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navy medicine promotion

Discussion in 'Military Medicine' started by bigpharmD, Dec 11, 2008.

  1. bigpharmD

    2+ Year Member

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    I attended a talk by a navy doc named Andrew Baldwin (from the bachelor) today and the idea of navy medicine intrigued me? By my name you can tell I have another career but the idea of going to medical school for almost nothing interests me. What do you guys think? He made it sound great. I have read through some threads and some docs seem frustrated, but he seemed to love it.
     
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  3. i want out

    i want out Member
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    If you search the forum a little bit, you will find his case addressed.

    He has a long enough time owed, that it is in his best interest to keep those above him happy, and he is doing that by selling the program (which is by most accounts from most of us that were in it a big pile of $&^%).

    He also has had a special recruiting position essentially made for him, and thats how he is able to come sell you the program.

    I will assume, that since you are a PharmD resident, you are fairly intelligent, as I haven't met many PharmD's that weren't. Something for nothing is not an accurate assessment of the HPSP.

    Paying for your education followed by at least 3 (usually much more) indentured servitude is not something for nothing, its money for your time.

    More importantly, its money now for your time later.

    The Later part is what is so difficult. A great deal can change in 4-10 years.

    I signed my Contract in a pre 9-11 time (1998) I started my Payback after internship in 2003.

    I did not get to go on Bachelor, and then run all over the world playing the used car salesman for a program that has a 96% rate of leaving at first possible opportunity.

    I got 2 trips to the middle east and the nightmares that will accompany them.
    I got a CO that actively tried to get me killed.
    I got independent practice with the absolute bare minimum training to have a medical license.

    Yes, he is probably having a great time, but I will assure you as evidenced by the 96% attrition rate for first termer's, he is the exception to the rule.

    I would not suggest the military path to anyone, but if your dead set to do it, then come on back once your on active duty and post your experience as well. Maybe it will save you some cost of therapy, or maybe, just maybe you will be one of the 4% that will be a .mil cheerleader.

    But if your one of the cheerleaders, don't expect the other 96% of us like myself to buy your version of the crap that is currently military medicine.

    i want out (of IRR)
     
  4. IgD

    IgD The Lorax
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  5. Gastrapathy

    Gastrapathy no longer apathetic
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    Would you mind sharing more about what he said?
     
  6. bigpharmD

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    He talked about the opportunity to practice "real medicine" with no worry of malpractice and HMOs. He talked about how he has 2 homes and 400k dollar life insurance policy (which is stupid to suggest everyone can do this because he is a tv celeb and profession triathlete). He also showed a video of his humanitarian efforts and time aboard the comfort. For someone who might change careers it sounded like a good opportunity to do something different while not adding debt to previous student loans. I suggest looking at the link above. The slides are exactly what he used.
     
  7. sethco

    sethco Senior Member
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    Whether true or not, I would love to hear that story...
     
  8. notdeadyet

    notdeadyet Still in California
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    It's a good idea to always take what recruiters say with a healthy grain of salt and be critical of their promises. You should probably be even more careful with the message you hear from a television celebrity who is used as a tool by recruiters.
    Lots of good reasons for military service. But be very careful about crunching the numbers with HPSP. It rarely pays for itself. This is particularly true for the Navy if you are looking into a field other than primary care, in which your odds of a mandatory GMO tour are pretty high.
     
  9. IgD

    IgD The Lorax
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    A lot of people I have spoken with said they felt military medicine had a recruiting problem. I think it's true but I think the RETENTION problem is the bigger issue. Recruiting is almost a red herring. The military medical system needs to find a way to improve the way it treats physicians and they wouldn't need a slick salesman.
     
  10. VolatileNavyDoc

    VolatileNavyDoc Junior Member
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    Is this number real? I haven't really seen it anywhere except here. It seems a little inflated. That would mean that of the 80 or so interns in my intern class, 76 or so would have gotten out after their first term. I just don't think that happens. If you mean 96% get out after a GMO/FS/UMO tour, then residency, then utilization tour I might believe it more. Even then, I think the number might be high. Just curious.
     
