Jul 30, 2016
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Hello people of SDN!

As of late I've been researching information about military medicine and the military as a whole. What interests me about being in the military is that it seems like it would be a completely different life experience that I could learn a lot from and mature as a person. I also like the benefits, such as traveling and moving from place to place, job security as well as having school paid for. My ultimate goal is to become a doctor and I've been reading about the unique learning that military medical school gives to its students. However I have a few questions that could really help me learn more about this type of lifestyle and career!

-> If apply to USUHS, how do I know which branch i'll be serving under? and after I graduate what is the time commitment, I am aware that it's four years after your medical school plus another 7 plus another year for something? Can someone please explain the commitment to me?

-> I am currently a college student [2 more years until I graduate] and I was wondering would it be better to join the military now to optimize my chances of getting into USUHS?

->I am looking into joining the navy, however people keep insisting air force is a better route, can someone explain the perks of being the air force vs navy vs army vs national guard etc?

-> For those of you who have been a military doctor, how was your experiences as one and would you say that it is a good career option?

-> Generally, what kind of residencies are available in the military, I know you are limited to the type of residencies but I was just wondering what type are usually available.

Thanks!
 

pgg

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Hello people of SDN!
Hello. You've got some reading to do ...

-> If apply to USUHS, how do I know which branch i'll be serving under? and after I graduate what is the time commitment, I am aware that it's four years after your medical school plus another 7 plus another year for something? Can someone please explain the commitment to me?
You list branch preference when you apply. If your first choice doesn't have room, you can waitlist it or accept another branch.

It's a 7 year commitment that doesn't count the time you spend in internship/residency training. It's a little more complicated than that, but that's the short version.


-> I am currently a college student [2 more years until I graduate] and I was wondering would it be better to join the military now to optimize my chances of getting into USUHS?
No. Don't do that. No.

->I am looking into joining the navy, however people keep insisting air force is a better route, can someone explain the perks of being the air force vs navy vs army vs national guard etc?
Navy is best. Anyone who says otherwise is wrong.

Spend 5 or 10 hours reading the forum (not all at once) for a better answer.

-> For those of you who have been a military doctor, how was your experiences as one and would you say that it is a good career option?
It's worked out well for me. Mine is a minority experience on this forum.

-> Generally, what kind of residencies are available in the military, I know you are limited to the type of residencies but I was just wondering what type are usually available.
Generally, most residencies are available, though the tyranny of small numbers rears its ugly head, and year-to-year competitiveness is highly variable.
 
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OP
I
Jul 30, 2016
9
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Status
Pre-Medical
have you spent any time reading through the military forum here?
I have but it seems like a lot of posts regarding my questions are from a couple years ago I would like more updated answers to see if anything has changed in the military
 
OP
I
Jul 30, 2016
9
0
Status
Pre-Medical
Hello. You've got some reading to do ...



You list branch preference when you apply. If your first choice doesn't have room, you can waitlist it or accept another branch.

It's a 7 year commitment that doesn't count the time you spend in internship/residency training. It's a little more complicated than that, but that's the short version.




No. Don't do that. No.



Navy is best. Anyone who says otherwise is wrong.

Spend 5 or 10 hours reading the forum (not all at once) for a better answer.



It's worked out well for me. Mine is a minority experience on this forum.



Generally, most residencies are available, though the tyranny of small numbers rears its ugly head, and year-to-year competitiveness is highly variable.
did you go the usuhs route for military medicine?

and how is navy in your opinion the best branch?

Also thank you for answering my questions ^_^
 

bricktamland

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OP, there is an extremely simple solution to all your questions. In fact, there is only ONE question you need to ask yourself. It's a very easy question, in fact. Here it goes:

You said your "ulitmate goal is to become a doctor." If for some reason you were NOT allowed to become a doctor, would you still want to be a military officer?

If the question is YES, then go ahead and take a further look into USUHS or HPSP, etc. Take a dive into the rabbit hole. I still wouldn't recommend it though. I fell in 12 years ago, and I've been clamoring for a way out ever since.

If the question is NO, then stop immediately. Do not pass GO. Turn around and run. . . . .run far, far away. Do not believe the shiny brochures selling the idea of "traveling" and "seeing the world." I love traveling, I pictured myself touring awesome ports around the world. But I was hoodwinked. Truth is, I just get shipped from one dusty, hot crap-hole to the next, whether that dusty, hot crap-hole is in Iraq or the armpit of California.

You also mentioned job security. It's definitely a perk. Just like the slaves that built the White House who were all "well-fed."

I could go on and on, but there are already an exhaustive number of threads that detail the pros and cons (but mostly cons) of military medicine. Take some time and read up.
 

IlDestriero

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I have but it seems like a lot of posts regarding my questions are from a couple years ago I would like more updated answers to see if anything has changed in the military
That was actually funny.
The .mil doesn't change, it changes you.
Though I guess women can be seals and rangers or whatever now, I guess that's a change. Maybe you can do that if medicine doesn't work out.


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Il Destriero
 
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sonofva

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That was actually funny.
The .mil doesn't change, it changes you.
Though I guess women can be seals and rangers or whatever now, I guess that's a change. Maybe you can do that if medicine doesn't work out.


