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Military service, then USUHS?

Discussion in 'Military Medicine' started by flynnt, Dec 9, 2005.

  1. Dr. Wexler

    Dr. Wexler Member
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    Hi,

    I want to be a physician, but I also have a desire to be in the military. I'm currently considering joining the service (not as a doctor). I'm considering the Navy and Marines. My question: would it make sense to consider that the Navy has doctors and the Marines do not when weighing my options(navy vs. marines)?

    My thinking being: Hey maybe once I'm in the military I would want to stay in and become a Navy doctor. Then maybe already being in the Navy could help me get into USUHS. I don't think the USMC would be as helpful in this regard since they would be 'losing' me to another service.

    I wouldn't be joining the service counting on it working out this way. I'm just trying to figure out whether I should think about this kind of situation now or just make my decision about joining one branch over the other based on the "here and now" and push the med school thing out of my mind for the purposes of this decision.
     
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  3. usnavdoc

    usnavdoc Senior Member
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    I would say push this out of your mind when making this decision..Join for whatever personal reason you have but if you are set on becoming a MD then this may not be in your best interest to enlist.

    That being said.....Your post is kinda scattered. No one can give you advice if you dont give them more of your situation. Are you just out of high school? If so why are you not going to college? Are you wanting to enlist for other reasons than to bolster your credentials for med school. Because that is a rather poor reason to enlist. Why are you already set on USUHS rather than a civilian medical school? Do you have poor college grades and want to use the military to bolster your credentials to get into USUHS?

    OR

    Do you have a Degree already and are contemplating the military as an officer?(very different than enlisting)

    The whole thing about the military is scattered as well. There are plenty of ex Marines who found their way into USUHS or any number of other civilian medical schools. The branch of service you join will have no impact on this at all. If you enlist then you will serve your committment and get out prior to commencing with med school. So the Marines loosing you to the Navy is a mute point. BTW the Marines are part of the Navy so its not such a big transition. Tons of former marines are now navy doctors and chaplains

    If you can answer some of these questions and give us a more than generic answers then im sure someone would guide you a bit....
     
  4. cdreed

    cdreed Senior Member
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    Not entirely true. I enlisted for 4 years. I applied for med school (USUHS) and the HPSP for civilian programs after two years of my commitment. I was accepted to school and matriculated with about a year and a half of my original contract left. I'm now in my third year of med school and as happy as can be. I would have applied earlier, but I had a new addition to my family and decided to wait a year.
     
  5. usnavdoc

    usnavdoc Senior Member
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    While I never went this way Im sure it is True there are ways out of your enlistment to commence medical school. You must have had most of your college done prior to enlisting if you were able to get accepted to medical school after only two years in the service. That being said if you are straight out of HS the likelyhood of completing your Bachelors degree while in the service in your first enlistment is next to zero. Especially with the deployment schedules being what they are now.
     
  6. DropkickMurphy

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    Spend a couple of years in the service (especially the enlisted medical specialties) and you will quickly find yourself eliminating USUHS from your list of medical schools you wish to attend. Take it from a former service member who had once planned to be a military doc.
     
  7. deuist

    deuist Stealthfully Sarcastic
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    What happened?
     
  8. DropkickMurphy

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    I saw how the military (specifically the Army and the Air Force) treats it doctors, not to mention its people in general. I'm sorry but I value being treated like an intelligent person, with concern being given to my ability to treat my patients as I see fit and not as some paperpusher (sometimes even a nurse) decides. Basically the military has a hard time recruiting and retaining physicians (and retaining those allied health personnel they train) for a very good set of reasons.
     
  9. paradude

    paradude Junior Member
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    I absolutely disagree. I've spent 8+ years enlisted AF and now am transitioning to a career in medicine via USUHS. Sure, there were good and bad things about the military but my time spent serving was overwhelmingly positive and I'm very excited about becoming a military doc. I'm choosing USUHS over an excellent civilian school for a variety of reasons and one is that I met a number of inspiring military physicians.
     
  10. cdreed

    cdreed Senior Member
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    I, too, was an enlisted AF 4N0 (medic) while on AD. My top choice was USUHS. Unfortunately, I interviewed in December and was subsequently waitlisted due to lack of available AF slots. I ended up picking a civilian program because I was told I had a definite time limit after being notified of my acceptance into the HPSP. I chose the sure thing because I wasn't convinced that I'd get the USUHS slot by the end of the admissions cycle.

    I agree that AF medicine has its faults. I hope to try to better the situation instead of complaining. And if I'm not successful in changing the negatives, then I will graciously serve my commitment and separate when that time comes.
     
  11. DropkickMurphy

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    Good luck with trying to better the situation- that would require you to have stars on your shoulder boards and frankly I don't imagine that's the case. I stand by my assessment that military medicine is too flawed to bother with and should be left to those who have so little concern for their own wellbeing as to be oblivious to the dire straits it is in.
     
  12. Mirror Form

    Mirror Form Thyroid Storm
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    It's possible to better the situation, although it's not easy. As an example, I'm currently doing an elective at a military hospital on a specialty service that only has one (and only needs one) attending. The attending recently started at his assignment, and found the place in shambles when he came in. He's written tons of letters, made connections, schmoozed, and done everything he can to improve the department. The results are starting to show up, and they're finally getting modern equipment, better trained staff, etc.

