DN2MD

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I am a junior and I am taking my mcat's next spring....I have a lot of questions about hpsp...1.How long is a GMO tour. 2. my recruiter said that i could go stratight from my internship to residency. 3. can i join any branch of the military.
4. does every branch has the equivalent of the navy's gmo tour. 5 can i got straight through training in the air force or army.
 

MoosePilot

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DN2MD said:
I am a junior and I am taking my mcat's next spring....I have a lot of questions about hpsp...1.How long is a GMO tour. 2. my recruiter said that i could go stratight from my internship to residency. 3. can i join any branch of the military.
4. does every branch has the equivalent of the navy's gmo tour. 5 can i got straight through training in the air force or army.
1. Most tours in the Air Force are about 3 years. I don't know if this is true of GMO tours, too. The thing to remember is that it's as long as the personnel people want it to be unless your committment runs out.

2. The recruiter can't promise that. Ask for that as a guarantee in writing and see what he says. :laugh:

3. You apply to each branch separately, but you should be able to apply to any/all of them. Whether you get accepted is another question, but I think they're starting to miss medical recruiting goals, so the chances are good.

4. The Navy and Air Force do. I don't know about the Army. See the same answer for 5.
 

island doc

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DN2MD said:
I am a junior and I am taking my mcat's next spring....I have a lot of questions about hpsp...1.How long is a GMO tour. 2. my recruiter said that i could go stratight from my internship to residency. 3. can i join any branch of the military.
4. does every branch has the equivalent of the navy's gmo tour. 5 can i got straight through training in the air force or army.
In all honesty, probably the most useful help we can give you with your decision, would be to dissuade you from giving this any further consideration. See other threads/posts for more information.
 

colbgw02

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DN2MD said:
I am a junior and I am taking my mcat's next spring....I have a lot of questions about hpsp...1.How long is a GMO tour. 2. my recruiter said that i could go stratight from my internship to residency. 3. can i join any branch of the military.
4. does every branch has the equivalent of the navy's gmo tour. 5 can i got straight through training in the air force or army.
I'll try to help, but I am by no means an expert.

A GMO/flight surgeon tour is typically no less than 2 years, and there is always the possibility that it will be longer. All branches have some form of GMO, even if it is known by another name.

In theory, you can join any branch of the military, keeping in mind that they are not created equal with regards to competition. I have no numbers to back this up, but my gut feeling is that the order of competition from least to greatest is Army < Navy < Air Force. Army being very low because of the war, etc. Navy next because, as I understand it, almost everyone does a GMO on board a ship.

It is possible to go straight through from medical school, to internship, to residency, and even to fellowship in the military. I think it's more likely to happen in the Army because the total number of residency slots versus number of applicants tends to be very similar. However, the Air Force is historically known for giving out more deferments to complete residency in a civilian program. It's difficult to say because it varies from year to year and depends very much on your specialty of choice and your level of competitiveness.

In general, question everything your recruiter tells you and try to get independent information. Your recruiter has quotas and typically does not have your best interests at heart.

Many folks in this forum are very cynical about military medicine, and rightly so in many instances. Take their advice into account while still trying to make the right decision for yourself. Personally, if you are interested in serving your country while getting your education paid for, the military is a good means to an end. If it's all about the money, then I suggest avoiding the military. Believe me when I say that there are a lot less painful ways of paying for medical school than by giving up your freedom for the better part of a decade. If you want to be a military physician and money is no object, I suggest waiting until you are either done with medical school or residency before joining. The military is so hard up for doctors right now that I doubt you'll have an issue with getting a commission, and there are multiple programs in place to help you financially after you've received some or all of your training (FAP, loan repayment programs).

