All Branch Topic (ABT) Partial knee replacement, military physician disqualifier?

Aug 6, 2016
4
0
Status
Pre-Health (Field Undecided)
My question: Will a partial knee replacement disqualify me from being a military physician?

I found 0ne service indicated a prosthetic is a probable disqualifier. With physicians in such high demand...

I am prior service (Army and Marines). The replacement is from military injuries.

I currently have a Ph.D. (non-medical field) and have been an educator for 20 years at the high school and university levels but I often tell my wife I miss the military and I should have gone to medical school instead of "Ph.D. school." With my teaching career over, I am looking for the next challenge.

I thought I would post here and see what information I can gather while I wait to hear back from some recruiters.

Any advice/direction is appreciated.
 

Gastrapathy

no longer apathetic
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Feb 27, 2007
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Your first issue is whether you are really prepared for a decade-long training path with little control over your schedule or your location. Expect to move 3 times. Are you really prepared for a decade of disrupted sleep? How long will you practice after that? I can't see any way this is worth it. Are you ready to apply or will it take you 2 years for prerequisites/MCAT?

If, after all that, you still want into medicine, it's time to start thinking about the .mil. You probably won't qualify medically but no one can say for sure unless you go through the process. They aren't suffering for doctors right now. In fact, it's not at all clear they want the number they have.
 
OP
O
Aug 6, 2016
4
0
Status
Pre-Health (Field Undecided)
Gastrapathy - Thanks for the probing questions. I'll address them with some brief comments.

I don't mind the decade-long training - I need challenges. If I don't have them I have little motivation for anything. (I recently went through the local police academy just for the fun of the challenge.) Moving will be the biggest issue for the family. I did not meet my wife until my crazy single days were over so that will be something new for her. Personally, I like it but they have to be part of the equation. As such, I am looking at reserve/national guard components. I'm not crazy about the lack of sleep, but there are always negatives with any situation.

The length of practice after completion is something I can't answer. However, I'm not one to retire when I hit 65. I plan to go until I am done.

Will need some prerequisites but not sure which ones at this point. MCAT ahead.

I initially discounted the military because of the partial replacement but some of my military friends have mentioned there might be a possibility for an MD in a high-need area. Obviously, the combat arms days are over but physically I am always in the top 5-10% of physical activities, even when competing against twenty-somethings. I am better than before the surgery, but I realize the military may not see it that way. If that is the case, I'll grudgingly accept it and move along.

Again, thanks for the information.
 

Ziehl-Neelsen

If you will it, Dude, it is no dream.
10+ Year Member
Feb 17, 2005
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Attending Physician
You discount the rigor of medical training and the effect it would have on your family, but you have to make those decisions for yourself.

Your orthopedic hardware will medically disqualify you, but based on your post, I'd say the bigger issue is your age. HPSP and USUHS have an upper age limit of 36 for acceptance. I had a fellow resident who was going to be 36 years and 4 days old on the day he started at USUHS and he told me that getting the waiver to attend USUHS was nearly impossible--and this was in 2004 when the GWOT was raging and people weren't exactly beating down the door to become military physicians. If you are prior service, you know that the DOD can waive whatever the hell it wants to if the Pentagon decides that such a waiver fits their ends, but as Gastrapathy alluded to above, in the current MilMed environment, I'd put your chances of getting a waiver at slim to none.

If I were the physician reviewing your packet, I would unequivocally recommend against granting you a waiver for age or medical disqualifications.
 
OP
O
Aug 6, 2016
4
0
Status
Pre-Health (Field Undecided)
You discount the rigor of medical training and the effect it would have on your family, but you have to make those decisions for yourself.

Your orthopedic hardware will medically disqualify you, but based on your post, I'd say the bigger issue is your age. HPSP and USUHS have an upper age limit of 36 for acceptance. I had a fellow resident who was going to be 36 years and 4 days old on the day he started at USUHS and he told me that getting the waiver to attend USUHS was nearly impossible--and this was in 2004 when the GWOT was raging and people weren't exactly beating down the door to become military physicians. If you are prior service, you know that the DOD can waive whatever the hell it wants to if the Pentagon decides that such a waiver fits their ends, but as Gastrapathy alluded to above, in the current MilMed environment, I'd put your chances of getting a waiver at slim to none.

If I were the physician reviewing your packet, I would unequivocally recommend against granting you a waiver for age or medical disqualifications.

Thank you - I appreciate your honesty. That's what I am seeking.