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usarmyscholar

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This website is for anyone in the New York City Metro area who is interested in learning more about the Health Professions Scholarship Program. Contact info is included...

http://www.usarec.army.mil/1stbde/1zbn/NYCHPSP

If anyone has questions for me on this forum - shoot...I have been recruiting for over a year and I have an answer for most questions. Also - I have no interest in BS'ing anyone as I leave here in 5 months to attend the Interservice Physician Assistant Program in San Antonio. I see a lot of postings from people who feel they were lied to or otherwise misled. I'm here to get you all the right answers asap. I hope I can help!

I look forward to hearing from you!!

CPT Letourneau
[email protected]
 

mamajama

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Here's my beef. When you are going through the application process I feel like it is presented in a way that leaves out just enough of the negatives of military medicine to make it very difficult to make an objective decision.

For instance, when I signed up I knew how the scholarship worked, how much I would be paid, what exactly would be covered, and I understood my potential commitment (depending on length of residency, etc). I was told that I would be training in some of the top medical facilities in the world. I was told that board scores in residency met or exceed scores at civilian institutions. I knew I could be deployed. Multiple times. I was OK with that.

Once I got further into medical school, discovered this website, spoke with actual military physicians, and spent some time at an Army community hospital my opinion changed. I'm OK with dealing with military bureacracy and red tape. Already knew about that. I'm OK with being deployed. Knew about that too. I'm OK with possibly living in a part of the country (or overseas) where I don't necessarily want to be.

I AM NOT OK WITH RECEVIING SUB-STANDARD TRAINING AND WORKING IN A SUBSTANDARD MEDICAL FACILITY DURING MY COMMITMENT.

Since I have been on the scholarship, I have learned that:
1. The acuity level of patients in the military is much lower than those at a civilian program. This particularly affects the training of all surgeons, anesthesiologists, EM physicians, and IM physicians. It probably has a lesser effect on FM, and I'm assuming pediatrics is the least affected since there are plenty of dependents to take care of (and all the illnesses, diseases, etc that go along with children).

Where this might be all fine and good if one is planning on staying in the military and working on that patient population for an entire career, it is not OK if you are planning on pursuing a civilian career.

Who wants to hire a general surgeon who has done colonoscopies and cysts with rare appy's, GB's, and non-existent major abdominal surgeries for that past 4 years during their commitment???

Who wants to hire an EM doc who has essentially been staffing an urgent care clinic for the past 4 years???

Who wants to hire an anesthesiologist who hasn't done a case on a patient higher than an ASA I-II for the past 4 years?

Who wants to hire an internist who has been stationed at a Troop Medical Clinic and hasn't managed a whole lot of 90 year olds with multiple comorbities lately???

2. The reason board scores are so high in Army residencies, particularly those that are skill/procedure oriented is this: they are so much less busy that their civilian counterparts that they actually have time to sit around an study. A LOT. But that doesn't look so good when you're getting out of the Army and your potential employer/partner is asking you about numbers and what kind of cases you saw in residency/practice.

3. Increasing numbers of board certified, specialty trained physicians are being utilized essentially as GMO's overseas. I met a fellowship trained infectious disease physician who spent a year in Iraq as a GMO. It could be me, but this doesn't seem to be the most efficient use of his skills considering the amount of money that has been invested in his education. I spent some time with one of the radiologist at an Army community hospital. A residency classmate of his did a neuroradiology fellowship and is now stationed at a location that does ZERO neuroradiology. NONE. This is after the Army told him that he would be allowed to do a neurorads fellowship because they needed neuroradiologists. That won't look too good on his CV when he gets out. A radiologist at an Air Force base wasn't getting enough work. He contacted the Naval hospital nearby and asked if they could use any extra help. They said they would be happy to have him come over to help out with their imaging volume. Did this guy's commander allow this??? Nope. He was forced to stay at his Air Force base without enough work even though the Naval hospital could have used his help.

Here's the bottom line. I knew the Army was going to get something out of me in return for their money. I knew I would be utilized within my specialty pretty much however/wherever the Army needed me. I knew I would be deployed.

But I thought that in return, I was going to get quality residency education and a practice environment comparable to a civilian (as far as patient population, etc). In return for all I would give to the Army, I assumed that I would at least be marketable in the civilian sector. Now it looks like I'll have to use my own free time to moonlight just to keep my skills and/or knowledge base up or to have access to a higher acuity patient population to have a reasonable chance of getting a desirable job out of the Army. The only specialties I've seen that I think have a reasonable chance of getting what they need as physicians within the Army are pediatrics and family medicine. Although this may be surprising, even PM&R is not immune.