I hope this helps; please feel free to PM me if you have any other questions.
 

chickendoc

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DN2MD said:
I am a junior and I am taking my mcat's next spring....I have a lot of questions about hpsp...1.How long is a GMO tour. 2. my recruiter said that i could go stratight from my internship to residency. 3. can i join any branch of the military.
4. does every branch has the equivalent of the navy's gmo tour. 5 can i got straight through training in the air force or army.
I have noticed that there are a lot of people on this forum that had some pretty bad experiences in the Armed Forces..I think it depends on the attitude you bring. HPSP is a great way to get your degree with no debt. Now, as with most things in life, nothing comes for free. You will have to give the Armed Forces time for the monies they spent on you. If you look at this as an opportunity to do something you would never have the opportunity to do then you will have some fun, see some amazing things, and, most likely, put off your medical education for a bit. GMO tours are notoriously void of any medical growth and can last from 1 yr to 3 yrs. You deal with a lot of administrative BS that has nothing to do with your medical education. It does teach you something about dealing with people and, hopefully, about leadership.
I did have some bad times with horrible Commanding Officers but overall I got to fly (yes, at the controls) 100ft over the rivers in the Phillipine Islands and Micronesia, scuba dive in Palau and Oki, shop in Osan, fly a Phrog over Iraq, help injured Marines make it home from Iraq, and many other things that my contemporaries would never see or do. I also had the honor of meeting some of the greatest people I will ever know.
Now as for which is best....all my experience is with the Navy but from my view I would agree the Army seems to have the worst billets. The Navy has opportunities to fly (what I chose), dive, or be an MD on a ship or shore. The Air Force has the most money but seems to be the most bureaucratic and frustrating, depends on what you feel your personality can handle. I chose the Navy because most of the bases where in decent locations...I figured if I ended up on a ship at least Iwould be near the ocean :)
Going straight through to residency will never be guaranteed. It depends on the needs of the Navy/AF/Army. If they need that particular specialty and there is not enough qualified folks coming back from GMO to fill the residency spots your chances are good. Do not listen to any promises your recruiter says unless it is in black and white.
The other tidbit they don't tell you is that if you serve your time and it is less than 8 years then you are put into the IRR (Inactive Ready Reserve). This is a pool of personnel that they can call back if they need them. In the past it was unheard of to occur - I have seen it happen recently. So be aware of that.
The way I looked at HPSP was the worst case scenario....I finished internship and was put on some small ship out of Norfolk which spent 7 out of every 12 months at sea...could I make it through the two years? My answer was yes, I could make the best of it. Think long and hard for once you sign on the dotted line you belong to that organization. If you come in with the right attitude and take it all in as an experience which has an end point and can offer you some personal growth you will do fine.
Good luck with your decision!
 

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chickendoc said:
I have noticed that there are a lot of people on this forum that had some pretty bad experiences in the Armed Forces..I think it depends on the attitude you bring. HPSP is a great way to get your degree with no debt. Now, as with most things in life, nothing comes for free. You will have to give the Armed Forces time for the monies they spent on you. If you look at this as an opportunity to do something you would never have the opportunity to do then you will have some fun, see some amazing things, and, most likely, put off your medical education for a bit. GMO tours are notoriously void of any medical growth and can last from 1 yr to 3 yrs. You deal with a lot of administrative BS that has nothing to do with your medical education. It does teach you something about dealing with people and, hopefully, about leadership.
I did have some bad times with horrible Commanding Officers but overall I got to fly (yes, at the controls) 100ft over the rivers in the Phillipine Islands and Micronesia, scuba dive in Palau and Oki, shop in Osan, fly a Phrog over Iraq, help injured Marines make it home from Iraq, and many other things that my contemporaries would never see or do. I also had the honor of meeting some of the greatest people I will ever know.
Now as for which is best....all my experience is with the Navy but from my view I would agree the Army seems to have the worst billets. The Navy has opportunities to fly (what I chose), dive, or be an MD on a ship or shore. The Air Force has the most money but seems to be the most bureaucratic and frustrating, depends on what you feel your personality can handle. I chose the Navy because most of the bases where in decent locations...I figured if I ended up on a ship at least Iwould be near the ocean :)
Going straight through to residency will never be guaranteed. It depends on the needs of the Navy/AF/Army. If they need that particular specialty and there is not enough qualified folks coming back from GMO to fill the residency spots your chances are good. Do not listen to any promises your recruiter says unless it is in black and white.
The other tidbit they don't tell you is that if you serve your time and it is less than 8 years then you are put into the IRR (Inactive Ready Reserve). This is a pool of personnel that they can call back if they need them. In the past it was unheard of to occur - I have seen it happen recently. So be aware of that.
The way I looked at HPSP was the worst case scenario....I finished internship and was put on some small ship out of Norfolk which spent 7 out of every 12 months at sea...could I make it through the two years? My answer was yes, I could make the best of it. Think long and hard for once you sign on the dotted line you belong to that organization. If you come in with the right attitude and take it all in as an experience which has an end point and can offer you some personal growth you will do fine.
Good luck with your decision!