  11. orbitsurgMD

    orbitsurgMD Senior Member
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    At its major MTFs, the Navy has PGY2 slots for less than one half the number of MS4s they take in as in-service PGY1s, never mind those who aren't selected for military residencies and the direct accessions seeking PGY2 slots at the end of utilization tours as GMOs and flight surgeons. So you have nearly a 50% rate from that, built-in. How you get to 96%, if true, must represent departures at the end of utilization tours after residency, in or out of service,compared to the size of the starting MS4 cohort or, the number working the minimum length for a "career" to be eligible for a minimum-term retirement. Or does it represent the retention rate among those who are selected to do GMO tours (which would be high, but still believable?)
     
  12. notdeadyet

    notdeadyet Still in California
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    I would argue that you'd probably have more opportunity for humanity work in the civilian sector than in the military, no? If you want to go on a medical mission, you can do so any time in your career between jobs. I would think in the military there is a strong possibility of not doing one in your four years, no?
     
  13. notdeadyet

    notdeadyet Still in California
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    Uh, same as anybody? I'm not sure what you mean here.

    You want to do a 6 mos volunteer gig in March of 2009, so you put in your notice to leave your job Feb 28 of 2008. No real mystery.
    That's the rub.

    In the military, you can afford to do the humanitarian thing. But you have to ask. And if they say "no", you're SOL.

    In the civilian sector, you can do one whenever you want. It's a question of whether or not you've squirreled enough money away.
    If you have your own shingle, extended trips of any kind are going to be a challenge. That's true of anyone running their own business (not limited to medicine) and is one of the drawbacks to that life.
    I've seen a mix of younger and older. The older ones tended to do it much more hardcore, as they had loans paid off and an empty nest. The younger ones did the delayed gratification thing and are probably going to take an extra year or two to pay off debt.

    They also must have AMAZING spouses. My wife isn't thrilled of the idea of my away rotations in 4th year. I can imagine her thoughts at my packing up solo for 6 months with MSF.
    That's where you separate who really wants it and who talks a big game. I've met younger physicians who've done it. It's harder to do than when you're an older cat, but it's still do-able and I've seen plenty do it. It's how bad you want it and if you're willing to sacrifice. Like much in life.
     
  14. Two-Bit

    Two-Bit New Member
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    Not true. Here's a link you should see if you don't think GMOs do humanitarian missions (implicit or explicit).
    http://www.mcnews.info/mcnewsinfo/marines/features/InTheTrenches.shtml

    If you get your hands on a hard copy of the same issue, you will see another fellow GMO overseeing the transport of a patient. You can't read his name tag, but I know him.

    The NHCP website had a good article on a FP intern who delivered a baby while conducting a humanitarian mission. I think it's the same unit.
    https://cpen.med.navy.mil/nhcp.cfm?xid=55B02640&id=9387

    Residents and Fellows from NMCSD have deployed on the Mercy. They went for one month intervals as part of their GME.

    I have volunteered at an annual clinic in Mexico; my command fully supported me other medical officers and Corpsmen in this endeavor.

    These missions exist almost any underserved area where we tend to go. You don't have to look to hard to do these kinds of missions and you don't necessarily need to travel hundreds or thousands of miles to do them.
    You may not be buying a Fodor's guide and living out of a backpack for weeks on end, but Navy Medicine - including those who support operational units - are conducting humanitarian missions globally, and will continue to do so. They are part of overall mission goals, not necessarily an adjunct any more.
     
  15. notdeadyet

    notdeadyet Still in California
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    In fairness, I think a lot of us would make a distinction between a 4 month assignment on the Comfort and a two week trip from Okinawa.

    The short term stuff is nice to see, but is also easily done in civilian life. I'm interested in hearing about long term medical humanitarian missions doctors can be involved in.
     
