     

    armytrainingsir

    Full Member
    2+ Year Member
    Army
    Jun 15, 2017
    317
    215
    1. Attending Physician
      I don't think there is a right answer. It really just boils down to each program director's personal opinion.

      One might think, "Wow, this guy was smart, choosing a medicine internship to prepare him for four years of primary care as a GMO and not his final career goal of being a surgeon. That's the kind of selfless sacrifice this program is looking for."

      And the second one, " Wow, this guy is dedicated to surgery, doing a hard general surgery internship, knowing full well he would have to do it again in four years. That's the kind of selfless sacrifice this program is looking for."
       
      • Like
      Reactions: 1 users

      pawprint

      Full Member
      7+ Year Member
      Mar 4, 2014
      137
      214
      1. Resident [Any Field]
        The reality is nobody is going to care what specialty you did your intern year in. And none of the military internships really prepare you for GMO more than the others. IM and family med - you will see a bunch of old people with chronic health problems, surgery subspecialties - not doing surgery as a GMO, peds - you arent taking care of kids as a GMO, OB/GYN - not dealing with complex pregnancies as a GMO, psych - not managing any of the complex psych patients as a GMO, Transitional Year - you see all the complex inpatient stuff from a bunch of different services so honestly not any better. Intern year in whatever specialty will get you used to taking care of complex patients. The real important takeway for GMO time isnt the medicine you learn as an intern, but really the skills of learning where to find information on how to treat somebody and how to get in contact with people who can guide you when you cant find the answer yourself. Those are things you get pretty good at by the end of intern year and are helpful once you get out to the fleet.

        Once you get out after GMO, you are going to be starting from PGY-1 so nobody cares what specialty your military internship was. This is because it was 4 years ago at this point and everyone else is walking in without having done a PGY-1 already in their lifetime. Now, if you do a surgery internship, excel during that year, and have stuff to talk about from your experience as a surgery PGY-1 in the past, that will actually help you. But picking a different internship to begin with in the military isn't going to set you back.

        At the end of the day, you should pick your internship specialty based on what you enjoy doing. If you enjoy being around surgeons, do a surgery internship. The worst thing you could do is pick a specialty for the hours and then hate every moment of your job for the entirety of your intern year.

        I did pediatrics before going out as a flight surgeon and plan on re-applying to civilian peds programs once i finish my time as a flight surgeon. A lot of the medicine i learned during intern year didn't directly apply, but there were a lot of other skills you learn as a first year doctor that are really useful being a GMO. I absolutely loved my intern year and felt like it prepared me well to be a flight surgeon, even though my 3 months in the Nursery/NICU may not seem like the are applicable at first glance. If I had picked psych because i thought it was easier hours I would have had a much worse experience for myself and probably wouldn't have taken away as much as I did from my peds internship.
         
        • Like
        Reactions: 1 user
        About the Ads

        Per5everance

        Full Member
        7+ Year Member
        Apr 12, 2011
        22
        7
        1. Resident [Any Field]
          Hi all, was hoping to get advice on an issue that I couldn't find in the otherwise excellent GMO/GTFO advice thread. I'm a rising M3 interested in pursuing surgery after paying back my ADSO as a GMO for 4 years. My initial thought was to try to match into a surgical intern year. However, between learning that many surgery residencies will want me to repeat intern year and knowing that I would retain little surgical ability after my GMO time, would it make more sense to aim for a medical intern year before GMO to better prepare me for the fleet and to start surgery fresh when I separate?

          Thank you in advance!

          We just match a somebody at my residency program who did this same path. He did a surgical internship (at our institution somehow) for what it is worth.
           
          • Like
          Reactions: 1 user

          GMOnAudi5000

          New Member
          2+ Year Member
          Sep 6, 2018
          6
          13
          1. Attending Physician
            I don't think there is a right answer. It really just boils down to each program director's personal opinion.

            One might think, "Wow, this guy was smart, choosing a medicine internship to prepare him for four years of primary care as a GMO and not his final career goal of being a surgeon. That's the kind of selfless sacrifice this program is looking for."

            And the second one, " Wow, this guy is dedicated to surgery, doing a hard general surgery internship, knowing full well he would have to do it again in four years. That's the kind of selfless sacrifice this program is looking for."
            I just got out after doing a TY year followed by four years in the fleet, now I’m in a civ EM/IM program.

            If you do a surgery intern year, you’re opening the door to have a letter of rec from your military internship surgery PD(who other civilian surgery PDs might know), and if they write you a good LOR it will likely carry more clout than if you have a medicine PD writing your LOR.

            My EM letter writer was known by my current civ EM PD and my EM/IM APD and I’m sure the fact that they saw his name on my letter is a large reason why I got an interview.

            My friend did her surg internship at Portsmouth and was in Oki with me while we were GMOs, and she would go down to the hospital and scrub in and help in their minor procedures clinic, so she was able to keep her feet wet, and I don’t think you’d have that same experience/opportunities if you did a non-surgical year. She also knew the surgery attendings at the hospital to facilitate being able to scrub in, as most of them were recent grads and knew her from the final years of their residency. I was an ATLS instructor (which is an American College of Surgeons program) while I was a GMO, so there’s plenty you can do in the fleet to make you a more successful candidate for surgery residency after GMO time, and I think the ability to get a great LOR from the surgeon and the overall networking benefits outweigh any benefit from a medicine internship.
             
            • Like
            Reactions: 1 user

            flightdoc09

            Full Member
            Oct 31, 2019
            47
            25
            1. Resident [Any Field]
              Yeah, if you really want to be a surgeon, surgical intern year is the way to go. The best GMOs are likely family med, TY, or EM. But it also varies by where you're at. Some billets, like with the infantry, are going to be very ortho heavy. Some billets, with certain nondeployable units, are very psych heavy (since all the deploying units send their mental health cases there).

              Regardless of what you end up doing though, you should be able to find surgeons at the MTFs that'll let you work with them. That is, if you're close enough to an MTF and have a friendly personality.
               
              About the Ads

              Your message may be considered spam for the following reasons:

              1. Your new thread title is very short, and likely is unhelpful.
              2. Your reply is very short and likely does not add anything to the thread.
              3. Your reply is very long and likely does not add anything to the thread.
              4. It is very likely that it does not need any further discussion and thus bumping it serves no purpose.
              5. Your message is mostly quotes or spoilers.
              6. Your reply has occurred very quickly after a previous reply and likely does not add anything to the thread.
              7. This thread is locked.