I'm sure others can chime in here. I am sure you are a well meaning person but I'll bet that you are not aware of many of these issues, and if you are I'll bet for sure that you don't talk to potential applicants about them. Why would you?
 
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Ex-44E3A

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Any relation to Mary Kay LeTourneau?

geez.... you would bring her up. She is one sick woman... didn't she just recently get out of prison?
 

usarmyscholar

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Just kidding...

Yes, highly unoriginal...I actually got that from an anesthesiologist in New York Presbyterian in the elevator the other day...I was in uniform and he could see my nametag...he just thought he was the bee's knees.

I do always appreciate an attempt at a laugh...:)
 

Croooz

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mamajama,
Where have you trained and worked that you can compare your training in the military to that of a civilian?
 

delicatefade

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My father recently heard a speaker who was a general surgeon in the first push into Baghdad in 2003 or 04, I can't remember. That seemed to be about as close to the front lines as you can get.
 

met19

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Big Desperado of the Military med fame just beat me to the bunch to point all this out- esp cost of living in NYC and EM training in the military.

All I have to say is 1300 after taxes covers nothing in New York. Would love to know what neighborhood the 975 is- I will gladly add my 2 cents. To live in a decent part of brooklyn- park slope, bay ridge you pay more than 1200 for a studio. But to be totally honest, there is a commissary at Ft Hamilton which I visit once/week to stock up on most goods.

Regarding EM, my experience is limited since I am a MS IV. However, I am thankful for my full deferral. I compared my 6 weeks @ my home level 1 trauma/wrong side of brooklyn (lots of sick patients) institution to my month @ NMCP where I only saw one patient go to the unit and few regular admissions. Just not enough sick patients. One on hand thats great for the military, but really bad for training.
 

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mamajama,
Where have you trained and worked that you can compare your training in the military to that of a civilian?

Does it matter??? It seems to be the opinion of the vast majority of this board as well as the majority of the active duty physicians I have spoken with. The only ones I have heard who had anything generally positive to say about military medicine got out in the 90's or earlier.
 

Ex-44E3A

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And here are my thoughts on SDN recruiting
(Barf-guy omitted)

I don't blame the guy for trying... but there is no "Amen" chorus on this site. He probably just realized that he stepped into the lion's den :)thumbup: to Desperado... strong work).

This is a tough crowd, and I love that about this board... plenty of people on this site are crouched and ready to call bullsh*t at the slightest whiff of marketing-speak.
 

mamajama

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Good grief. Well, if the current retention rate in military medicine (something else I didn't know about when I signed) doesn't tell you something, nothing I ever say will. Every active duty doc I have spoken to feels pretty much the same way. But I suppose that doesn't matter to you. I didn't realize I needed qualifications to make obvious statements about the state of military medicine.

I will happily admit that I didn't do the right kind of research when I was signing. I did learn about every bit of the program I could. I just didn't even think to explore the actual state of military medicine and military GME because the thought that it could possibly be this bad just didn't occur to me. I mean, why would it??? I think the military is one of the finest organizations in the world. Sure, it has problems that face every government entity but the fact that the military does what it does it simply amazing to me. In general, soldiers, sailors, airmen, and marines are taken care of by their own. Sadly, the military has pretty much given up on physicians and is so short sighted that the current system will literally collapse when medical school applicants wise up to the reality and HPSP admissions vanish. They already drive out 9/10 physicians who can get out. Eventually, there will be no one left.
 
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delicatefade

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....This is the Army's big secret. They've "done away" with GMOs by putting residency trained physicians in operational billets. Our consultant told us he had 14 operation billets to fill out of approximately 22 residents graduating. Since every graduating resident is going to get deployed whether in a peds slot or an operation slot, I decided to find a desireable opeation job where I could (hopefully) see some kids.

Ed

Maybe we should add this to the list. I remember specifically being told by my recruiter that UNLIKE the Navy, an advantage of the Army was that GMO's were being phased out in lieu of actually using residency trained physicians within their specialty.
 

resxn

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Well done, Desperado. I simply am in awe of that fine dissertation and if I had the power to make it a sticky I would.

I'd like to address the following quotes additionally

1 - "Physicians whose skills require that they remain in the hospital setting (surgeons, anesthesia, radiology, ophthalmology, etc.) will be assigned to any of the Army’s hospitals."

And while that may be true, with the significant downsizing of the hospitals, you may not be in one very long. I was promised the same. And that promise was held, but then within 7 months of starting AD, my ED closed, the inpt service closed, the OR services down-sized, we lost blood bank support, we lost significant lab support, and I have to do all my operations requiring an overnight stay at a non-military hospital. In other words, we went from a hospital to an outpt clinic in less than a year. I wasn't moved to a higher acuity center. I was left where I was. The same is happening elsewhere.