  16. goodjuju

    goodjuju HM3, FMF (pre-D.O.)
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    The reason to join the military is to serve your country. End of story.

    If you are looking to reap some spoils then give up now and go away. I had to spend some time in a tent with a guy that just did it to pay for school and it sucked being around him. The guys that want to do the job will be there to do it and all the whiners just get in the way.

    I too would like to see where the 96% number comes from cause I just can't see it. I've known too many docs that either stayed long or retired. 96% doesn't make any sense.

    400K for life insurance is pretty easy to do. First you get the SGLI and then you can get other insurance too. 2 houses are easy to get, just buy a new one at each new duty station and you can get a couple more than two.

    It's all cheap talk. You can worry about your paycheck or your lifestyle or whatever. If you came to medicine to make money then you need to go away. If you joined the military for an easy way to pay for school then you need to go away. If you have pride in a job well done, if you can take orders, and you don't mind a payback then come aboard. Too often I read posts about how guys are all ticked because it wasn't what they wanted or what they thought they were getting into. It makes no sense. Nobody twisted your arm and nobody lied to you. Sure I've been given a pitch or two by some twisted recruiters but I wasn't dumb enough to take their word for it. I knew what I wanted and I wasn't afraid to work for it.

    As far as Navy, or military, medicine being worth it. I enjoyed it and it was worth it to me. I don't want to go too far into a direction where I have no experience but I have talked to several civilian physicians that didn't know me at all, and I asked them what they thought about military physicians, do they trust them or did they think their training was up to snuff? I have never heard a civilian doc talk bad about a military doc. I don't know what it is like being a mil physician trying to get a civilian job but I have never heard it to be a difficult thing to do and I have definitely never heard someone turned away because their mil training was insufficient. Maybe not the right type of training in the right area but never sub par.

    I love the Navy. I am going back. I would love to see, really I would, some real evidence that what the military has to offer is not sufficient, adequate, or even superior to the kind of experience you can get doing it entirely civilian. I keep looking for it but all I find is upset whiny officers that thought they were going to get it their way and then didn't.

    Rant off
     
  17. dwb8p

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    I think we can all agree that going milmed for any reason other than desire to serve is unwise.

    So you're a corpsman, or what? I don't think any pre-meds are in a position to be demanding the proof that military medicine sucks. Unless you have worked at an MTF as an MD/DO--not as support staff--you are not in a position to be commenting on the quality of military medicine. Your perspective seems a bit myopic and laced with enlisted vs. officer angst.

    I don't understand why people feel the need cheerlead or argue at all against the negative consensus here regarding milmed. What's the worst that could happen if this forum remains heavily negatively biased because of a few crusty MDs? Scare some prospective premeds away? Great-- they weren't meant for the job anyway.

    I look forward to starting a career in milmed and because of this forum I will go into it with much realer expectations.
     
    #16 dwb8p, Dec 19, 2008
    Last edited: Dec 19, 2008
  18. goodjuju

    goodjuju HM3, FMF (pre-D.O.)
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    No angst, just sick of slackers trying to give the military a bad rep just 'cause their experience was less than stellar. Yeah, I was a corpsman, and I had some rough times but I had some really good times too. The craziest thing is that being in the civilian world has also given me some rough times. It kills me to hear some of these guys talk as if you can only have a junky experience in milmed. In or out, life is going to be hard and you are going to see things that will change your life. I like the military because I feel like I am doing something important while I am getting something for myself, its a win-win.

    The great part about being a corpsman is that you get to see and do almost everything. As an 8404/0000 I got see every aspect of the ER. I know admin. I have seen the differences between clinics and hospitals. I have assessed, diganosed, and treated my own patients with only the signature from the physician. It was experience like none other. I know Navy Medicine.
     
  19. Mirror Form

    Mirror Form Thyroid Storm
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    Agreed, it's not easy to do a medical mission while in private practice. You don't just miss out on potential income, but you also have to keep paying all your secretaries, staff, etc., at the same time.

