military MDs...what's the longest you've been separated from your SOs??

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GMO2003

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One huge disadvantage with being a military physician is the inevitable and much dreaded separation from your spouse and family...I'm finishing up my current GMO tour and will be starting a civilian residency fairly soon...looking back I remember going a full 9 and half months before I was able to see my wife...it was pure agony...my only form of communication was by email and/or the occasional phone call..hearing her voice on the other end and not being albe to look into her eyes and hold her was torture...I'm not going to even begin to tell you how difficult the holidays were...I was just wondering if there were others out there that had similar experiences and how you made the best of it :thumbup:
 

usnavdoc

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GMO2003 said:
One huge disadvantage with being a military physician is the inevitable and much dreaded separation from your spouse and family...I'm finishing up my current GMO tour and will be starting a civilian residency fairly soon...looking back I remember going a full 9 and half months before I was able to see my wife...it was pure agony...my only form of communication was by email and/or the occasional phone call..hearing her voice on the other end and not being albe to look into her eyes and hold her was torture...I'm not going to even begin to tell you how difficult the holidays were...I was just wondering if there were others out there that had similar experiences and how you made the best of it :thumbup:
11 months then immediately into a rigorous 4 month work up then out again for 8 months. I was essentially gone for 23 months give or take...
 

militarymd

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got married in 1995.....lived together 1999....saw her intermittently in between.
 
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pgg

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GMO2003 said:
I was just wondering if there were others out there that had similar experiences and how you made the best of it :thumbup:
I started a GMO tour with the Marines in July of 2003.

Workups included 2-3 weeks at Ft AP Hill in VA in Oct 2003, a month at CAX at 29 Palms in Jan 2004 (freezing cold!), followed by 2 more weeks at the Mountain Warfare Training Center in Bridgeport, CA. During this time we were part of 4th MEB and deployed individual companies to Kabul and Djibouti, though neither I nor my fellow GMO with the battalion deployed then.

Deployed to Afghanistan from May-Dec 2004.

Came home, extended my GMO tour for another year because nothing I have ever done in my life has been as enjoyable and rewarding as working for the Marines.

Next set of workups included another trip to Ft AP Hill in April 2005, a month split between Stability/Security Ops training at March AFB and R-CAX at 29 Palms in June 2005 (boiling hot!).

Deployed to Iraq in late August 2005, due to go home in March or April ... at which time I plan to burn the ~100 days of leave I have on the books before heading to Portsmouth for anesthesia.


So ... by the time my 3 year GMO tour is done, I'll have spent about 17-18 months away from home. I'm married and have 3 kids (ages 8, 6, and 4) and of course it is hard on all of us.

I'm fortunate enough to have easy access to email and phones where I am. I talk to my family daily, and play Scrabble, Battleship, Sorry, and Monopoly online with my 8 year old son several times per week (via games.com). My 6 and 4 year olds miss me, but seem to be handling it better than my oldest.

Despite the family separation, there have been enormous up sides to deploying with the Marines.
  • The sense of mission and community is very big.
  • Huge reduction in administrative hassles while deployed. I haven't done a routine 5-year-physical or any med board paperwork in months. :)
  • There's nothing like the privilege and honor of taking care of a wounded Marine.
  • Points on my GME application.
Whatever I do for the rest of my life, I'll think I'll be forever comparing what I'm doing at the moment to my time with the Marines, wondering if the sense of community and purpose measure up to my GMO years.

I don't think there's any trick or tip anyone can give to make family separation easier, but for me at least, enjoying what I'm doing, recognizing the importance of my role supporting the infantry, and - above all - just being here for a wounded PFC or Lance Corporal are what get me through it.
 

iatrosB

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So my recruiter just told me that "maximum deployment time is 90 days" currently. Is that a bunch of crap or what?
 

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Thyroid Storm
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iatrosB said:
So my recruiter just told me that "maximum deployment time is 90 days" currently. Is that a bunch of crap or what?
That's beyond crap, it's frickin ludicrous. It just goes to show how many recruiters are quite sleazy.
 

GMO2003

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iatrosB said:
So my recruiter just told me that "maximum deployment time is 90 days" currently. Is that a bunch of crap or what?
Max deployment time? Well as of now the longest deployments for troops on the ground is 18 months or 540 days...however, plenty of guys got extended due to the needs of the military beyond that...once you get deployed your "tentaive" redeployment is always up in the air until ateast 30 days out...and even THEN the military can override redeployment orders if they need you to stay....it's just the nature of where we're at right now...things seem to be changing...slowly but surely
 

USAFdoc

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GMO2003 said:
Max deployment time? Well as of now the longest deployments for troops on the ground is 18 months or 540 days...however, plenty of guys got extended due to the needs of the military beyond that...once you get deployed your "tentaive" redeployment is always up in the air until ateast 30 days out...and even THEN the military can override redeployment orders if they need you to stay....it's just the nature of where we're at right now...things seem to be changing...slowly but surely


I believe at least part of the frustration with military med, and deployment time, is in part due to "false expectations" that the military gives prospectine soldiers and physicians alike.

There is a big difference between being told that you will be deployed for 6 months, and then getting extended at the last minute for another 3 months versus being told up front that the deploynent will be 9 months.

Likewise in military medicine; it advertises itself as "one of the best healthcare systems in the world, promises an environemnt with less paperwork hassells, letting doctors focus just on patient care, and in the past, had the reputation for a fairly good quality of life. When a doc "arrives" many realize how far from the truth the "real military medicine" can be at many places (perhaps not all).

Now of course, sometime life just happens and deployments need extending and sometimes practicing medicine can be chaotic. But it appears that the military frequently uses deception and stealth, against its very own that are there to serve, and many of those that serve could fix the "local" problems if just given an ounce of autonomy.
 

usnavdoc

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iatrosB said:
So my recruiter just told me that "maximum deployment time is 90 days" currently. Is that a bunch of crap or what?
yes its crap although some AF squadrons get deployed that "long" on a rotating basis.
 
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