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Life as a Navy GMO

Discussion in 'Military Medicine' started by stoic, Apr 26, 2004.

  1. stoic

    stoic "Time you enjoy wasting, was not wasted"
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    I've searched SDN and the rest of the 'net to answer this question, but haven't had much luck.

    -What are the daily duties of a GMO assigned to serve on an "average" ship?
    -What kind of diagnostic capbilites would they have access to (EKG, labs, imaging, etc)
    -What are they living conditions of a naval GMO? (are they similar to other officers? enlisted men?)
    -What sort of relationship (both working and otherwise) does the GMO have with the other officers on the ship? What about with the enlisted men?
    -What sort of "pharmacy" would be available.
    -What types of conditions would be treated on ship? What kinds of conditions would be evacuated? What would be expected of the GMO in a situation where a needed evactuation could not be provided? EG Acute appy out of transfer range? Would the GMO remove it or treat with abx?

    Thanks!
    Dave
     
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  3. r90t

    r90t Senior Member
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    -What are the daily duties of a GMO assigned to serve on an "average" ship?
    Daily duties include sick call for the acute illness/injury, physicals, preventive medicine, training, admin meetings.

    -What kind of diagnostic capbilites would they have access to (EKG, labs, imaging, etc) I have basic xray, EKG, basic labs with the ability to run some chemistry.

    -What are they living conditions of a naval GMO? (are they similar to other officers? enlisted men?) One man stateroom for myself with a shared bathroom (head).

    -What sort of relationship (both working and otherwise) does the GMO have with the other officers on the ship? I don't see the other GMOs very often on a social level. We do have a quarterly meeting to discuss what can be done better to support our deployed physicians. What about with the enlisted men? Normal officer to enlisted relationships, but they will come to you with personal problems seeking advice.

    -What sort of "pharmacy" would be available. Navy ships have certain drugs they have to maintain, but you can tailor yours to have other meds.

    -What types of conditions would be treated on ship? You will treat anything that walks in your doors. Look at is as a doc in the box. Some stuff will have to be medevac'ed out to other ships/shore for further treatment.

    What kinds of conditions would be evacuated? I evacuated a couple of iritis cases, a ruptured ovarian cyst with complications, T7 fracture, acute chest pain w/ an individual already having 3 stents by age 40.

    What would be expected of the GMO in a situation where a needed evactuation could not be provided? Do your best. You are not a surgeon and your chain of command knows this. Your job is to stabilize and get them to the facility that can do the needed intervention.

    EG Acute appy out of transfer range? Would the GMO remove it or treat with abx? Treat with antibiotics. I don't know many interns that would be comfortable in removing an appy in battle dressing station, not OR, without the proper surgical equipment.

    This is my experiences. I'm sure that other GMOs have a slightly different perspective on their tour/ship.
     
  4. stoic

    stoic "Time you enjoy wasting, was not wasted"
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    Just out of curiosity, how many sailors on your ship?

    Thanks,
    Dave
     
  5. r90t

    r90t Senior Member
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    While deployed with the helicopter detachment, we were sitting at 525. Approx 70 women in the crew.
     
  6. stoic

    stoic "Time you enjoy wasting, was not wasted"
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    Thanks for the response.

    You deserve Karma, but I'm fresh out. I'll hit you when I get some more.

    Dave
     
  7. Navy Dive Doc

    Navy Dive Doc Senior Member
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    My heart goes out to you r90t...Guys with multiple stents on board! I'm glad I went to the submarine side of the world, we probably disqualified that guy from continued sub duty when he first had chest pain, and turfed him to the surface fleet. Same with anyone capable of getting an ovarian cyst.
    MEDEVACS are even harder on submarines, I once had to hold a guy out for 3 days on antibiotics for an appy. Had to get somewhere near a port, then had to wait for the weather to clear enough to be able to surface and get him off. He did fine. Once had to restrain a guy in his rack on Valium after he flipped out from claustrophobia (first time underway, just after diving). It is a little disconcerting to hear the hull creak at depth, and watch the panels gently overlap each other. The bottom line, the CAPT and crew know that what they do involves a certain amount of risk, and medical care is only what is right there. It's the nature of the job.