Please do NOT give me the "it all depends on your attitude" lecture. I agree with you that attitude is very, very important, HOWEVER, ...............there comes a point when you can keep your good attitude about life but REFUSE to accept a military medical system that is BROKEN and failing patients and staff.
 

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USAFdoc said:
Please do NOT give me the "it all depends on your attitude" lecture. I agree with you that attitude is very, very important, HOWEVER, ...............there comes a point when you can keep your good attitude about life but REFUSE to accept a military medical system that is BROKEN and failing patients and staff.
Roger, agree there are huge problems, but you make the best it and realize that you can't change the machine just what is in front of you. All I am saying is the scholarship is a big chunk of change, if you want to try something totally different it is not a bad deal.
 

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chickendoc said:
Roger, agree there are huge problems, but you make the best it and realize that you can't change the machine just what is in front of you. All I am saying is the scholarship is a big chunk of change, if you want to try something totally different it is not a bad deal.
reasonable answer; and maybe no one will ever be able to change the military for the better.

it is a good chunk of change, and thats why I never mention $$$$ as a reason to not join or get out. Its all about the quality of the organization and that, unfortunately, may be at an all time low as we speak.
 

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Most, but not all, people in the army go straight through internship to residency. The army is actively trying to get away from "GMOs", unlike the USAF and USN who seem to be rather addicted to them ;)
 

colbgw02

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RichL025 said:
Most, but not all, people in the army go straight through internship to residency. The army is actively trying to get away from "GMOs", unlike the USAF and USN who seem to be rather addicted to them ;)
i was told the same thing a few years ago by someone "in the know", but i think things have changed somewhat regarding army manpower issues. true, most people will get to complete their training straight through, but i was also told unofficially that there would be no civilian deferments for my specialty this year. i think they're still making at least a handful of folks do GMOs. i guess we'll find out in december.
 

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colbgw02 said:
i was told the same thing a few years ago by someone "in the know", but i think things have changed somewhat regarding army manpower issues. true, most people will get to complete their training straight through, but i was also told unofficially that there would be no civilian deferments for my specialty this year. i think they're still making at least a handful of folks do GMOs. i guess we'll find out in december.
Out of my army intern class, there will probably be 3 to 4 who do GMO tours next year. So there's still a significant chance of doing a GMO tour, although it's more likely to train straight through.
 

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Here is how I understand the GMO- time on station rules.

While it is true that most GMO tours are atleast 2 years, the Army GME system has put out that if accepted for a residency spot- the Dr. will go to GME provided that he/she arrived at the station before 01 OCT (the beginning of the Fiscal year). This means that a GMO might only spend 9 months in an assignment. We are only authorized 1 PCS move a year at the most. This is a new rule to get GMO's that want to back into training ASAP. Also there are 1 year non-accompanied assignments- most of them are in Korea (there are others- Turkey and the Sinai).

This being said- the operational Army is moving to Life-cycle units where everyone spends atleast 3 years in an assignment and works wit hall the same people for 3 years. This is for the new Units of Action that we are transforming into. This would commit a GMO to 3 years in one spot with atleast 1 deployment during that time. Some high speed units will of course get more deployments in that 3 year time. It remains to be seen whether going to GME will be more important than filling their MTOE slots (if they do not use GMO's, then they pull staff out of MEDCENS).