Mumpu

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Hi all. I'm a 4th year med student going into internal medicine. My long-term career goal is hospitalist general internal medicine in an academic setting (I love teaching). I'm very intrigued by Air Force's FAP for two reasons (money is neither of them): 1) I want to serve the men and women who serve this country (thank you all!) and 2) aviation is a life-long love of mine (and thus flight surgery is tempting). I have no problem with the structured environment (I'm a former firefighter/EMT and have a T-H-I-C-K skin :)) and I understand that I will have no choice of where I am deployed after residency (tolerable for 4 years).

My concern is whether there is even an opportunity for me to practice anything resembling hospitalist medicine in the Air Force. I do not want to specialize and I'm worried that as a general internist I would be sent to a primary care clinic (clinic of any sort except heme/onc is a personal hell for me :eek: ). Also, what would be my prospects of flight surgery/aerospace medicine experience as a relatively short-term FAP person?

Any insight on this would be greatly appreciated!
D
 

mitchconnie

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My concern is whether there is even an opportunity for me to practice anything resembling hospitalist medicine in the Air Force.
I would say that the chance of being a hospitalist in the AF is near zero. The main problem is that there will soon be no medical centers large enough to support that kind of specialized practice. My last station was Wright-Patterson, a "major medical center," which had a grand total of one inpatient ward with about 20 beds for all med-surg. patients. Keesler, a formerly large hospital, was wiped out by the hurricane and is scheduled to be reorganized as a small community hospital. Wilford Hall may be large enough now, but is scheduled to be closed within the next few years by the BRAC.

I'm a surgeon, but my observation is that the general internists are almost totally utilized as outpatient primary care guys. They covered the handful of inpatients on a rotating basis.

I'm sure that your recruiter will try to give you a different spin, but I think it's a safe bet that you'll have 3-4 years of nothing but clinic if you join the AF.
 
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Mumpu

Mumpu

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My recruiter very much hesitated when I brought this up, and I was suspecting as much from reading other posts on this forum. Thank you for your input!
 

USAFdoc

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Mumpu said:
My recruiter very much hesitated when I brought this up, and I was suspecting as much from reading other posts on this forum. Thank you for your input!

and let your friends know about this forum; the best decision is an informed decision.
 

island doc

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mitchconnie said:
I would say that the chance of being a hospitalist in the AF is near zero. The main problem is that there will soon be no medical centers large enough to support that kind of specialized practice. My last station was Wright-Patterson, a "major medical center," which had a grand total of one inpatient ward with about 20 beds for all med-surg. patients. Keesler, a formerly large hospital, was wiped out by the hurricane and is scheduled to be reorganized as a small community hospital. Wilford Hall may be large enough now, but is scheduled to be closed within the next few years by the BRAC.

I'm a surgeon, but my observation is that the general internists are almost totally utilized as outpatient primary care guys. They covered the handful of inpatients on a rotating basis.

I'm sure that your recruiter will try to give you a different spin, but I think it's a safe bet that you'll have 3-4 years of nothing but clinic if you join the AF.
It's sad to hear about Wright-Patt. As a medical student I scrubbed on a craniotomy (GBM) there. They were performing open heart surgery (CABG's) there. Major general surgical procedures (Whipples, etc), not too forget the Ortho, Plastics, and ENT cases as well. The SICU was an active place. Sounds like the place is only a mere shadow of what it once was. Sounds like the whole USAF medical infrastructure and capability is being taken apart piece by piece.
 

AFSmiley

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What "major medical centers" are going to be left in the AF after all this??
 

MoosePilot

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Mumpu said:
My concern is whether there is even an opportunity for me to practice anything resembling hospitalist medicine in the Air Force. I do not want to specialize and I'm worried that as a general internist I would be sent to a primary care clinic (clinic of any sort except heme/onc is a personal hell for me :eek: ). Also, what would be my prospects of flight surgery/aerospace medicine experience as a relatively short-term FAP person?

Any insight on this would be greatly appreciated!
D
Air Force flight surgeon = primary care outpatient clinic for pilots and their families. Also serves those with specialized quals (air traffic controllers and parachuters), makes sure that the food service places are following food service rules, and flies once a month or so, depending on the base. Doesn't sound like something you'd really be interested in.
 

deegs

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JMPeffer said:
What "major medical centers" are going to be left in the AF after all this??
none. but BAMC and NCA will be/are "joint programs." seems to be the general direction of military medicine. not much point in maintaining the distinctions among the medical centers, a patient's blood is the same whether they are soldier, sailor, or airman (the marines are a different story... :laugh: )
 
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Mumpu

Mumpu

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Thanks Moose! I guess they don't fly Voodoos anymore either.
 

MoosePilot

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Mumpu said:
Thanks Moose! I guess they don't fly Voodoos anymore either.
No :laugh: The F-22 is coming online. I just read an article about F-22s and F-15s fighting a simulated agressor force of F-16s. That's too cool!