    However, technically the assignment is supposed to have 2 doctors of his given specialty (even though there is absolutely no demand), so the brass decided to get another attending there. They found an attending who used to be a military doctor, went civilian, and was so bad that he couldn't get a decent job (and in this particular specialty, that's saying something!). He demanded that if he came back he would get be chief of that particular department. So, he'll now be the new chief of the service. Meanwhile, the attending who's actually been improving things will almost definitely be deployed to Iraq (it's common knowledge that if another attending comes to that post, one of the two will get deployed, and it will likely be the person who isn't the chief).
     
  13. USAFdoc2be

    USAFdoc2be Jaime
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    I agree that I'm active duty and am still excited to go to USUHS, actually more so now that I have served. I was a civilian drug rep for a few years, then went to officer training school a year and a half ago. I'll be released from the rest of my commitment because I got into USUHS and my career field is overmanned.
     
  14. deuist

    deuist Stealthfully Sarcastic
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    Good to see that the Dilbert principle applies to the military as well.
     
  15. DropkickMurphy

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    I would like to remind people that the possibility exists that some of the more overly enthusiastic posts about how great military practice is, might in fact, be posted by recruiters or others with alterior motives. Not likely, but the possibility does exist because those lowlifes will sink to various levels of immoral behavior to meet quota and lying is certainly a well known part of their modus operandi
     
  16. militarymd

    militarymd SDN Angel
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    I must concur with Praetorian.
     
  17. usnavdoc

    usnavdoc Senior Member
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    I dont know about them being recruiters (certainly sound like them)but they are definitely those folks who view themselves as military before they ever think of themselves as a doctor. That is just not who I want to be.
     
  18. USAFdoc2be

    USAFdoc2be Jaime
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    I may be one of the "overly enthusiastic" but am definitely a active duty officer. If you want to find me just call the B-1 Systems Group at WPAFB. I'm the exec there so I'm pretty easy to find. Feel free to call on up, I love the AF and am excited to be going to medical school!

    Oh and Go Hokies! I'm also "overly enthusiastic" about college football. Does that make me a football recruiter?
     
  19. Dr. Wexler

    Dr. Wexler Member
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    I will be graduating in May 06. I've wanted to be a doctor for a long time and wanted to be a line officer too, but figured I couldn't do both. Now that it is coming to be decision time, I'm considering the line officer thing again. I figure this may be my only chance to do it, and trying to "have it all" by being a military physician might not be the best way to approach this.

    I'm considering the Navy and Marines. I'm just wondering if one of the factors I should weigh in is my desire to be a doctor. The type of responses I was epecting were:

    "No, dont even think about it. Choose the service based on what you want to do now (ie dont consider the fact that the navy has docs but USMC does not)."
    -----OR-----

    "All other things being equal, choose a service that has doctors. Already being in can give you a small leg up."

    I expected to hear a lot more of the former than the latter, but just wanted to hear people's opinions.

    Also, I'm just curious how USUHS looks on people with prior service. Is it a big leg up? (I'm not trying to base my decision to join the military on the possibility that 1.I will want to go to USUHS and 2. prior service will give me a foot in the door. I'm just wondering how heavily they weight it. On the one hand, I would think they want the best students. On the other hand, maybe they would rather have prior-service people who "know what they are in for".

    Thanks.


    [Edited by bolding for readability]
     
  20. RichL025

    RichL025 Senior Member
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    Well, their official line is that prior service does not confer any kind of application advantage. Then again, the deans always used phrases like "has already demonstrated a commitment to military service" when referring to prior-service people, maybe that's code-words for some sort of admission advantage, I really don't know.


    Me, and many other prior service guys in my class, think we got _somewhat_ of an advantage, but it's hard to tell - it's not like any of us were stone-stupid or anything, maybe we would have been desireable applicants even without prior service ;)

    About 1/3 of my class (maybe a little less) was prior service before starting USUHS.
     
  21. RichL025

    RichL025 Senior Member
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    So, you're going to only do fee-for-service work in one of those boutique medicine clinics? Maybe botox shots and tummy tucks?

    'Cause if you work with any kind of medicare, HMO or 3rd party payers, there will always be "some paperpusher" that has veto power over you. The only difference is, in the military you're not allowed to complain as loud.

    (Oh, and I was enlisted for 14 years before I started USUHS. And I met just as many docs who loved the military as hated it. Funnily enough, just like enlisted guys.)
     
  22. CaptainAmerica

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    Preach it, Rich...
     
  23. militarymd

    militarymd SDN Angel
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    Qualities of docs who hated military medicine:
    1) tend to be good at their jobs
    2) tend to work hard
    3) tend to succeed at whatever they do

    Qualities of docs who loved military medicine:
    1) tend to be not too good at their jobs
    2) tend to not want to work as hard
    3) tend to not succeed as the above in a competitive environment
    4) tend to have prior service

    Just a 11 year veteran's observation. Qualities are not all inclusive and does not DEFINE whether you will love or hate it....just trends that sticks out in my memory.
     
  24. RichL025

    RichL025 Senior Member
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    Well, I'd have to disagree with your broad generalization. Or wonder what kind of evil luck you must have had throughout your career...
     

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