2 - Army matches for Army residencies first and then if the applicant does not match, they have the option of a civilian residency (the emphasis is put on military residencies).

Another example of an outright lie described above by Desperado

3 - The relationship doesn’t stop between the healthcare recruiter and the HPSP scholarship recipient when they enroll in the program and begin medical school.

I never saw or heard from my recruiter again. Which is good, because if I do ever see him, I'd have to significantly work to refrain from wailing on this guy who lied through his teeth to me about the scholarship program. But I am AF which you appropriately rip.

I'm sure we'd all love to hear your comments. Please feel free to respond.
 

West Side

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I'm sure we'd all love to hear your comments. Please feel free to respond.
I wouldn't hold your breath.

This has got to be one of the funniest threads on here. I can just imagine this poor bastard's boss telling him to "get out there and try and combat some of the negative pub we're getting on the internet".

Like a lamb to a slaughter! :)
 

delicatefade

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What if you were a board certified, fellowship trained IM subspecialist?
 

met19

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Just be glad you only had to make this comparison for a few weeks, I'm in my 4th month waiting to be present in the department when a patient is intubated (much less intubate one myself.)

I do feel glad to have that comparison. I even used the angle of seeing more sick patients in my essay for deferral! Didn't see an intubation there either. I guess I will have to moonlight to have some real "fun". The one really good thing about NMCP- you can buy a house. Not possible in New York on military pay- or even some attendings pay. My metor just bought her first condo- def a negative about the NYC area.
 

met19

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I guess it may or may not matter depending on your motivations for posting these kinds of comments.

If you are like MedicalCorpse, USAFdoc, or the other attendings whose stated goal is to reveal what they see as deceptive recruiting practices in the HPSP program, then it makes a big difference. People deserve to know your background and basis for what you say.

On the other hand, if you are one more disgruntled HPSP student who now regrets their choice to sign on, then it really makes no difference, because you are just using SDN to vent (which is fine, don't get me wrong).

The point is that, if you are going to make seemingly factual statements about the state of military medicine, you cannot be suprised if other posters ask you about your qualifications to make such pronouncements.

As a student I try to be factual in my responses even though I have only spent a few months in military medicine. I do admit some is venting though I try to keep it to a minimum.

In full disclosure, I would not have taken the scholarship if I knew what I knew now regarding residency, state of the field etc.
 

Galo

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Here's my beef. When you are going through the application process I feel like it is presented in a way that leaves out just enough of the negatives of military medicine to make it very difficult to make an objective decision.

For instance, when I signed up I knew how the scholarship worked, how much I would be paid, what exactly would be covered, and I understood my potential commitment (depending on length of residency, etc). I was told that I would be training in some of the top medical facilities in the world. I was told that board scores in residency met or exceed scores at civilian institutions. I knew I could be deployed. Multiple times. I was OK with that.

Once I got further into medical school, discovered this website, spoke with actual military physicians, and spent some time at an Army community hospital my opinion changed. I'm OK with dealing with military bureacracy and red tape. Already knew about that. I'm OK with being deployed. Knew about that too. I'm OK with possibly living in a part of the country (or overseas) where I don't necessarily want to be.

I AM NOT OK WITH RECEVIING SUB-STANDARD TRAINING AND WORKING IN A SUBSTANDARD MEDICAL FACILITY DURING MY COMMITMENT.

Since I have been on the scholarship, I have learned that:
1. The acuity level of patients in the military is much lower than those at a civilian program. This particularly affects the training of all surgeons, anesthesiologists, EM physicians, and IM physicians. It probably has a lesser effect on FM, and I'm assuming pediatrics is the least affected since there are plenty of dependents to take care of (and all the illnesses, diseases, etc that go along with children).

Where this might be all fine and good if one is planning on staying in the military and working on that patient population for an entire career, it is not OK if you are planning on pursuing a civilian career.

Who wants to hire a general surgeon who has done colonoscopies and cysts with rare appy's, GB's, and non-existent major abdominal surgeries for that past 4 years during their commitment???

Who wants to hire an EM doc who has essentially been staffing an urgent care clinic for the past 4 years???

Who wants to hire an anesthesiologist who hasn't done a case on a patient higher than an ASA I-II for the past 4 years?

Who wants to hire an internist who has been stationed at a Troop Medical Clinic and hasn't managed a whole lot of 90 year olds with multiple comorbities lately???

2. The reason board scores are so high in Army residencies, particularly those that are skill/procedure oriented is this: they are so much less busy that their civilian counterparts that they actually have time to sit around an study. A LOT. But that doesn't look so good when you're getting out of the Army and your potential employer/partner is asking you about numbers and what kind of cases you saw in residency/practice.

