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Navy Surface GMO Questions

n131313

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I am a previous SWO-turned surface GMO once I finish intern year in a few weeks and have a few questions:

1. For SWMDO qualification, do I have to re-do a bunch of PQS officially, or is there something that says I can bypass some of the more general stuff?

2. As a medical person, can they make me stand watches such as CDO or OOD? Could I if I wanted to? I am not familiar yet with the duty requirements of a GMO but imagine I will be on call as the medical rep for the command.

Thank you.
 

DrMetal

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I am a previous SWO-turned surface GMO once I finish intern year in a few weeks and have a few questions:

1. For SWMDO qualification, do I have to re-do a bunch of PQS officially, or is there something that says I can bypass some of the more general stuff?
Depends on your chain. They can be as flexible or hardass as they want. You should have no problem with it .

2. As a medical person, can they make me stand watches such as CDO or OOD?

CDO, yes, any officer can qualify to be a CDO in port. OOD? I guess you could, being a prior SWO, but why? You're not a ship driver any more. Concentrate on medical, there'll be plenty for you to do. And if you're the lone medical officer (LSD, LPD) you need to be readily available (like, when a kid shoots himself in the aft armory). You shouldn't be tied up with CDO/OOD duties.
 
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DrMetal

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I was on duty on the ship across the pier when that happened. My friend knew the person. Sucks.

Well, I was talking about an incident that occurred while deployed in 5th fleet, off the coast of Jordan. Hell of a way to make CNN. Sad that we have multiple instances of this to talk about.

Anyways, a ship's medical officer can be busy. Don't try to play SWO.
 
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Matthew9Thirtyfive

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Well, I was talking about an incident that occurred while deployed in 5th fleet, off the coast of Jordan. Hell of a way to make CNN. Sad that we have multiple instances of this to talk about.

Anyways, a ship's medical officer can be busy. Don't try to play SWO.

Yeah, I was talking about the incident in San Diego years ago. Someone hung themselves on the ship and another person shot herself at the armory within 3 days of each other.
 

n131313

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Thank you both! I am very happy not to play SWO; my worry is getting the wrong balance between satisfying my immediate chain of command while also trying to accomplish my duty as the ship's SMO. It sounds like they may be able to make me stand CDO but I wont try to gun for anything (like U/W watch).
 

Matthew9Thirtyfive

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Thank you both! I am very happy not to play SWO; my worry is getting the wrong balance between satisfying my immediate chain of command while also trying to accomplish my duty as the ship's SMO. It sounds like they may be able to make me stand CDO but I wont try to gun for anything (like U/W watch).

I mean if you don’t get the qual... I’m sure you’ll have plenty of other things to do.
 

Gastrapathy

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If you have a SWO pin, there is literally zero reason to do SWMDO. I wasn’t ship’s company but the blue side GMO I deployed with who was a prior line officer did some random stuff to keep himself entertained before they dropped us off (helo, well deck control, etc).

I would try to make the argument that you are on call 24/7 so they shouldn’t put you on the watchbill but you know those SWOs...

but if there is one piece of advice I can give you, do not delegate all the clinical medicine to your IDC while you sit in PB4T. There will be pathology hiding amongst the sick call commandos and it’s easy to get jaded and miss it. You should see anyone who comes back a second time for the same problem. This teaches the crew that they won’t get away with BS and helps you find the real pathology. You are an undertrained non-board eligible primary care physician and you are the one who knows the most.
 
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n131313

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If you have a SWO pin, there is literally zero reason to do SWMDO. I wasn’t ship’s company but the blue side GMO I deployed with who was a prior line officer did some random stuff to keep himself entertained before they dropped us off (helo, well deck control, etc).

I would try to make the argument that you are on call 24/7 so they shouldn’t put you on the watchbill but you know those SWOs...

but if there is one piece of advice I can give you, do not delegate all the clinical medicine to your IDC while you sit in PB4T. There will be pathology hiding amongst the sick call commandos and it’s easy to get jaded and miss it. You should see anyone who comes back a second time for the same problem. This teaches the crew that they won’t get away with BS and helps you find the real pathology. You are an undertrained non-board eligible primary care physician and you are the one who knows the most.

This is all great. I will absolutely follow your advice. However, wouldn't SWMDO be mandatory and help me for JSGMESB later? Or is it completely optional?
 

TheTruckGuy

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This is all great. I will absolutely follow your advice. However, wouldn't SWMDO be mandatory and help me for JSGMESB later? Or is it completely optional?
Depends on the program director. Those that did GMO/FS/UMO tours respect it and expect that you get it. It may not help you a whole lot if you get it, but it will definitely hurt you if you had the opportunity and didn't get it. Those that went straight through, or don't value the operational side of things might not care as much.

Also, you should check out https://navyopmed.com and sign up for an account. A flight surgeon made it, but it's pretty handy when you're first figuring out how to be a GMO.
 

TheTruckGuy

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There is no way that a PD will care when he already has a SWO pin. Most PDs wouldn’t care even if he didn’t.
Yeah, I guess having an actual SWO pin as a former SWO changes the equation a bit.

But I heard from one of my chief residents as I was an outgoing intern that our program director put a lot of weight into earning warfare devices when it's available. Didn't hear it first hand from the PD though.

Still though, depending on what platform you're attached to, it helps on multiple levels. Helps you become a better part of the unit, get closer with the other JOs, shows you're not a lazy doc just on vacation, shows you care about the operational side of Navy medicine, and I feel like it makes you better able to understand and advise commanders. Of course, being an actual SWO, he'd already have all this knowledge, but if he was going green side, it's a whole different world and language and mindset.
 
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DrMetal

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Just get the SWMDO, it's not that hard. My board took place on the back 9 of the Ernie Els Club in Dubai. You must play it if you ever get the chance. The Els Club - 971 (0) 4 425 1000

Also, if you plan to stick around in the Navy, get the JPME Phase 1. I heard they're bringing back the on line version. I used the take home CD. Knocked it out during deployment. Easy, and enjoyable if you like military history.
 
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