paradude

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I've been accepted at USUHS. Could any current or former military ER docs comment on how similar/different a career in military EM is compared to practicing in the civilian world? I've spent 8 years enlisted AF so I'm not really looking for comments about making a transition to life in the military but I'm just interested in learning what my future practice will look like.

Thanks!
 

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One of our attendings is an Army reservist, and has been called up twice in the past 2 1/2 years. He did a tour in Iraq (where he was the doc for an EPW camp that had 12000 inmates in a site for 6000), and then, more recently, was at Bragg. As he summarized it, just like any other EM job, except the patients tend to be younger and healthier, and a lot of ortho and STD's.

And the UOD is as ordered by the CO - for him, it was scrubs or BDU's. No class B's and the white coat.
 

The White Coat Investor

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That's a very optimistic view of military EM. I hope it turns out that good when I get there next summer. From the one month rotation I did back as a medical student, there is significantly less acuity, significantly less pay, and significantly more bureaucratic headaches than in civilian practice. Combined with mandatory vacations to hot sandy places, it can't be beat. Ask me again in a year, hopefully it won't be as bad as I imagine.
 
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MoosePilot

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paradude said:
I've been accepted at USUHS. Could any current or former military ER docs comment on how similar/different a career in military EM is compared to practicing in the civilian world? I've spent 8 years enlisted AF so I'm not really looking for comments about making a transition to life in the military but I'm just interested in learning what my future practice will look like.

Thanks!
Congrats! Good question, thanks, I want to hear the answers too.
 

paradude

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anybody interested in responding to this? It was posted on the military interest thread in response to the same question posed by me in this interest group.



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I'm sure you've heard this before, but don't get too set on one specialty yet. As far as ER goes, there are some advantages to being a military ER doc versus civilian. In the civilian world, ER docs are getting hosed w/ malpractice and also end up doing primary care for the dredges of society. In the military, you don't have to deal with a bunch of IV drug abusing, painkiller seeking, system leeching scumbags. That said, you'll still be considered the biggest idiot in your hospital (military or civ).
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BKN

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In peacetime, I found Military EM dull. You're taking care of the healthiest population in the world. Since the care is free, they have no reason not to come in. I ran an AF ED. We saw 150 pts daily and admitted about 5. The rest were viral syndromes and other irritations. If we wanted to be too busy and bored at the same time, we would have picked FP. All of the docs in my group got out as soon as they could, some were very bitter.

In war, of course, it's a different story. There's excitement, stress and boredom. Most of the heatlhcare givers carry some scars.

All in all, unless you have a deep commitment to serving your country, I suggest considering alternatives.
 
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