National Guard Committment in Residency

Discussion in 'Clinical Rotations' started by deringer, Nov 24, 2001.

  1. deringer

    deringer Junior Member

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    Hello,

    I'm a second year medical student. I would like to become an orthopedic surgeon, but I am also considering radiology or EM.

    My question concerns residency scheduling and my committment to the National Guard. My job in the National Guard is unrelated to medicine and I have to be on duty around 4 to 5 days per month and 2 consecutive weeks per year. 2 of those monthly days are fixed on a specific weekend. The other 2-3 days are highly flexible, but must be on weekdays. Also, I'm required to have at least 8 hours sleep before the start of my duty day (which means I can't do call and then start guard duty in the morning). An employer is required by law to give me these days off, but I'm wondering what the repercussions will be once I get into residency? Would most residencies be willing to schedule me around these days? Or will they (and my fellow residents) be put out and extremely pissed?

    THANKS!
     
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  3. shepherd

    shepherd Member

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    hi,

    as someone who has considered the guard I was just wondering is this difficult to do while in medschool.
     
  4. deringer

    deringer Junior Member

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    It's not too hard at my medical school for the first two years, as these years are purely pass/fail. The third year is another story, and I'm considering postponing my duties for that year. However, I can't postpone them for my entire residency, so that's why I posted.
     
  5. shepherd

    shepherd Member

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    hi,

    thanks for responding, i've thought about the guard myself but am afraid i'd be sent into active duty or something forcing my postponing of my college. I wonder if someone was in med school or dental would be able to get out of this kind of situation if it ever happened? Questions that I should bring up with a local recruiter I guess. If you care to respond what were the medical school reactions to you being in the national guard?
     
  6. deringer

    deringer Junior Member

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    My med school was fine with it. They are giving me their full support. What were you thinking of doing in the guard? If you are activated, you may have to postpone med school, but that's part of the bargain. Odds are highly against you being activated with less than 4 years experience.

    Can anyone in an EM, Orthopedic, or Radiology residency provide some input about my original question? Thanks!
     
  7. Voxel

    Moderator Emeritus

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    I do not believe you will be able to do orthopedic surgery and your commitment to the coast guard. Pathology, Radiology and EM will probably be your best bets. However you will still have difficulties. EM requires you to do other rotations other than just be in the EM. If EM residency was just EM (work 5-6 12 hour shifts/wk) rotation you could definitely get away with it and this would be your ideal situation, but this is not reality. Radiology: Depending on how cush your program and how flexible your program director will be to this arrangement, you may (definite uncertainty) be able to keep your commitment. Keep in mind that this may mean working many more weekends while other people cover you.

    All in all residency is very tough and I doubt you will be able to keep that commitment. Perhaps, pathology would let you do it. I do not know. The Great Pumkin should be able to tell us.
     
  8. shepherd

    shepherd Member

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    hi,

    it is really something i've only just begun to think about, i'm a second year undergrad, i guess I didn't even know one had much of a choice as to what occupation they pursue in the guard, if there is a choice something medical related would be neat as i'm going to try and get emt training myself anyway soon. I live in a rural mn area and i can't imagine i would be able to pick and choose much regarding occupation. I'll have to admit a large enticement is the financial end as I think there pretty generous, but If they would let me do something medially related or patient care related it'd be neat to kill two birds with one stone, maybe the army reserve would be better though. I just think i'd always be worried about being activated or something like. I wonder if a class would somehow keep a spot open if one had to suddenly pull out for activation?
     
  9. Orthodog

    Orthodog Junior Member

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    Hello deringer,

    Doing an orthopedic surgery residency and playing an active role in the National Guard would be quite difficult, alomst impossible. I'm currently a MS4 hoping to match in ORTHO, and I have done three SUB-I's in the field. From what I've seen, It is highly unlikely to do both. However, every residency program allows 3-4 weeks of vacation time per year. You could probably negotiate using your vacation days as time for the National Guard. However, 3-5 days per week is stretching it.

    Good Luck.
     
  10. deringer

    deringer Junior Member

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    Thanks for the info so far. I think there may be some confusion; the commitment would require 4 days per month. So that would basically mean one 4 day weekend per month. I can't believe they wouldn't be able to work out one 4 day weekend per month? Any further input?
     
  11. Winged Scapula

    Winged Scapula Cougariffic!
    Staff Member Administrator Physician Faculty Lifetime Donor Classifieds Approved

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    Can't speak for all programs out there, but here we are allowed only 1 weekend off a month (2 day weekend), and can take back to back 1 week vacation only with special permission (ie, when transitioning from 1 rotation to another). The schedule is the same for the Ortho residents here.

    I'm sure it might be possible with some modifications to your schedule (ie, requiring you to do extra time at the end of your residency to make up for the extra time off), but beware of major potential difficulties as well as some negative reactions from your resident colleagues (who might be a bit bitter that you are getting more time off than they - even if you pay it back).

    Best of luck.
     
  12. edmadison

    edmadison 1K Member

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    I don't know specifically about residency and obligation, but for most jobs, it is illegal not to permit employees to do their guard/reserve duty. Generally, they can't require you to use your vacation for it either. There may be a special rule for medical residents, but it seems unlikely.

    The other thing is that if you do do your duty and its requires special scheduling, you fellow residents may not appreciate it much.

    Ed
     
  13. UHS2002

    UHS2002 Senior Member

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    Although what edmadison said about it being illegal to keep people from fulfilling their reserve or national guard duties, remember that there is nothing illegal about a program not ranking a certain person high. You will never know why you were ranked high enough to match, the program doesn't have to tell you. And you have to disclose in your residency application if you have military obligations to fulfill...
     

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