dogpython

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I am an MS2 thinking of the new National Guard ASR Program, but I was wondering how people handled their drill during their residency (i.e. how hard is it to get off one weekend every three months per the Flex-Drill program and the two weeks of summer drill, or when did you complete OBC). Does it depend on your unit/CO or is it more flexible.
Also, while I know this is not an easy question, but do you think this "hurts" your chances at getting a competitive residency or is it neutral, positive? I assume it must be revealed on your application, so did people bring this up in the interview, or leave it be?
THANKS!
 

notdeadyet

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I am an MS2 thinking of the new National Guard ASR Program, but I was wondering how people handled their drill during their residency (i.e. how hard is it to get off one weekend every three months per the Flex-Drill program and the two weeks of summer drill, or when did you complete OBC).
OBLC can be completed at any time, but you can't be promoted from O-1 until you complete it. It's only offered five times a year, so fitting it in a med school schedule can be challenging until a third year elective or fourth year. Most folks I've talked to are taking it in fourth year. Those with more flexible schedules in third year are taking it then.
Does it depend on your unit/CO or is it more flexible.
Good advice I've heard is to find an assignment to a medical battalion during residency. Other units may sound more appealing, but at least at a medical battalion, you are amongst other physicians who understand what residency is like. Trying to explain your lack of schedule flexibility in an Infantry unit may get you a lot less sympathy.
Also, while I know this is not an easy question, but do you think this "hurts" your chances at getting a competitive residency or is it neutral, positive? I assume it must be revealed on your application, so did people bring this up in the interview, or leave it be?
THANKS!
It varies a lot by program, but overall I think it will be neutral at most places and neutral or slightly negative at particularly competitive residencies. It also probably depends a lot on your field.

I've spoken to a few residency folks at my school and asked them their frank opinions. Several said, "Wow, that's great, what a service..." and lumped it up there as any other EC like student leadership. Almost all of them were uncomfortable with the idea of me having a firm commitment outside of residency that I was obligated to do (and one that would possibly conflict with their schedule).

Several of them expressed concern about the possibility of having someone pulled out of residency for military service. When I explained that this wouldn't happen, they sort of nodded and said, "Yeah, but it's happened before."

You'll get some support from ex-military folks you speak to at residencies, but even amongst them keep in mind that at the end of the day, they are looking out for their program first and foremost (as they should). My approach is going to be to only bring it up if asked and bring in any and all assurances that I will not be activated during residency and discuss the policy of what my training commitments will be and the flexibility they will have.
 

tscottturner

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I am an MS2 thinking of the new National Guard ASR Program, but I was wondering how people handled their drill during their residency (i.e. how hard is it to get off one weekend every three months per the Flex-Drill program and the two weeks of summer drill, or when did you complete OBC). Does it depend on your unit/CO or is it more flexible.

I am an M4 and in my second year of NG duty (after 6 years of AD). I am with a medical battalion, and the commanders are very understanding of the fact my "job" for the guard is to become a doctor. As a result, any school duties have priority over drill and as long as I provide a letter from whichever department I am rotating under that I was working on any particular weekend, that is all I need for pay purposes. During a recent conversation with my commander, the expectations will not change for me as a resident (assuming I get to stay in the area).
 
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dogpython

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Great advice guys!...I think that even in residency the weekend every quarter is not too bad...the only problem i see is managing the two weeks straight of summer drill...i suppose talking to a CO would be the best bet to seeing how flexible it is...any residents out there with any advice?
 
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dogpython

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Also, a stupid question, but what does drill for a physician usually entail?
 

iatrosB

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Just a heads-up...the STRAP program is SUPPOSSED to exempt you from any drilling responsibilities, both monthly and annually. HOWEVER, this is in principle only and every units different...mine rocks.
 

dogpython

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thats interesting i had not heard that, but i think thats a 2:1 committment correct? just curious how people who are residents who dont take the STRAP or are attendings manage the two weeks...
 

notdeadyet

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just curious how people who are residents who dont take the STRAP or are attendings manage the two weeks...
For residents, I'd be curious to hear this too. I'd suspect you should get ready to use vacation time provided by the residency program for drill.

For attendings, you'd just use two weeks vacation time, like everybody else. Some hospitals may let you use unpaid time off rather than vacation, but I wouldn't necessarily count on it.
 

dogpython

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i suspect that this is probably the case, but i would like to hear a residents perspective as well
 

EMH

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Great advice guys!...I think that even in residency the weekend every quarter is not too bad...the only problem i see is managing the two weeks straight of summer drill...i suppose talking to a CO would be the best bet to seeing how flexible it is...any residents out there with any advice?

It may be different in different states but the med dept in my state doesn't do a group annual training AT in the summer unless there is a reason to (like a unit is demobilizing). AT is something you have to plan and as I understand it can be anything from attending military training, CME, a review course, a medical mission, or just about anything you can justify that improves your skills as a doc and you can get approved. It doesn't have to be done all in one 2 week block.
 

dogpython

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I've spoken to a few residency folks at my school and asked them their frank opinions. Several said, "Wow, that's great, what a service..." and lumped it up there as any other EC like student leadership. Almost all of them were uncomfortable with the idea of me having a firm commitment outside of residency that I was obligated to do (and one that would possibly conflict with their schedule).

Wondering if you learned any other useful tidbits from speaking with these people about their perspectives on national guard duty
 
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