dsl8va

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Hello all. Hopefully I can spark up some discussion that hasn't been already covered in these forums. I currently serve as an AD Army EOD officer, but will be separating shortly to take my pre-reqs for medical school. I am more than likely going to apply to USUHS to practice operational/military medicine. I know with these cuts and alignment under DPH, most people are forewarning pre-meds, but this is what I want to do.

I've been doing some reading recently between the Army and Air Force for special operations opportunities for those in health care. I've listed some of them below. I honestly couldn't find a formal team like these in the Navy or Marines. I understand that the Navy has DMO/UMO, but outside of that I couldn't find a dedicated team for special operations.

SOF Surgical Support
Air Force Special Operations Surgical Team (SOST) Article
SOST CONOP
Army Special Operations Resuscitation Team (SORT) Article
SORT Capabilities and Future

Does anyone here have experience with AF SOST and/or Army SORT/FRST? The cool thing about SOSTs that I believe the Army might adopt, is that those providers rotate at level 1 trauma centers to keep their skills up. They don't sit around at MTFs potentially losing out on their skillsets - specifically complex trauma cases. The AF seems to have a whole selection process and the SOSTs are listed under Special Tactics. I couldn't find much on the Army side. Do you simply just take the FS training and then volunteer and hope you get picked up? I'd just like to speak to someone that can speak with experience on either of these opportunities.

I understand that some people here are sour about physicians wanting to be Rambo or door kickers. That's not necessarily me, but I don't see what's wrong with wanting to be part of an elite team that trains/operates outside the wire to treat America's most elite operators.
 

militaryPHYS

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Marines get their medical assets from the Navy. As a Navy physician, after intern year you can do dive medicine (Underseas Medical Officer) and request (via your detailer) to be assigned to a seal unit. It is not always guaranteed. You can also just do a generic GMO tour and be assigned to an operational (recon) USMC unit. Again, nothing is guaranteed. Requests for spec op units aren’t crazy high so these will often get honored.

I can’t speak for the other services
 

dsl8va

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Marines get their medical assets from the Navy. As a Navy physician, after intern year you can do dive medicine (Underseas Medical Officer) and request (via your detailer) to be assigned to a seal unit. It is not always guaranteed. You can also just do a generic GMO tour and be assigned to an operational (recon) USMC unit. Again, nothing is guaranteed. Requests for spec op units aren’t crazy high so these will often get honored.

I can’t speak for the other services

I appreciate your response. That's the unfortunate thing about the Navy for me. As cool/unique dive medicine would be with a seal unit, I know at the end of the day it's a GMO tour and short-lived. I want to do something post-residency and hopefully for a longer time.
 
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ArmyTiger

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Special Forces gets most of its GMOs from residency trained FM or EM docs, and usually prior service special forces guys. You can volunteer as a general surgeon, don't think it's very competitive since surgeons already get deployed too often.
 

Cooperd0g

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I was under the impression that DMOs served after their intern year for three years before they head off to residency.

You can be board eligible or board certified and still be a DMO or Flight Surgeon. You may have to do a payback tour in your specialty prior to doing, or going back to, those communities.
 

Gastrapathy

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OK, they take their own too. Current SEALs who went back to med school are not exactly the typical student on this message board.
 

Gastrapathy

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OP, when you say complex trauma, are you talking about being a general surgeon? That isn’t compatible with these operational billets.
 

dsl8va

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OP, when you say complex trauma, are you talking about being a general surgeon? That isn’t compatible with these operational billets.
I suppose I'm referring to both EM and gen surgeons.

I obviously am not a physician, nor in military health care. However, based on my readings in this forum as well as others, it seems that a lot of surgeons and EM physicians at MTFs lack a lot of complex cases that a typical level 1 trauma hospital would see.

I know that SOSTs are made up of one gen surg as well as one EM (among other specialties). These members in the AF get to rotate at level 1 trauma centers (UAB, Miami, and Las Vegas I believe) which is another draw towards these specialized teams.
 

dsl8va

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You can be board eligible or board certified and still be a DMO or Flight Surgeon. You may have to do a payback tour in your specialty prior to doing, or going back to, those communities.
Gotcha. I appreciate the clarification.
 

xpert787

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I'm a 61J and have recently deployed on one of these types of teams, and work under the mil-civ level 1 partnership model you spoke of. If you have any questions feel free to msg me.
 
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vcentwin

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Milmed physicians; either HPSP ADSO-and-GTFO docs, Gung-ho prior service Army-ranger turned forward surgical team trauma-surgeon or MD/D)-turned Military Health system O-6 bureaucrat.
 

Gerudo

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You do not need to be board certified in order to work with special forces as a DMO in the Navy. That includes MARSOC, EOD, & SEALs. It is true that like most things in the military you only have at best a say in what billet you have. There are no guarantees that you will have the opportunity to work in these communities as a DMO. It is not uncommon for individuals to do intern year > dive school > 1st DMO tour > residency > utilization tour in that specialty > 2nd+ DMO tour.
 
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