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Navy Medical Corps

Discussion in 'Military Medicine' started by JFX, Mar 8, 2007.

  1. JFX

    JFX
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    I was an E-3 corpsman in the Navy and want to get back in as a Navy doc. I served 38 months, falling 10 months short of my enlistment. Basically, I caught my ex(wife) in a sex act with someone else and my world turned upside down. Her excuse was she got too lonely while I was deployed, which is why she caved in.

    Whether or not she had a valid excuse, I kept telling my CO that I wanted to kill myself unless I was discharged from the Navy. I got what I wanted, honorably discharged 3 months later with a corresponding "JFX" to match my diagnosis of having schizotypal personal disorder. My re-enlistment code: RE-4.

    Fast forward 11 years later. I'm re-married, no kids, and not as emotional as I was when I married my high school sweetheart at 19. I received my bachelor's at university with a 3.7 GPA and plan to take the MCAT in June. I've never even received a traffic ticket since I got out of the Navy and I've kept up with my PRT's to stay fit. I know my chances of getting into medschool are good-excellent and I've always wanted to be in the medical corps to finish what I've started. Do I have a shot of ever getting back in? Any advice/suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.

    Other stats:
    ASVAB: 81
    Avg Evals: 3.8/4.0
    Designation: 8483 (surgical tech)
    Civilian: LVN/LPN since '98
     
  2. IgD

    IgD The Lorax
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    You can't re-enlist with a RE4 code. I'm pretty sure that would disqualify you from becoming a medical officer in any branch of service. Have you tried talking to a recruiter?
     
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  3. The White Coat Investor

    The White Coat Investor Practicing Doc and Blogger
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    Ummm...I doubt it. None of those other stats matter when compared to being discharged for schizotypal personality disorder. I hope that doesn't affect your medical career too.
     
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  4. OP
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    JFX

    JFX
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    I spoke with an Army National Guard recruiter a few months back who seemed more interested in signing me back up as enlisted; not sure if he's ever heard the saying that goes something like, "fool me once..."

    Anyhow, I'm sure there are others out there in the same boat as me (i.e. with an RE-4). However, when I got discharged 10 years ago the military was actively downsizing. Times have changed, as you well know, and my re-enlistment code is doing a great job at keeping me from re-entering the service. Who knew we would need more people ten years later, right? Had they known then I doubt if they'd have been as liberal with doling out RE-4's.

    This could be a blessing, actually, because on the one hand the military needs more servicemen and women in their ranks yet on the other hand, they can't sign me up because my re-enlistment code is protecting me. It's as if I'm immune to ever being sent to Iraq, which a lot of people would consider to be a good thing.

    Call me crazy, but I actually enjoyed my tour of duty though brief as it was (I wouldn't have scored so high on my evals otherwise). I was never on a ship, which, ironically enough, was the whole reason why I signed up in the first place. When it comes down to it, I guess the reason why I want back in is because I don't want to have regrets later on when I'm in my rocking chair. Working at several nursing homes I've seen too many people who were miserable in their olden days because of something they never got to do or finish. I don't want that. I was so close to the finish line and I'd have gladly put in my full 4 years had it not been for the minor disruption in my life.

    In sum, by starting this post I'm hoping to gain some insight from the same crowd who labeled me as having a personality disorder. Of course I seriously doubt that, because if it were true then you all would be in trouble as I really am no different from you. I will become a doctor someday, family practice to be exact, mark my word. Because the one thing I am not is a quitter. Your input, comments, and suggestions would still be appreciated nonetheless.
     
  5. megadon

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    Good luck man, you're going to need it. Fortunately, you are applying at the right time, huge doc shortage. That means the waivers are flowing. But it also means you will be subject to potentially a huge battery of doctor visits to determine if you are waiverable. Unfortunately, your story is all too familiar, although I never saw the I'll kill myself if I don't get discharged side. My first chief (I was a sub officer previously) came back from deployment and found his wife cheating with his other chief friend from another boat. He talked about getting out at 19 years to screw her out of pension cut.

    Here's my advice. Fish this website pretty thoroughly, determine if milmed is really the road you want to take. However, be mindful that I think it is skewed to a lot of the unhappy folk, nothing wrong with that, it's opened my eyes. Then determine if you want the commitment entailed if you want to do a military residency, but you will need seven years to retire as an officer anyway. I also would consider going the in debt route and look into FAP for paying that off, it could greatly cut your obligation.
     
  6. The White Coat Investor

    The White Coat Investor Practicing Doc and Blogger
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    Anyone else having trouble reconciling these two statements?
     
