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Marine Corps GMO tour

Discussion in 'Military Medicine' started by bobbyseal, Mar 24, 2004.

  1. bobbyseal

    bobbyseal Boat boy
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    Hi,

    Has anyone heard about the Marine Corps GMO tours?

    I'm leaning towards doing some kind of surg residency with the Navy, probably uro, ent, or gen surg. Not completely sure yet, but to some extent happy that I'll be given more time to figure it out by doing a Navy residency rather than having to decide as a 4th year.

    I am just curious since I'll likely be doing a GMO tour what people thought about the hardship tours with the Marines. For me, I thought that I could deal with one year out there and thus increase my active duty, non residency/training period only 1-2 years (1 GMO year + 4-5 year commitment after residency for a 4 year scholarship commitment).

    Any thoughts? Maybe Iwakuni might be able to shed some light on life for the Okinawa Marine GMO's while he was out in there doing FS.
     
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  3. Navy Dive Doc

    Navy Dive Doc Senior Member
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    I knew 3 General Surgery residents and 1 ENT resident who did 1 year hardship Marine Corps GMOs for precisely the reasons you state, shortest time before returning to residency. They all enjoyed their tours and all were picked up when they applied. I have heard these 1 years are going away, I think Iwakuni commented on this in other posts. I honestly don't know, but if they still exist they are viable options. You could email the GMO detailer and find out, go to the BUPERS website and follow the detailer link.
    I think one of the best parts of a GMO tour is the time, as you mentioned. It certainly allowed me to figure out what to do with my life, and Radiology was not even on the screen when I was a 3rd/4th year. There's too much pressure to decide early in med-school, without having a chance to see what's out there. Just my $.02
    DD
     
  4. HooahDOc

    Physician 15+ Year Member

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    What exactly is the "hardship" of the hardship tour? Stuck out in Craphole, Middle East?
     
  5. militarymd

    militarymd SDN Angel
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    Usually hardship means:

    1) unaccompanied - family stays at home

    2) geographically isolated

    3) undesirable duty...may or maynot be career enhancing

    4) possibly hazardous - but usually not
     
  6. bobbyseal

    bobbyseal Boat boy
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    We got an email recently regarding GMO tours and they said that they still had the 1 year hardship tour which was mostly located with the marines in Okinawa. Whether or not these will be offered still in two years when I'm up for my GMO application is another story, but it probably is the most appealing thing for me right now. One year and done with the whole GMO thing and back into residency.

    Actually, the sender of the message said that the hardship tour was looked favorable upon by the GME board. And it may be used as a tie breaker for people applying for the same residency. Maybe this is the one instance where one doesn't get doubly F'd by the military in both current job and future job.
     
  7. militarymd

    militarymd SDN Angel
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    Was the sender of this e-mail a recruiter? :laugh:
     
  8. Navy Dive Doc

    Navy Dive Doc Senior Member
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    The ONLY hardship GMO tours that I am aware of are the spots in Okinawa. There are hardship tours in the DMO and FS community, but ultimately you still do at least 3 years out because of the 2 year minimum following the training (and the 6 month training itself).
    One of the residents in my radiology class only did one year of a 2 year surface fleet GMO tour. Because it was local, so no PCS move cost, the residency wanted her and she got her CO to sign off on it, she's coming back after one year out. She's the only person I've ever known able to do this, but something to think about if you do internship in Portsmouth or San Diego where there are many GMO spots and residency positions. The residency would have to fight hard to get you, though, and it would be hard to get a good sense of this early in the year when you're negotiating GMO orders.
     
  9. Navy Dive Doc

    Navy Dive Doc Senior Member
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    Forgot to post...MilitaryMD, keep it coming, you never fail to get a laugh out of me. Nervous fear that I'm next or simple amazement at the bitterness, I'm not sure, but a good laugh none-the-less.
     
  10. HooahDOc

    Physician 15+ Year Member

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    I am not familiar with the geography, but Okinawa doesn't sound much like a hardship. Is it unaccompanied?
     
  11. r90t

    r90t Senior Member
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    Like Navy dive doc said, you are eligible for training after they move you, i.e. permanent change of station (PCS) after 2 years. There are ways around this like hardship tours (oki and Rosy Roads) or in my case, go to a billet that is disappearing after a pcs move within a 1 year. 1 gal is coming back from PR after a year to start her OB residency. A GMO 8 months out was an optho alternate while applying from Oki.

    Don't PCS, stay local and get you CO to sign off on your residency application, then you are eligible for training after 1 year. Another friend of mine is coming back to training for anesthesia, after completing a 1 year tour, which included an 8 month deployment.

    They have a very objective scale on which to rate applicants including, class rank, board scores (1-3), prior service, publications, awards, fitreps. The subjective portion isn't a big influence, however, when it is close, the doc that has been out for a while or deployed will likely get it over someone who has been sitting at a teaching facility for a year.

    The GMO tour is a great time. Some will argue that we are undertrained, however, you may be the best trained person within a 500 mile radius. It's time for a gut check for some people. It is also a good time to relax. My deployment to the Gulf this summer had some fun times, mixed in with the monotonous time at sea. Multiple port calls in Dubai, then Singapore. Deploying gives you a better appreciation for the work a sailor does while deployed, and the sacrifices that he makes while being gone.

