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National Guard/Army Reserves and Emergency Medicine

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ace_inhibitor111

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I was curious if anyone had any experience with being part of the military reserves/national guard while working as a civilian in EM. I am considering joining the army reserves via the STRAP program but am a little concerned with how much the chance for deployment would affect my ability to find a job in the future. Are there enough large EM groups that accommodate docs in the military? Thanks for the help.
 

gamerEMdoc

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Sure. Id imagine most groups dont hold it against the doc. For all their negatives, even USACS actually pays docs the difference of their lost salary while deployed on active duty since you make far less money on active duty than as a civilian doc.
 
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bravotwozero

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I was curious if anyone had any experience with being part of the military reserves/national guard while working as a civilian in EM. I am considering joining the army reserves via the STRAP program but am a little concerned with how much the chance for deployment would affect my ability to find a job in the future. Are there enough large EM groups that accommodate docs in the military? Thanks for the help.

My site director, and assistant director, are both Army Reserve. The director just deployed to Kuwait, which will make it his fifth. The assistant director is getting deployed next year. We have been able to accommodate them on prior deployments. I guess it boils down to the culture of your CMG/SDG/Hospital, but given that we have a oversupply of docs everywhere in the country and most groups are likely overstaffed, there should be no staffing issues should you deploy, as they can easily get people to cover your shifts. As always, be upfront about this when you're looking for a job, and I think you'll end up getting a clear picture of if/how they can accommodate your military obligations.
 
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ShockIndex

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Keep in mind that the deployments for Reserve and NG physicians are limited to 120 days (90-days boots on the ground) and rarely go over 105 days. Most CMGs can handle that and know that they must in order to avoid compliance issues. A few small groups might struggle but there are very few of those left.

Keep in mind that any group that would discriminate on the basis of military deployments (which is illegal), is probably not the kind of group that you would want to join. Aside from the values issues, such groups always seem be in a staffing crunch and are just 1 FMLA away from everyone having to work 180+ hours to keep the lights on.
 
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gamerEMdoc

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Are you saying your group doesn't have enough docs to staff your ED?!

The ED’s all over PA are constantly using locums. We have hospitals near us that use locums multiple shifts a day.

We had been fully staffed ourselves for about 2 years but thanks to medical stuff and a retirement, we are a little down, but filled our shifts with just everyone taking an extra shift or two for overtime. But we have the luxury that the residency is a draw for staffing.
 

miacomet

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Even Philadelphia and Pittsburgh?
 

gamerEMdoc

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Even Philadelphia and Pittsburgh?

I don't know the ins and outs of etiher market, but I get daily phone calls and emails from endless recruiters that I just block asking for "short term" help in an ED all across the state. I'm sure there is locums opportunity in either city. PA, despite is wealth of EM residencies, still hurts for EM docs. Probably because the medical-legal climate in Philly gives the entire state a bad rep. IDK why anyone would do locums in the city though unless you are locked into that geographic area. But if thats the case, why do locums at all. You can make more money doing locums outside the city typically. From a salary standpoint, UPMC pays so much less to work in Pittsburgh than you will make working an hour or two away.
 

RustedFox

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I don't know the ins and outs of etiher market, but I get daily phone calls and emails from endless recruiters that I just block asking for "short term" help in an ED all across the state. I'm sure there is locums opportunity in either city. PA, despite is wealth of EM residencies, still hurts for EM docs. Probably because the medical-legal climate in Philly gives the entire state a bad rep. IDK why anyone would do locums in the city though unless you are locked into that geographic area. But if thats the case, why do locums at all. You can make more money doing locums outside the city typically. From a salary standpoint, UPMC pays so much less to work in Pittsburgh than you will make working an hour or two away.

What does UPMC pay hourly?
 
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gamerEMdoc

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Pffft. Pass.

Oh god, its way worse than I estimated.

138/hr in the city. 145/hr in the suburbs. 155/hr in rural sites. No rvu bonus. Nights are 20-30/hr more.

Their main competition in the city is USACS and USACS pays more.
 
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RustedFox

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Oh god, its way worse than I estimated.

138/hr in the city. 145/hr in the suburbs. 155/hr in rural sites. No rvu bonus. Nights are 20-30/hr more.

Their main competition in the city is USACS and USACS pays more.

As a graduate of PITT, this makes my heart hurt.
 

Apollyon

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Oh god, its way worse than I estimated.

138/hr in the city. 145/hr in the suburbs. 155/hr in rural sites. No rvu bonus. Nights are 20-30/hr more.

Their main competition in the city is USACS and USACS pays more.
There was no night bonus at my site, nor any other (to my best knowledge). NW PA. And, rural was less than $155.
 

alpinism

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Hopefully that's for 1PPH with residents.

If not they're royally screwing their EM docs.
 

BoardingDoc

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Oh god, its way worse than I estimated.

138/hr in the city. 145/hr in the suburbs. 155/hr in rural sites. No rvu bonus. Nights are 20-30/hr more.

Their main competition in the city is USACS and USACS pays more.
That's insane. I looked at a bunch of places in the northeast (including NYC, though admittedly nowhere in PA) right after I graduated and all of them were paying more than 155/hr. I can not for the life of me understand why anyone would agree to work there unless it was literally the most cush job on the planet.
 

miacomet

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Much though I like Pittsburgh, it's not a particularly desirable place to live; it's insane that their rates are that low. No wonder PA has lots of locums- no one will work there for their insanely low salaries.

Even government work (IHS, VA) pays more than that.
 

gamerEMdoc

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Much though I like Pittsburgh, it's not a particularly desirable place to live; it's insane that their rates are that low. No wonder PA has lots of locums- no one will work there for their insanely low salaries.

Even government work (IHS, VA) pays more than that.

Yep, such is life. I'll continue to be happy living in the suburbs in a rural town and doing far better while working in academics. I get the attraction of living in a city, but I also would like to retire comfortably someday.
 
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