    Of course, I envy your giant suite. When I was underway I was put in the "9 man berthing", which was about the size of a small suburban home bathroom and contained 9 racks. The mattress was the same width as my shoulders (I'm not a big guy), and with my head on the mattress, there were 10 centimeters from my nose to the overhead (OB still comes in handy for something, even with an all male crew.) Things are a little tight on the fast-attack subs. Chow is great, though, and there are always first run movies on board.
     
  8. r90t

    r90t Senior Member
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    May I add, e-mail, fresh air and lots of good liberty ports, even during Iraqi Freedom.

    I've had a few submariners turfed to my ship for a variety of reasons. It is a very interesting place.
     
  9. GMO_52

    GMO_52 Senior Member
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    Stents. Not bad. But the real fun is when you get the random unscreened riders from, say, Leaders to Sea or whatever. There's nothing like watching a dude climb down the pilot's ladder after telling you all about the AICD he had placed a couple of weeks prior.
    r90t are you still here in SD?
     
  10. HooahDOc

    Physician 15+ Year Member

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    So everyone knows I'm interested in Navy and AF (assuming I get in). Are there a lot of non-ship GMO billets for married men? As usual I personally don't mind ship duty, but the wifey does :D

    I have a feeling if I did navy I would be doing FS for awhile. Would this increase or decrease my chances of being stuck on a ship?
     
  11. r90t

    r90t Senior Member
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    Up in Bremerton, WA right now. Just got back from Napa. Gotta love funded TAD for conferences.
     
  12. r90t

    r90t Senior Member
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    Post-internship GMOs, unless female, go to either ships/marines(ground)/a couple of spots with the seabees and a couple of ER billets overseas.

    Flight surgeons deploy on ships if they are based with a carrier or amphibious based aircraft, when the battle group deploys. That would be the whole 6-8 months, however you miss the predeployment shipboard workups. They are also deployed with the ground based units when the entire squadron goes, vs squadrons that send detachments and the FS stays home.

    I'm married and I deployed to the Gulf about a week after internship. Wife and kids weren't too happy with that, as I left them in a hotel at the new duty station. It is part of the lifestyle. Non-military spouses either are very strong and do fine, or not so strong, and have lots of problems with the lifestyle.
     
  13. equestrian_doc

    equestrian_doc Junior Member
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    You said except females... where would a female be most likely to do her GMO year? Not on a ship or sub? How many do not have to be on a ship for a year (which is what I would prefer :) )
     
  14. r90t

    r90t Senior Member
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    Females can go to ships, however, I have seen a preference of 1st tour female GMO's to branch clinics, Marine Air Wings and other unlikely to deploy billets. My detailer flat out told me that there were no GMO ashore billets available when I inquired, then at a TAD I ran into a peds intern that pulled a branch clinic for her first tour and her classmate (female) was also going there. The pattern IMO is to fill all deployable billets with male post-interns, then female docs, remaining non-deployable billets go to the female docs without orders. Sitting here typing I can think of 5 female GMOs that went to clinics and no males. With the marines, they deploy, but are often assigned to hq or the stay behind contingent of marines. This is the needs of the navy, so take whatever you get with stride. On the flip side, my immediate ship deployment may have helped get the residency slot that I wanted.

    Ships are available to our sisters in blue, as are DMO/FS billets. I had a couple of classmates specifically request a ship and they were given the position. These guys/gals in the FS/DMO use a different detailer than GMOs, as they are "specialists." You can go to dive lockers/squadrons/submarine squadron jobs. Cushy shore duty.
     
  15. Navy Dive Doc

    Navy Dive Doc Senior Member
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    I personally saw many fellow female interns go to ships or the USMC billets. Those who received clinic billets as first GMO tours were, quite honestly, people who needed to be supervised so they wouldn't kill anyone. I think that is why those billets are never advertised widely, because the internship directors save them for the ****bags. Competence gets rewarded with deployments and independent duty.