3. Increasing numbers of board certified, specialty trained physicians are being utilized essentially as GMO's overseas. I met a fellowship trained infectious disease physician who spent a year in Iraq as a GMO. It could be me, but this doesn't seem to be the most efficient use of his skills considering the amount of money that has been invested in his education. I spent some time with one of the radiologist at an Army community hospital. A residency classmate of his did a neuroradiology fellowship and is now stationed at a location that does ZERO neuroradiology. NONE. This is after the Army told him that he would be allowed to do a neurorads fellowship because they needed neuroradiologists. That won't look too good on his CV when he gets out. A radiologist at an Air Force base wasn't getting enough work. He contacted the Naval hospital nearby and asked if they could use any extra help. They said they would be happy to have him come over to help out with their imaging volume. Did this guy's commander allow this??? Nope. He was forced to stay at his Air Force base without enough work even though the Naval hospital could have used his help.

Here's the bottom line. I knew the Army was going to get something out of me in return for their money. I knew I would be utilized within my specialty pretty much however/wherever the Army needed me. I knew I would be deployed.

But I thought that in return, I was going to get quality residency education and a practice environment comparable to a civilian (as far as patient population, etc). In return for all I would give to the Army, I assumed that I would at least be marketable in the civilian sector. Now it looks like I'll have to use my own free time to moonlight just to keep my skills and/or knowledge base up or to have access to a higher acuity patient population to have a reasonable chance of getting a desirable job out of the Army. The only specialties I've seen that I think have a reasonable chance of getting what they need as physicians within the Army are pediatrics and family medicine. Although this may be surprising, even PM&R is not immune.

I'm sure others can chime in here. I am sure you are a well meaning person but I'll bet that you are not aware of many of these issues, and if you are I'll bet for sure that you don't talk to potential applicants about them. Why would you?

usarmyscholar??

What happened?? I've yet to see a responce to this question. You see a variety of people at all levels of training telling you that what you sell is bulls#it, yet you have no answer. Its not just 2 or 3 physicians that had a bad experience. Those experiences are happening now even earlier, as residents realize that the training they get is subpar, and their ability to practice medicine is restricted. Yet you have the gall to say you have the answers?

In the words of Lenny the shark, "you're a liar". There was another recruiter in Brooklyn whom we have not heard from in a while. Perhaps he got the message. You should too.
 

HumptyDumptyMil

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As a student I try to be factual in my responses even though I have only spent a few months in military medicine. I do admit some is venting thought I try to keep it to a minimum.

In full disclosure, I would not have taken the scholarship if I knew what I knew now regarding residency, state of the field etc.

I concur. I did not realize the full extent of how awful the TRAINING was going to be.
 
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met19

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Actually, I was really refering more to mamajama's extensive trashing of military medicine, when I detect the distinct odor of HPSP med student hanging around him.

I am also a student, and only have a couple months experience with milmed.

I have no interest in the recruiters who periodically sweep through SDN, and I understand the frustration that gets vented at them.

But I also have no respect for my fellow med students who get off on talking about "substandard training and facilities", "getting screwed on residency" and other stock topics, when they're still in school, and have as much experience with residency, deployments, and bureaucracy as I do (ie - zero).


Some students do have experiences with the bureaucracy and the state of medicine. Esp 4th years who take part in the military match, spent time @ military hosp, and find out the truth regarding chances of training in the speciality they want. That's where I get alot of my info. 3 months in varoious military hosp, the match, the BS regarding choosing specialites, GMOs, etc. And then I spoke to the residents and attendings I worked with who gave me more info.
BTW if anyone is interested in EM: most attendings will tell you its better to train out of the military (esp navy).
 

mamajama

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Actually, I was really refering more to mamajama's extensive trashing of military medicine, when I detect the distinct odor of HPSP med student hanging around him.

I am also a student, and only have a couple months experience with milmed.

I have no interest in the recruiters who periodically sweep through SDN, and I understand the frustration that gets vented at them.

But I also have no respect for my fellow med students who get off on talking about "substandard training and facilities", "getting screwed on residency" and other stock topics, when they're still in school, and have as much experience with residency, deployments, and bureaucracy as I do (ie - zero).

I never said I wasn't a student. Anywhere. The fact that I haven't begun residency yet doesn't change the fact that many times, the training is inferior to civilian. Sorry. I will happily admit that some specialties are the exception to this rule.