    A lot of military attendings do go on medical missions, but it's still the vast minority. It takes a huge amount of coordination. If you're lucky you on hop on board an already established medical mission, and it's often only for 2 weeks. However, trying to create your own is very difficult. I know a couple attendings trying to do it right now and it's taking an enormous amount of coordination, and one of them already fell through.
     
    #18 Mirror Form, Dec 20, 2008
    Last edited: Dec 20, 2008
  20. Mirror Form

    Mirror Form Thyroid Storm
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    More tough talk from a pre-med who thinks he knows everything b/c of military experience as a corpsman. Rants like yours are actually fairly common. One thing I don't see a whole lot of is rants like this from practicing military physicians.

    Regardless, we'll see if your perspective changes after you spend 10 grueling years in training so you can spend more time functioning as a data entry clerk than practicing medicine.

    Although you do have a very good point that military doctors are respected and usually do well getting jobs in the civilian sector once they leave the military.
     
  21. Devil Doc

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    Oooohhhhhrrrrraaahhhhhh my fellow former devil doc! Don't expect to find any love around here for our unique medical experiences we had as Corpsmen. The only way these docs would understand is if they weren't breast feeding their way through college and had a little grit in their teeth like us. While they were smoking dope in their frat house during college, we were AD military medicine AND killing it in college. My suggestion is just bite your tongue and let the muffin tops say what they will because those of us who were actually in the medical field a long time are just dismissed as enlisted thugs. Good luck in your training and thereafter. I'm sure that your military medicine experiences will take you a long way and you will be an outstanding physician.
     
  22. goodjuju

    goodjuju HM3, FMF (pre-D.O.)
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    Oorah! goodjuju out.
     
  23. backrow

    backrow 60% of the time it works everytime
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    <----pops some popcorn and cozies on up to the computer......This is going to be good :laugh:
     
  24. HM3Rockstar

    HM3Rockstar Party Foul Extraordinaire
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  25. dwb8p

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    How'd the marines let the navy corpsmen steal their spirit cry, anyway? Where's the originality?
     
  26. HM3Rockstar

    HM3Rockstar Party Foul Extraordinaire
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    if you had any knowledge of the history of FMF corpsmen (not blue side) and the bond we have with our Marines you wouldn't even have to ask that question.
     
  27. dwb8p

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    :p At the end of the day you are still Navy.
     
  28. goodjuju

    goodjuju HM3, FMF (pre-D.O.)
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    Do I know you? Did I pee in your cheerios? This thread was started by someone who was looking for answers. We have asked some of our own questions as well as tried to contribute. Please do not try to hijack this thing just for your own gratification.

    For your information, the Marine Corps is a division of the Department of the Navy. So, by your logic, in the end we are all Navy.
     
  29. edinOH

    edinOH Can I get a work excuse?
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    FWIW I was an 8404/8445 HM3 back in the day. Got out in 1998. I've been an EM attending for about two and a half years.

    I considered going back the Navy route after med school but ultimately decided against it for a number of reasons. The primary reason was that I just wasn't interested in serving in the military anymore. That was one chapter of my life (a great one) but I had no desire to continue.

    I did approach it from a financial standpoint as well. On this end, the numbers just don't make sense. As an EM doc, you will never approach a financial gain let alone a financial wash going HPSP. The dollars you lose while serving, not to mention the essentially guaranteed delay in specialty training, are just too great. The only reason to do it is because you want to be a Navy medical officer more than you want to be a civilian. No other reason is logical. I pay about $800 per month total for my medical school loans, both subsidized and unsubsidized and a private loan as well. I went to a state school and borrowed more than I should have. Just for persepctive, this year I made just under $400k. The financial gulf is just too great. Plus, I live where I want to live, and work when I want to work. I'm a civilian.


    More power to my enlisted brothers in this thread who are planning a return. We need somebody to do the job. Just do it for the right reasons.
     

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