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Military Medicine (USUHS)

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by Raja, Feb 10, 2002.

  1. Raja

    Raja Member
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    I have an interview at USUHS on the 14th and I was curious as to how the lifestyle and medicine differ from the civilian aspect. I checked the USUHS url and other webpages but was unable to find anything of substance.

    Any help is appreciated.
     
  2. Mr. Furious

    Mr. Furious Member
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    Well I'm glad to see you've dropped "Blue" from your name. After all your uniform doesn't have any blue on it! I see some green, there's a little flowery thing going on there, but anything BUT blue, that doesn't make any sense.

    BTW, why spoons and forks? Can't you just throw a knife every now and then?

    Mr. :mad:
     
  3. barb

    barb Senior Member
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    Raja,
    I interviewed at USUHS last week and I think that the lifestyle as a military physician will be dramatically different from that of a civilian one, but whether you will find that to be a good thing or a bad thing will be up to you. This is what I gathered from my day there:

    1. financially, you will be much better off than most other med students and as a resident. However, once you complete your residency, you will probably be making much less than your civilian counterparts.
    2. During the third and fourth years, you do your rotations at different military hospitals. These hospitals range from DC to Hawaii, and everywhere in between so you will probably be moving around quite a bit.
    3. Life as a military physician means moving wherever Uncle Sam needs you. They can tell you Friday that you have to be in Afghanistan Monday and you have to leave your family and go for however long they need you there. But on the flipside, in the military you will get exposed to a lot of things that civilian doctors would not get to see.

    I personally thought it was a great school and I would love to go there, but I can definitely see that it is not for everyone. Hope this helps!
     
  4. johnM

    johnM Senior Member
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    Raja, there has been a lot of discussion on SDN about military medicine and if you do a search for USUHS or HPSP, you will find a lot of interesting threads. I am by no means an expert, but I have tried to gather a lot of information on the topic since I am planning on going to USUHS next fall.

    Concerning lifestyle, it seems that the biggest differences during school are the fact that you are being paid, you wear the uniform to class, you give summers doing some sort of "military experience," and then, as Barb pointed out, you must do a military residency. This can be good or bad, depending on what you want. It seems that you will have fewer choices in where you go for your residency, but it also seems like the military docs do pretty well in their matches. Also, you get paid more in a military residency than civilian. Personally, I am interested in opthamology, so if I were to do an Amry residency, my choices are limited to three locations: Walter Reed in DC, Tacoma, WA, and Texas. This is just something that may be important to you later on.

    After residency, I think that it is hard for any of us to say what it will be like. Generally, the people on SDN are not military physicians, so I would suggest that you try to find someone who has actually done it and get their view of what life is like. I'm looking at it as an adventure, where I will be able to request places where I would like to be stationed, and then ultimately go where I am told. This does not bother me, but it would bother some people. There are military installations all over the world, and I think that I would love being in another country for a couple of years, at Tripler in Honolulu for a couple of years... but if you really have your mind set on living in one particular place, then this lifestyle would probably be unbearable.

    In any case, good luck at your interview!
    -john
     
  5. dukeblue01

    dukeblue01 Senior Member
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    Raja, I interviewed at USUHS in October and was accepted in November. I agree with all that has been posted, but just wanted to add that though you will not be in total control of where you move to, you will not be sent anywhere while you train. During med school and residency you will stay put, not being sent to an active duty post until you are a fully trained physician. One exception to this is a GMO tour, where you are the general medical officer for a company of soldiers. Also, as the son of a career military officer, you do have some control over where you go and can ask for specific places from your detail officer. good luck.
     
  6. johnM

    johnM Senior Member
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    dukeblue01: I'm a little confused about the GMO tour. I understand that this generally only happens to people in the Navy so maybe it doesn't apply to me, but does it count toward the 7 year commitment? I really don't see the point of it, I mean, wouldn't the Navy rather use your commitment toward time when you are fully specialized and ready to go?

    BTW, are you planning on going to USUHS??
     
  7. dukeblue01

    dukeblue01 Senior Member
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    johnM, As I understand it, you are absolutely right that the Navy utilizes it heavily while the other services do not.
    I have been accepted Air Force, so I have not researched this much, but here is what I know. A GMO tour uses a physician to be the chief medical officer in a less than desireable site to run a clinic and take care of health issues related to keeping soldiers healthy in the field. It is nice in the sense that you get to be in charge of a unit of health care. It is bad, because usually your work and living conditions are not great. I am not positive on this stuff, just what I have heard.