    Sorry about the long post!
     
  12. militarymd

    militarymd SDN Angel
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    I've been training interns and residents for 10 years now....some coming back from GMOs and others after finishing medical school.

    It is not an argument.....at the PGY 0 and 1 point in your medical career....YOU ARE UNDERTRAINED.

    As for the most trained person in the area....personally I would prefer an experienced non-physician practitioner who has a radio to call a doctor than a GMO...that opinion is based on the literally hundreds of GMO's and residents that I have encountered/trained in my career. Maybe you are the exception?

    that's just my 2 cents
     
  13. bobbyseal

    bobbyseal Boat boy
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    Who's a PGY 0? Is that like a 4th year med student? lol.
     
  14. JA_Perez

    JA_Perez Member
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    Rosy Roads will no longer exist after May 2004. The Navy is closing down the base including the hospital. This is very bad because I was hoping to do my GMO tour in my beautiful Puerto Rico...

    JA Perez
     
  15. bobbyseal

    bobbyseal Boat boy
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    I heard the same thing about Roosevelt Roads. Too bad, I could have gone for a one year "hardship" tour in Puerto Rico. Looks like the navy is really getting out of there with the whole vieques fiasco.
     
  16. r90t

    r90t Senior Member
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    Again, the argument is would it be better to see an undertrained post-intern physician or likely inexperienced non-physician provider.

    A board certified IM/FP would be ideal in the perfect world for a GMO tour. I fully agree with that. It would be a waste of resources to have surgeons, fellowship trained physicians and other specialists to deploy as GMOs. If you don't have your board certified primary care physician, would you rather have a medic with 8 weeks of training, IDC after 1 year of training or a lowly GMO with 5 years of training? Our weakest GMOs are peds/surgical interns due to lack of primary care time in internship. An experienced PA would work, however, the navy doesn't let them operate independently. An IDC has more freedom than a PA.

    GMOs can still use a radio/internet, etc..to call with questions. I did that several times and will be the first one to admit that I consulted another physician when I wasn't sure of what to do with our limited supplies/diagnositc capabilities on hand. I also sent several pts to our carrier for further diagnostic capabilities and clinic support because they have greater resources. The danger is having a GMO who does not recognize his limitations and becomes a "cowboy" who will not consult out a patient.
     
  17. militarymd

    militarymd SDN Angel
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    otherwise, you're right.
     
  18. GMO_52

    GMO_52 Senior Member
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    And yet I know so much more than the IDC on this or any other platform. Lets be clear, in the Navy, the option for non-physician providers aren't PA's or NP's with 20 years of experience (they don't want these jobs either), they are IDC's who went to a 1 year school after HM "A" school. 8 months of that year is how to do the admin of the various shipboard programs I manage (without that training, mind you), the remainder is clinical. If you send board-certified primary care types out over and over again, they'll end up just as bitter as our local surgical attending. Then, they too will flee the service. There has to be a way to spread the burden around and the GMO system is that way.

    Back to the original, non-angry topic. The Okinawa tours were sought after during my intern year. They were divided between the various internship sites and then the intern director at each site selected who got to go (about 10 people wanted the 3-4 spots from Balboa).

    There is someone returning from the fleet after one year to start his residency in a couple of months. He spent the better part of that year deployed, however.
     
  19. r90t

    r90t Senior Member
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    Our detailer confirmed that Rosy Roads is gone. However, Yokosuka, Japan is a hardship tour.
     
  20. iwakuni_doc

    iwakuni_doc Emergency-a-Go-Go
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    Naval Hospital Yokosuka is the standard 2yr unaccompanied/3yr accompanied overseas tour. Now if he was talking about one of the shipboard GMO tour's - it might be a 1yr tour, but I seriously doubt it...I haven't known any of them leaving at one year since I've been over here. I'm going up to Yokosuka next week to teach ACLS & I'll inquire...
     
  21. Navy Dive Doc

    Navy Dive Doc Senior Member
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    Everyone I've known that went to Yokuska did the standard 2 year tour, and that includes people who went as GMOs on ships. Okinawa, certain Bahrain, and Diego Garcia ar the only tours that I know of right now that are 1 year unaccompanied hardship tours. Oh, Guantanamo Bay likely is also, but there are no GMO spots to my knowledge. Bahrain and DG are also DMO/FS respectively, so they won't get you back to residency any sooner than a standard GMO tour. An unlikely option for most, I wouldn't count on it. 2 years out of the rest of you life isn't really that much, personally I'd hunt early in the year for a good standard GMO tour and lock it in with the detailer.
    DD
     
  22. Spang

    Spang SDN Angel
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    What about Souda Bay?
     
  23. r90t

    r90t Senior Member
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    I guess I need to be specific next time and ask about 1 year hardship tours. My bad. Rob

    Puerto Rico is closed now. Most GMO will go to Ships or with the Marines. There are a couple billets at Yokosuka.
    -----Original Message-----

    Sent: Friday, March 26, 2004 9:21
    To: [email protected]
    Subject: GMO hardship tours


    Some HPSP students are asking where GMO hardship tours are located. Okinawa, Puerto Rico..any others? Thanks. Rob
     
  24. Navy Dive Doc

    Navy Dive Doc Senior Member
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    Souda Bay is gone.
     

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