    There were a couple of ships that specified female fills for their GMO spots, mostly because these ships were practically floating GYN clinics and the GMO wouldn't need a standby (or at least a female standby).

    As a FS, you will deploy with your Squadron. I'll let you in on a little secret...DMO's rarely deploy. While I rode submarines and do field ops with EOD, I've probably only spent about 90 days away from home in 3 years, most of that in 1 week or less blocks. No FS or GMO can claim that record. The only deploying units who take their DMOs with them are the USMC Force Recon jobs and a couple of EOD mobile units (not mine).

    There are female DMOs, but they will not be stationed at Submarine Squadrons or SPECWAR (SEAL) units. The subs simply have too hard a time accomodating a female rider, so a squadron doc couldn't ride as needed. SEALS deploy a lot on subs and forward regions and take their docs with them from time to time. Small unit infantry/combat jobs so females are inelligible. Women can still go to EOD and Diving commands, and all of the other DMO billets.
     
  16. r90t

    r90t Senior Member
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    SUBDEVGRU 5??? (the research one in San Diego, not CSS3/CSS11) had a female DMO from 93-95. They did accomodate her on underways, uh, by kicking the XO out of his stateroom. Haven't heard of any other ones.

    The gals that we had go to what were thought to be cushy shore billets in San Diego. Ooops, deployed with 1st Mar Div. The word was, you will never deploy unless the whole division goes. All of my fs friend who went to MCAS Miramar deployed immediately upon finishing their training. The really bad interns, i.e. dangerous/couldn't pass boards, got stuck at the hospital post internship to study. They wouldn't even let them out into the clinics.
    You forget the two big ones for becoming a DMO, other than the cool stuff you get to do. SUB PAY and DIVE PAY that you can collect! GMO, no extra cash and we smell like hydraulic fluid all the time.
    Dive Doc. I must be crazy. I just volunteered for a 2nd ship for a couple of months!
     
  17. Navy Dive Doc

    Navy Dive Doc Senior Member
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    Dive Pay - $240/month
    Sub Pay - $355/month
    Hyperbaric Chamber Pay - $150/month
    Jump Pay - $150/month (if you can convince your command to send you to Airborne training)

    Sub pay is only at the Submarine Squadrons, and believe me, you earn that money. I took a $355/month pay cut to come to EOD, worth every penny. Budget cuts also canned my Jump school, so no jump pay.

    All in all, not having the life of the shipboard GMO...priceless. :D
     
  18. rose13

    rose13 Member
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    Could someone please explain exactly elaborate on how one becomes a GMO? Is being a GMO a good thing or a bad thing? Who decides on GMO status, the physician, or the Navy?

    Thanks! :)
     
  19. militarymd

    militarymd SDN Angel
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    You become A GMO if you don't get selected to go into residency. Good or bad....that depends on whether you want to be a GMO or not.

    The military decides on GMO status. It really isn't up to you...but, if you wish to be a GMO, the military usually will oblige.
     
  20. r90t

    r90t Senior Member
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    A navy GMO tour is almost always mandatory if you are going into a competative residency. Rads had 80+ applicants this past year. Odds of getting picked up as an intern are nil. Do a GMO tour(s) and chances go up dramatically for getting selected.

    FP/IM/OB/Peds/Psych/Anesthesia all had people from my intern class go straight into after PGY1.

    If you want a GMO, you will definitely get it. Flight/Dive are training that you have to apply for.
     
  21. rose13

    rose13 Member
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    Thanks militarymd and rt90!

    Three more questions:

    1. If one does not get a residency, how long is the GMO? (Does one keep doing the GMO until getting a residency, or does one automatically get one's choice residency after doing some required(?) amount of time for the GMO?)

    2. Does the time in as a GMO counts towards residency training, or does residency training have to begin from scratch?

    3. If one never does a residency (just does GMO), upon getting out of the military, does one still have to complete a residency to get fully licensed? (I'm assuming that one plans to practice in the exact same capacity that one did as a GMO and that the GMO's duties are similar to those of a general practitioner; are these correct assumptions?)