You just matched didn't you??? In a surgical specialty??? Did you have a chance to compare the experience at your home institution with that in the military??? Why don't you wait until you start residency in a few months and then you can tell me that I'm wrong and that your training is so great.
I'll bet you will have neither the number of cases nor the acuity of cases that you could have had as a civilian.
 

usarmyscholar

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usarmyscholar??

What happened?? I've yet to see a responce to this question. You see a variety of people at all levels of training telling you that what you sell is bulls#it, yet you have no answer. Its not just 2 or 3 physicians that had a bad experience. Those experiences are happening now even earlier, as residents realize that the training they get is subpar, and their ability to practice medicine is restricted. Yet you have the gall to say you have the answers?

In the words of Lenny the shark, "you're a liar". There was another recruiter in Brooklyn whom we have not heard from in a while. Perhaps he got the message. You should too.

Ok, first of all, I am not a doc, so I cannot give an accurate assessment of all Army Residencies and even if I was, I surely would not be able to through experience alone. My offer to help anyone on the fence or to answer questions to the best of my ability are based on the core questions - commitment, OBLC, application process, what we pay for, Army Life, etc...

I have never spoken with an Army Physician who has had even close to the horrible experiences/training you all are claiming. I truly feel your disgruntled feelings lie at the heart of why you do what you do – so you therefore must have chosen Army medicine for the wrong reasons. This forum seems to attract docs/students who have had bad experiences and need to vent/complain/get others to hate the military medical system. Army docs who are happy and satisfied with their job and service truly live the Army Values and do what they do for the right reasons, not because they are worried about what a future employer will think. And they certainly do not feel they need to vent about their satisfaction on these forums...which I would love to see, a pro-military medicine forum!!

I have been in the Army for 13 years. My entire career has been based on the fact that I am the master of my own destiny. I have made every assignment and job happen. I didn’t just sit there and wait for someone to tell me what to do. Had I done that, I surely would have been dissatisfied with some assignments. Physicians are no different. Anyone can say the Residency training is sub-par. Well, if you think it is – do what you need to do to get what training you think you need! You must seek out and do the hard jobs and do them well. Take some leadership positions. Figure it out. God knows that if I had less time in the Army I would do HPSP in a heartbeat, but I do have enough time to do PA School (barley). I am excited about the concept of taking care of the best patients in the world. I am excited about taking care of soldiers who will take a bullet for us all. I am not excited about working with any physician who cannot find value in the Army Healthcare System. If nothing else, you find value in working with the fine people who do what they do everyday - the physicians, PA’s, nurses, medics for the purpose of serving and taking care of soldiers and their families. It’s that simple.
The Army will give you a medical education, great residency training (believe it or not), and an experience that is just not attainable anywhere else. All the Army asks is that you help them figure it out. Make your career happen. If you want to get out after your obligation, fine, just adjust your attitude so you can care for our soldiers and their families with the best end state in mind – the patient’s, not yours.

It’s a pretty simple concept. Take charge of your own career. You will have to do that in the civilian sector without doubt.

I do not profess what I do not know, but I do know that 90% of all success is attitude. See it and it will happen, it’s up to you.

I apologize for any recruiter out there who has deceived any applicant. This is not the norm, and we certainly do not want physicians in the Army that feel like they were “tricked” into serving.

So, please understand what I do is a job, and I do it with passion because I know that the quality of students I find to sign up for HPSP is the same quality of physicians that may be taking care of me and my family someday.
 

Croooz

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mamajama,
You are in for a rough time. It's too early to be so disgruntled. A MS3 praising the military is just as bad as a MS3 trashing the military. Give it time and break in your boots. You have a long haul and starting out like this does you no good.

There will always be HPSP students. You're a smart guy and fell for it and so will thousands more every year. I'm sure the numbers will continue to fall and less and less will join but there will always be new blood. 22 year olds who never had much debt see they are looking at $150k+ they will freak and come running to the recruiters office. The fear of debt is more powerful than the fear of receiving substandard training, real or perceived.

My point to you is "man up" and accept your lot. Don't expose your troops to what they will only consider to be whining. Do your time, help those you can, and get out. I understand the need to vent. However you ain't done nothing to vent about just yet.
 

orbitsurgMD

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Ok, first of all, I am not a doc, so I cannot give an accurate assessment of all Army Residencies and even if I was, I surely would not be able to through experience alone. My offer to help anyone on the fence or to answer questions to the best of my ability are based on the core questions - commitment, OBLC, application process, what we pay for, Army Life, etc...

I have never spoken with an Army Physician who has had even close to the horrible experiences/training you all are claiming. I truly feel your disgruntled feelings lie at the heart of why you do what you do – so you therefore must have chosen Army medicine for the wrong reasons. This forum seems to attract docs/students who have had bad experiences and need to vent/complain/get others to hate the military medical system. Army docs who are happy and satisfied with their job and service truly live the Army Values and do what they do for the right reasons, not because they are worried about what a future employer will think. And they certainly do not feel they need to vent about their satisfaction on these forums...which I would love to see, a pro-military medicine forum!!