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Il Destriero
RAAAAAAAAAAAAANGERRRRS!!
 

sonofva

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I LOVE MY PT SHIRT!! BECAUSE IT SAYS ARMY!!!! A IS FOR ARMY!!! ARMY ARMY ARMY!!
 
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HighPriest

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As already stated these questions are answered in more detail in other threads. The information isn't outdated, as we answer these exact same questions literally every year, and the answers are more or less exactly the same from each individual poster. But, who has time to read, right? Not important for medical school. So here's your answers to all of the questions I'm qualified to answer (non-USUHS):

-> I am currently a college student [2 more years until I graduate] and I was wondering would it be better to join the military now to optimize my chances of getting into USUHS?

- No. For starters its not a good idea for anyone wanting to be a physician to join the military. Secondarily, once you join it's not your decision anymore whether or not you go to USUHS. Maybe they'll let you, maybe they won't. I know plenty of USUHS grads who had zero prior experience in the military.

->I am looking into joining the navy, however people keep insisting air force is a better route, can someone explain the perks of being the air force vs navy vs army vs national guard etc?

- Don't join the Army because the Army is organized like a rat's nest in a blender. The command climate right now (and for the last 5-6 years) has been absolutely horrendous. Most intra-service research suggests a mass exodus pending, and frankly that's what the Army wants. I couldn't possibly patch together enough time to explain why the Army is a bad choice. I'll leave the other services to their respective members.

-> For those of you who have been a military doctor, how was your experiences as one and would you say that it is a good career option?

- My experience has been mostly negative. It hasn't been a good career option, and I would never do it again. There was a time as a naïve resident where I had actually gone from wanting to get out to wanting to stay in, but after graduation I quickly realized how big of a mistake that would be. The Army (at least) does not want physicians. The Army wants officers who are able to practice general medicine if they're asked to do so, and if they are also able to perform the duties of a specialist, that's cool too - but there's no guarantee you'll get to do that. I feel like my residency training was quite good. The two duty stations I've seen were awful and slightly less awful, respectively. The command isn't interested in medical care, skill maintenance, patient care, or quality of care. They care about 3-4 arbitrary metrics at any given time, and those chance monthly and every time there's a command change. If you want to be an Army officer, you'll be ok. If you want to be a doctor, statistically you're very likely to be unhappy.

-> Generally, what kind of residencies are available in the military, I know you are limited to the type of residencies but I was just wondering what type are usually available.

- More or less anything. it just depends upon what hoops you need to jump through, and what the needs of your branch of service are (especially regarding fellowship training). If you're competitive, it's actually not unrealistic that you can get into whatever residency you want, but if you're set on something that requires fellowship training you may have to get in line for an unspecified period of time (years) in order to make that happen.
 

pointodr

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Jan 2, 2015
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Wow, great response.

Is anybody else able speak about the state of the other services ?

Thanks
 

bricktamland

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- My experience has been mostly negative. It hasn't been a good career option, and I would never do it again. There was a time as a naïve resident where I had actually gone from wanting to get out to wanting to stay in, but after graduation I quickly realized how big of a mistake that would be. The Army (at least) does not want physicians. The Army wants officers who are able to practice general medicine if they're asked to do so, and if they are also able to perform the duties of a specialist, that's cool too - but there's no guarantee you'll get to do that. I feel like my residency training was quite good. The two duty stations I've seen were awful and slightly less awful, respectively. The command isn't interested in medical care, skill maintenance, patient care, or quality of care. They care about 3-4 arbitrary metrics at any given time, and those chance monthly and every time there's a command change. If you want to be an Army officer, you'll be ok. If you want to be a doctor, statistically you're very likely to be unhappy.
Excellent summary. Nearly exactly the same in the Navy. The one difference being the Navy getting their pound of flesh as a GMO vs. the Army's Brigade Surgeon tour. I love how you pointed out how the command could care less about medical care, skill maintenance, etc, but focusing all their attention on 3-4 arbitrary metrics that constantly change, especially on the whim of whatever new CO blows through every 2 years. This is so true and such a joke.

I remember a few years ago my command was all spun up about population health metrics. I was getting constantly harassed by this one nurse they hired just to manage this population health program they started. In my area (radiology), she tasked me to to come up with ways to bring in patients who were delinquent on their mammos so we could achieve a desired percentage of patients with current mammos (i.e. metrics). We were basically already doing everything within reason to get these patients to come in. We'd call them, leave voice mails, send letters, send emails, put on breast cancer awareness events, etc. But some women just don't want to get mammos, and some people in general are just flat negligent with their health, and not everyone can even come to a consensus on the true benefits of mammos anyway. But there's only so much you can do within reason. You can educate patients but you can't force them to do things they don't want to do. But this nurse wouldn't leave it alone and every 2 weeks at these mandatory population health meetings I'd get dinged about our small subset of delinquent patients. It got so ridiculous I proposed buying a "Boob Bus" that would be a bus decorated to look like a giant boob on wheels that I would drive through town finding delinquent patients at their homes. I would stalk them, kidnap them and round them up onto my Boob Bus where I could haul them off to the hospital to get their mammos. The nurse didn't go for it. But then all of a sudden, the whole population health thing just fizzled away and no one cared about it any more. Either someone realized what a colossal waste of time it was, or they got what they needed to put on their fitness report.
 
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