    Thanks again! :)
     
  22. chillin

    chillin Member
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    What's more competitive to get into Dive medicine or Flight surgery? Roughly, how many applicants/slot are available each year for each specialty. Thanks
     
  23. Thousandth

    Thousandth Ride This!
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    DMO is more competative due to the low number of slots, there are only 20 per year. Flight Surgery less competative due to the large number of billets, though I am not sure on the exact class size per year.
     
  24. r90t

    r90t Senior Member
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    1. GMO can be as short as 1 year, as long as you don't leave the area that you did your training. Ex. A intern friend in San Diego went to a ship in San Diego. He CO endorsed his residency application, was accepted and will start his PGY2 year 12 months after finishing residency.
    2. No, time as a GMO doesn't count for anything, except R&R.
    3. you are fully licensed as a physician as a GMO and can moonlight. However, certain states will not grant a full medical license until after PGY2, thus you cannot get licensed through these states.
     
  25. Navy Dive Doc

    Navy Dive Doc Senior Member
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    DMO training is harder to get, 20 spots per year with generally 40-50 applicants. FS has 75 spots/year or so and most folks will get a FS spot most years. You can apply for both, though you must list a preference and will likely not be selected for both.
     
  26. MoosePilot

    MoosePilot Y Bombardier
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    GMO stands for General Medical Officer, right?

    Chris
     
  27. Mirror Form

    Mirror Form Thyroid Storm
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    that is correct
     
  28. Teufelhunden

    Teufelhunden 1K Member
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    What are the key factors in determining competitiveness for DMO training?

    Will my proior service help? (6 yrs enlisted as combat engineer in USMC)

    Is doing a DMO rotation as a med student a must? If so, which place gives you best exposure?

    Upon completiong of DMO billet and entering Navy match...does your DMO time give you any sort of "edge" over those who did shipboard or clinic GMO billets? Is there a long-term career advantage in having been a DMO versus a run-of-the-mill GMO?

    Sorry for all the questions. Again, all your help and info is greatly appreciated. Thanks.
     
  29. bb622

    bb622 Junior Member
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    I have found the link for info on med student rotations for flight. Is there info on med student rotations for dive anywhere on the web?
     
  30. r90t

    r90t Senior Member
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    This is the info that I got from my specialty advisor when I was applying to residency on how to make myself more competative...

    What are the key factors in determining competitiveness for DMO training?

    You apply through the navy GME. Board scores, personal awards, GPA/Class rank all apply. Also, publications will break you out from your peers.

    Will my proir service help? (6 yrs enlisted as combat engineer in USMC)

    Yes. Your previous awards add points to your overall score. Also, as a prior marine, you should kick butt when it comes to military bearing. This will be recognized by your intern advisor, who in turn, may be writing a letter of recommendation for you.

    Is doing a DMO rotation as a med student a must? If so, which place gives you best exposure?
    No.

    Upon completiong of DMO billet and entering Navy match...does your DMO time give you any sort of "edge" over those who did shipboard or clinic GMO billets? Is there a long-term career advantage in having been a DMO versus a run-of-the-mill GMO?
    Navy GME runs on objective points. The worksheet that I saw did not give points for DMO/FS/GMO, however, operational time/fitreps should help if you get good marks. A DMO with a 3.0 fitrep will be graded objectively less than a GMO (clinic) with a 4.2 overall average. Specialty leaders are encouraged to take it into account if someone is a great candidate and has been in the fleet for several tours, compared to a person with less than 1 tour in.

    Sorry for all the questions. Again, all your help and info is greatly appreciated. Thanks.[/QUOTE]
     
  31. gmonavydoc

    gmonavydoc Member
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    agree with r90t's assessment of female GMO preference. Here in Norfolk all the men got Marines and Ships and deployed 6-9 months (not including weeks and weeks of work-ups away from family) while the females all got the clinics. Pregnancy concerns is what dictates this written or unwritten r90t is right..we get hosed since we don't have a uterus.
     

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