I have been in the Army for 13 years. My entire career has been based on the fact that I am the master of my own destiny. I have made every assignment and job happen. I didn’t just sit there and wait for someone to tell me what to do. Had I done that, I surely would have been dissatisfied with some assignments. Physicians are no different. Anyone can say the Residency training is sub-par. Well, if you think it is – do what you need to do to get what training you think you need! You must seek out and do the hard jobs and do them well. Take some leadership positions. Figure it out. God knows that if I had less time in the Army I would do HPSP in a heartbeat, but I do have enough time to do PA School (barley). I am excited about the concept of taking care of the best patients in the world. I am excited about taking care of soldiers who will take a bullet for us all. I am not excited about working with any physician who cannot find value in the Army Healthcare System. If nothing else, you find value in working with the fine people who do what they do everyday - the physicians, PA’s, nurses, medics for the purpose of serving and taking care of soldiers and their families. It’s that simple.
The Army will give you a medical education, great residency training (believe it or not), and an experience that is just not attainable anywhere else. All the Army asks is that you help them figure it out. Make your career happen. If you want to get out after your obligation, fine, just adjust your attitude so you can care for our soldiers and their families with the best end state in mind – the patient’s, not yours.

It’s a pretty simple concept. Take charge of your own career. You will have to do that in the civilian sector without doubt.

I do not profess what I do not know, but I do know that 90% of all success is attitude. See it and it will happen, it’s up to you.

I apologize for any recruiter out there who has deceived any applicant. This is not the norm, and we certainly do not want physicians in the Army that feel like they were “tricked” into serving.

So, please understand what I do is a job, and I do it with passion because I know that the quality of students I find to sign up for HPSP is the same quality of physicians that may be taking care of me and my family someday.

Apologies not accepted. Really, you are not in a position to speak as an apologist for those who recruited deceptively. Those ugly and reprehensible and repeated practices are wreaking their inevitable consequences in the declining numbers of willing candidates for the HPSP program. It is an end that is deserved.

We know you are a recruiter. We know who your masters are. We know what your motives are. Please don't presume the soft-sell information officer approach. If you want to come and post here, then stand by for return fire. And please don't presume to conclude that those who were dissatisfied with their military medical experiences were dissatisfied either because they were recruited or joined for the "wrong" reasons or somehow failed to make the best of their military experiences. That is grating in the extreme. And it is wrong. There are a large number of critics of military medicine on these pages who do not deserve the dismissive assumptions you make and who very rightly call the recruiters and promises that brought them to their services as liars and lies.

Sorry to see you in such company.
 

mamajama

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mamajama,
You are in for a rough time. It's too early to be so disgruntled. A MS3 praising the military is just as bad as a MS3 trashing the military. Give it time and break in your boots. You have a long haul and starting out like this does you no good.

There will always be HPSP students. You're a smart guy and fell for it and so will thousands more every year. I'm sure the numbers will continue to fall and less and less will join but there will always be new blood. 22 year olds who never had much debt see they are looking at $150k+ they will freak and come running to the recruiters office. The fear of debt is more powerful than the fear of receiving substandard training, real or perceived.

My point to you is "man up" and accept your lot. Don't expose your troops to what they will only consider to be whining. Do your time, help those you can, and get out. I understand the need to vent. However you ain't done nothing to vent about just yet.

Please don't take my venting and frustration to mean that I will whine in front of my colleagues and troops. I most certainly will not. I swore an oath and I will fulfill my commitment and work to the best of my ability to provide the best care for my patients. I joined the Army because I wanted to serve the men and women in uniform and to be a part of what I consider to be a great organization. I just did not expect to find out after the fact what a mess military medicine has become, and I never really expected to stay in for an entire career so forgive me for being worried about how that will affect the rest of my life as a physician. I'm sure I'll figure it out, and if I have to moonlight or seek out additional opportunities, I'll do that. With all the great things the military does it was just literally shocking to me to find out what the healthcare system has become.
 

met19

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Ok, first of all, I am not a doc, so I cannot give an accurate assessment of all Army Residencies and even if I was, I surely would not be able to through experience alone. My offer to help anyone on the fence or to answer questions to the best of my ability are based on the core questions - commitment, OBLC, application process, what we pay for, Army Life, etc...