    I am considering USUHS, but I have been accepted to other schools (two state schools) and I am waiting on two others (top choices) to give me their decision post-interview. I am still deciding, but feel privileged to have these choices. I have already withdrawn (declined acceptance) from one of the the state schools in order to open a space for someone else. Still considering USUHS. :)
     
  8. tman

    tman Senior Member
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    "
     
  9. dukeblue01

    dukeblue01 Senior Member
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    Tman, Thank you very much for the accurate information, as I think it will help many of us make an informed decision for the future. Good luck with neuro!
     
  10. johnM

    johnM Senior Member
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    tman, thanks a lot. that was very helpful.
    I do have one other random question, which I don't know if anyone can answer, but I might as well ask while we are talking about USU. I was reading somewhere about the physical (mine is in two weeks) and it said that having any sort of corrective surgery on ones eyes (i.e. LASIK) is a disqualifying condition. Does this mean that I could never get this done? I don't want to whine, but I hate my contacts and I promised myself to get this fixed as soon as I can save up the cash... :)
     
  11. HPSP

    HPSP Member
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    johnm,
    RK, Radial Keretotomy (sp/) is a disqualifying surgery.
    PRK (unsure of the difference) and LASIK are not particularly disqualifying. The surgery records, any complications, and the results are reviewed by the physician giving the physical so problems or mistakes would be the only reason for disqualification. I believe they do LASIK at Walter Reed.
     
  12. johnM

    johnM Senior Member
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    Thanks HPSP, so if I wanted to get LASIK done, should I do it in the next couple of months before starting at USUHS? Would I need to then report it to somebody, or would I be better off waiting until next year after I have already started? Do you know anything about how the benefits work, like would anything be covered for me to get it done at Walter Reed after being commisioned?
     
  13. edmadison

    edmadison 1K Member
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    You forgot to mention two things:

    1) that in most cases, GMO tours will end up not counting toward your payback. This is because you incur additional payback time in residency.

    2) there is a chance that you will not get to specialize in the specialty of your choice. This is because you must place 5 choices on you residency application. If the field you are choosing has fewer than 5 programs, you must put something else, and you could get selected for that.

    Ed
     
  14. tman

    tman Senior Member
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    </font><blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">quote:</font><hr /><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Originally posted by edmadison:
    <strong>You forgot to mention two things:

    1) that in most cases, GMO tours will end up not counting toward your payback. This is because you incur additional payback time in residency.

    2) there is a chance that you will not get to specialize in the specialty of your choice. This is because you must place 5 choices on you residency application. If the field you are choosing has fewer than 5 programs, you must put something else, and you could get selected for that.

    Ed</strong></font><hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Ed,
    1. I'm not sure where you got your info, perhaps what you are refering to is correct with the HPSP but definitely not the case with USUHS. The time spent as a GMO for a USUHS grad does count toward your payback. The only way you incur additional payback time for residency is if your residency time excedes your obligation. Since a typical GMO tour is 24 months long and the longest residency I can think of with the exception of neuro surgery (~7 yrs) is 5 years this shouldn't be a factor...unless you want to be a brain surgeon.

    2. Of course there is a "chance" you might not get the specialty of your choice. I didn't say that doing a GMO tour makes you a shoe in for the specialty of your choice...it just increases your chances....considerably. As far as the 5 choices thing...if you are fresh out of med school and you want to specialize in a specialty with only a couple training sites, you could always put the remaining choices as a transitional year or do a single internship year and then do a GMO tour. If you still don't match in that specialty after doing a GMO tour then there probably isn't much chance that you ever will...so you better go with plan B at that point. At any rate you are not obligated to do a residency in anything....you'd be shooting yourself in the foot if you opted not to but they can't force you to do a residency.
     
  15. HPSP

    HPSP Member
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    johnm,
    I would definetly advise you to direct that question to the school. They sometimes have different policies regarding qualifications.
    As for having the surgery done at Walter Reed, I have wondered about that myself, I dont need correction (20/15) but was curious as to who and how one would get in since there is only one location. I do know it would be covered as a benitfit but dont know how long the waiting list for the proceedure is.
     

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