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  7. DiveMD

    DiveMD Giggity giggity!!!
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    I agree...;)
     
  8. OP
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    JFX

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    Alright, let me elaborate a little on this part. My ex, whom I married shortly after I joined the Navy, had been my girlfriend all throughout high school. By calling her my girlfriend, I mean that we got close to the point where we both lost our virginities to the other. I don't know if you can relate to that, but falling in love and having sex for the first time at 16 is the same sort of stuff that Shakespearean plays are made of. Remember that this was during high school, so Romeo and Juliet* was fresh on our minds.

    She had this "thing" for sailors in Navy whites, which was how we first met as she approached me while wearing my sea cadets uniform when I was 15. To make a long story short, I joined the Navy partly because I wanted to keep impressing her--a very childish and adolescent notion, that didn't seem as such back then. I was stationed in San Diego but she wanted to stay home with her family in San Jose. I busted my a$$ during the week and made the long drive home to see her every weekend. I wanted to surprise her by visiting one Wednesday afternoon, but that plan backfired when I found out what she was up to while I was away...

    I was basically crushed by the discovery of her cheating on me and could no longer function. My previously 4.0 evals started slipping and came very close to going AWOL. I needed a break but taking a 3-month hiatus was out of the question, so I had to come up with something to get out. I couldn't say I was a homosexual so I instead threatened suicide and it worked, just as I saw it had for a marine corporal I once looked after in the ICU. Of course, I only heard of how he later got out of the marines but I had no clue as to what his re-enlistment disposition was. All I knew was that it worked so I tucked that information in the back of mind somewhere for a rainy day.

    I suppose I could move on and forget about my whole Navy experience, but that's easier said than done. For one, my training as a corpsman is what got me my LVN license and the GI Bill enabled me to earn my bachelor's degree. From these I was basically able to live a normal, comfortable life (i.e. buy a home, buy a car, travel to Europe, and re-marry).

    I have been true to the essence of the oath I took as a hospital corpsman by giving 100% to my elderly clients/patients at the nursing home where I now work. However, I haven't quite fulfilled the oath I initially took upon enlistment and that guilt just bugs me from time to time. I will definitely try my best to get back in, but I don't want to put all my faith in some recruiter. I'm not worried at all about being probed and poked because they wont find anything that was never there to begin with (i.e. the personality disorder), although I'm curious to find out why they said I had that, despite all evidence showing otherwise.

    At any rate, if there is absolutely no chance for me to get back in then at least I'll have the peace of mind in knowing that I tried. I'm not one to easily give up, however, which is why I'm asking for tips and advice from any of you here.

    My thanks to those who have replied to this post so far.


    *Romeo and Juliet was required reading for us in high school.
     
  9. chopper

    chopper Senior Member
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    I dont' want to minimize what you felt back then, I myself was on the short end of a deployment relationship (granted, not a wife yet - but we were close).

    BUT - you either lied when you said you were suicidal, or you really were suicidal and deserve the RE-4 code. Either way, those are situations where the military will probably not want you back.

    As you mentioned, you've been successful with your life since this incident, and you can do lots of good things in your life to look back on when you are in a rocking chair. You don't need to tie a successful naval service with a good life. Look into this if you must, but don't get wrapped around an axle if it doesn't work out.
     
  10. NavyFP

    NavyFP Senior Member
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    With your military history. No, you won't get back in.
     
  11. orbitsurgMD

    orbitsurgMD Senior Member
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    Desperate people sometimes do desperate things . . . . and right now, the Navy is desperate. So I suppose there is a possibility the code could be waived. But your account here is a pretty good reason for them to say no.
    The Navy is still very much capable of demanding things from you that might even be more stressful to you than catching your girlfriend in infidelity and in a lie. Anyone can reach a point where their job proves to be too much for them when other stressors are included in thier life. Your history, whether it represents the way you are or not, gives those who might judge your future potential an example of what might cause you to under-perform. It probably isn't the correct assumption, but when you consider how much rides on something as brief as a professional applicant interview, you can imagine why they might hesitate. It isn't exactly going to seem the same as a story of what happened while you worked for someone else.
     
  12. The White Coat Investor

    The White Coat Investor Practicing Doc and Blogger
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    Whoa. Too much information. I'm not saying I don't understand, just that I'm not sure I would run around claiming I never quit anything if I were you.
     