I have never spoken with an Army Physician who has had even close to the horrible experiences/training you all are claiming. I truly feel your disgruntled feelings lie at the heart of why you do what you do – so you therefore must have chosen Army medicine for the wrong reasons. This forum seems to attract docs/students who have had bad experiences and need to vent/complain/get others to hate the military medical system. Army docs who are happy and satisfied with their job and service truly live the Army Values and do what they do for the right reasons, not because they are worried about what a future employer will think. And they certainly do not feel they need to vent about their satisfaction on these forums...which I would love to see, a pro-military medicine forum!!

I have been in the Army for 13 years. My entire career has been based on the fact that I am the master of my own destiny. I have made every assignment and job happen. I didn't just sit there and wait for someone to tell me what to do. Had I done that, I surely would have been dissatisfied with some assignments. Physicians are no different. Anyone can say the Residency training is sub-par. Well, if you think it is – do what you need to do to get what training you think you need! You must seek out and do the hard jobs and do them well. Take some leadership positions. Figure it out. God knows that if I had less time in the Army I would do HPSP in a heartbeat, but I do have enough time to do PA School (barley). I am excited about the concept of taking care of the best patients in the world. I am excited about taking care of soldiers who will take a bullet for us all. I am not excited about working with any physician who cannot find value in the Army Healthcare System. If nothing else, you find value in working with the fine people who do what they do everyday - the physicians, PA's, nurses, medics for the purpose of serving and taking care of soldiers and their families. It's that simple.
The Army will give you a medical education, great residency training (believe it or not), and an experience that is just not attainable anywhere else. All the Army asks is that you help them figure it out. Make your career happen. If you want to get out after your obligation, fine, just adjust your attitude so you can care for our soldiers and their families with the best end state in mind – the patient's, not yours.

It's a pretty simple concept. Take charge of your own career. You will have to do that in the civilian sector without doubt.

I do not profess what I do not know, but I do know that 90% of all success is attitude. See it and it will happen, it's up to you.

I apologize for any recruiter out there who has deceived any applicant. This is not the norm, and we certainly do not want physicians in the Army that feel like they were "tricked" into serving.

So, please understand what I do is a job, and I do it with passion because I know that the quality of students I find to sign up for HPSP is the same quality of physicians that may be taking care of me and my family someday.

I agree that having a good attitude is important no matter what helps the entire team out. I also will enjoy treating the soldiers and being a part of the team.
However, I have to disagree with some of what you said.

My feelings regarding training are based upon 1) actual experiences and 2) the requirements to become an outstanding physician. In EM an MD needs to see sick patients, not board scores. The military as a whole are healthier than the civilian population. That is great for the military, but bad for training and its not possible to change that aspect of the military hospital. Residencies are set in stone for the most part. One cannot pick and choose parts of the program. E.g. more shifts in civilian trauma centers to see sicker patients. Its a set number of months/shifts/experiences.

True everyone who does not match, gets a civ deferral. However, a bunch of those are 1 year and then the intern does a GMO (in the navy). You must have good creditals/resume in order to receive a full deferral.

In regards to the stipend- I admit that I am annoyed that it doesnt fully cover rent in NYC. I think it should be similar to BAH- different for different regions. This is my bad. I should've fully done my research prior to signing on the dotted line.

I think the point of this forum is clear up alot of info that applicants might not now or be mentioned by the recruiter. If a prospective student is chilling among us they should use all their resouces- SDN, recruiter, friends, etc. The idea is to get a full, complete, fair and balanced description of what life is like, what opportunities there are, pros and cons. Every post has to be taken with a grain of salt. However, people are trying to help uninformed students make a choice based upon their experiences.

I will gladly mention some good experiences for full disclosure:
1) during my time in DC I treated a civ contracter that was injured in Iraq. It was difficult getting his placement @ a long term VA facility- but it finally happened and it made the team feel like a mill bucks
2) compliance of my military patients is higher than the civ population (no hard numbers- just feel). Possibly b/c of free healthcare :)
3) the generally cool people I met in OIS, and the various hospitals I rotated.
 

chopper

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Ok, first of all, I am not a doc, so I cannot give an accurate assessment of all Army Residencies and even if I was, I surely would not be able to through experience alone. My offer to help anyone on the fence or to answer questions to the best of my ability are based on the core questions - commitment, OBLC, application process, what we pay for, Army Life, etc...

The Army will give you a medical education, great residency training (believe it or not), and an experience that is just not attainable anywhere else. All the Army asks is that you help them figure it out. Make your career happen. If you want to get out after your obligation, fine, just adjust your attitude so you can care for our soldiers and their families with the best end state in mind – the patient’s, not yours.

It’s a pretty simple concept. Take charge of your own career. You will have to do that in the civilian sector without doubt.