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  13. BigNavyPedsGuy

    BigNavyPedsGuy Junior Member
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    I undertand past regrets, but I'm not sure that it's wise to change the direction of your entire career just so you can say that I did finish what I started 11 years ago. 9, 10 or 12 years from now, you'll still be in milmed and those regrets about your distant past will be very very far from your mind. Then you'll snap out of a daydream and see that you are locked into a position because you wanted to pacify some regrets. Those mistakes already dictated your past course. Why let them dictate your future too?
     
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  14. West Side

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    Yoda? Is that you?
     
  15. OP
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    JFX

    JFX
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    ok then, I'll say that I did quit and it is this that really bothers me. My working as an LVN serves as a constant reminder of how I got to where I am today and yes, though contrary to how others here feel about the military, I am grateful to what the Navy has done for me. I could think of two ways to give back: either through re-enlistment or personally thanking the Navy. If I go with option 2, who, exactly, do I thank? My former CO who's now retired? My company commander in boot camp? You folks here? The chief of Naval operations? The President?? I would be inclined to say all of the above, but I would still have the looming thought of how I came so close to the finish line and tripped..!

    Everyday I go to work, I'm faced with two kinds of people: either those who are happy and satisfied with how their lives have unfolded, or those with regrets and can't do much anymore as they lie helpless in bed. I don't know if you can relate to this, but when you constantly have to rationalize with and convince the unhappy ones that they've done the best they could just so they can pass away more peacefully, you begin to question your own efforts. Have I really done all that I can to correct my mistakes in the past? Deep down I can honestly say that I haven't and I have several reasons telling my conscience why I should (i.e. my home, car(s), ability to support a family, etc).

    I guess I could also try switching careers and completely walk away from the medical field altogether, but I'm just too ingrained in it and love what I do. I've always advanced while I was in the military and here I am now, facing the prospects of applying for medical school. There's no need for me to point out what it takes to succeed in medschool because you've all been there/done that. I am confident that I'll make it through as well, but it's somewhat ironic that my memories of how I once quit is what would ultimately be the motivating factor to see me through.

    I can almost see myself finishing medschool one day, then having this terrible itch to make things right. Trouble is, I don't quite know how. I don't want to make a half-a$$ attempt at trying to get back in, I really truly want to give it my best shot. Again, any input or suggestions on this regard would be much appreciated. Thank you.
     
  16. BigNavyPedsGuy

    BigNavyPedsGuy Junior Member
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    No, it's somebody who's actually in the military and posts on this board - unlike yourself. Don't you have to hurry off to an appointment with a lawyer to help your girlfriend break her contract?

    JFX has a problem and asked for my two cents, so I gave it. I don't see how your comment was at all constructive to anyone.
     
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  17. OP
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    JFX

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    I wont let that happen; thank you, sir.
     
  18. OP
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    JFX

    JFX
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    aye, sir.
     
  19. OP
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    JFX

    JFX
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    Duly noted; thank you, sir.
     
  20. OP
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    JFX

    JFX
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    Maybe I'm missing something here, but joining in the medical corps fits the general idea of being in the medical field. Still, I thank you for your valuable input, sir.
     
  21. BigNavyPedsGuy

    BigNavyPedsGuy Junior Member
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    Medical Field in the military and medical field out of the military are 2 very different things (see entire forum). So by choosing the military to pacify regrets, you are changing your entire career path. If you don't see that, then you shouldn't sign up.
     
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  22. OP
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    JFX

    JFX
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    I see what you mean now. Yes it's true that the Navy (and the military in general, I suppose) may have its faults and imperfections but it would still be difficult for me to deny that most of my successes so far resulted from my military experience in some form or another. For instance, though trivial as it may seem learning discipline at 18 goes a long way. It's the one thing that probably kept me out of trouble all these years and I would highly recommend the military to any young adult for the exact same reason. I also learned perseverance early on, which made many of life's hassles rather mundane. Yes, most people gain more knowledge and wisdom anyway as they age but joining the military is like a catalyst that speeds up the process and in some cases, guarantees that the young adult will grow up.

    The Navy may not be perfect but it's been like a father to me and for whom I have nothing but honor, reverence, and gratitude towards. And although others may point out its flaws and shortcomings, calling my father a drunkard and what-not wont change the fact that he's been good to me. I'd want nothing more than to be able to give a little bit back at least, so pardon me for being a little stubborn sir but I'd really rather make a sincere effort to make ammends than go on rationalizing for the rest of my life. "Shudda, cudda, wudda" isn't in my vocabulary.

    Someone here mentioned the idea of having my re-enlistment code waived, which I never knew could be done. Given this possibility, could anyone please elaborate on this? Thanks in advance. -JFX
     

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