I do not profess what I do not know, but I do know that 90% of all success is attitude. See it and it will happen, it’s up to you.

I apologize for any recruiter out there who has deceived any applicant. This is not the norm, and we certainly do not want physicians in the Army that feel like they were “tricked” into serving.

So, please understand what I do is a job, and I do it with passion because I know that the quality of students I find to sign up for HPSP is the same quality of physicians that may be taking care of me and my family someday.


1. You can't answer specific questions relating to the program you are selling. You can't offer help other than how to sign. You are nothing but a used car dealer if the only 'help' you offer is to get someone to sign, but not to give honest answers to valid questions that really should be answered before signing such a huge committment.

2. How can you say the residency trainning is great ('believe it or not'), if you admit in your previous paragraph that you 'can't give an accurate assessment of Army residencies'?

So, I don't get it - of what use are you to people who are getting ready to sign on the dotted line?

How about you act like an officer, and instead of the ad hominem attacks and the 'oh, well, that's not in my job description' bs - do what I was taught the first day of officer training if I didn't know the answer: 'I do not know, but I will find out'

come back when you have some real answers to Desperado's questions.
 

Ex-44E3A

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I am the master of my own destiny. I have made every assignment and job happen. I didn’t just sit there and wait for someone to tell me what to do. Had I done that, I surely would have been dissatisfied with some assignments. Physicians are no different.

Good Lord, man.

Physicians are 1%'ers. They tend toward the high-drive, highly-intelligent, achiever end of the spectrum. I've met very few who were shy and diffident (well... maybe a pediatrician or two). Are you implying that it is the physicians' collective fault that military medicine isn't world-class? That it's a defect in our attitude (because really... we don't LIKE taking care of patients)? That we're the reason clinics and hospitals are being downsized, and so chronically short of money? That we're the reason our facilities are short-staffed?

A suck-it-up attitude, while valuable, doesn't even come close to magically fixing all the structural and administrative problems that have been brewing in military medicine for at least a decade.

Sorry, you can't lay the enormous responsibility for patient care and good outcomes on a doc's shoulders, and then not give him the power to obtain what he needs. The single-digit retention rate of military medicine speaks far louder than any recruiter-speak. Power and responsibility must be commensurate, or you get injustice and tragedy.

I am not excited about working with any physician who cannot find value in the Army Healthcare System. If nothing else, you find value in working with the fine people who do what they do everyday - the physicians, PA’s, nurses, medics for the purpose of serving and taking care of soldiers and their families. It’s that simple.

Every doc on this board has said it sincerely, and ad nauseum: the patient population in military medicine is by far the best part of the job. As for finding value in a broken system, wait until the day you get sick, or find yourself a serious consumer in that system. Every one of us threw the bullsh*t flag when we were on active duty, and are continuing to do so here. If it wasn't for the docs attempting to hold back the slide, military medicine would be in far worse shape than it is... so don't spit at us, Capt.... just thank us.

The Army will give you a medical education, great residency training (believe it or not), and an experience that is just not attainable anywhere else. All the Army asks is that you help them figure it out. Make your career happen.

"Give" a medical education. No. You pay for it with your service... don't ascribe undeserved benevolence to the military here.

"Great residency training." No. The joint military-civilian programs are OK, but the military residencies are not what they used to be.

"An experience that is just not attainable anywhere." That's the truth. You said a mouthful right there...

If you want to get out after your obligation, fine, just adjust your attitude so you can care for our soldiers and their families with the best end state in mind – the patient’s, not yours.

(sarcasm) Yes... because it's always about what's best for the doc. That's why not a single one of us ever comes in after hours, or stays late on a shift. (/sarcasm)

I'm an army brat; a patriot from a long military family of patriots, a team-player, and I will not suffer your slings and arrows. My entire family served, and several continue to do so. I went to the desert twice during my active duty time, and I tried like hell to get the very best for my patients, whether CONUS or OCONUS.

Look Capt, I apologize for busting your balls here... but you're insulting us. My post above will probably not be the worst you're going to experience in this forum if you keep this up. We're the problem? We're all about what's best for us instead of the patient? We joined for the wrong reasons? An attitude adjustment will fix things?

What?
 

Croooz

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Please don't take my venting and frustration to mean that I will whine in front of my colleagues and troops. I most certainly will not. I swore an oath and I will fulfill my commitment and work to the best of my ability to provide the best care for my patients. I joined the Army because I wanted to serve the men and women in uniform and to be a part of what I consider to be a great organization. I just did not expect to find out after the fact what a mess military medicine has become, and I never really expected to stay in for an entire career so forgive me for being worried about how that will affect the rest of my life as a physician. I'm sure I'll figure it out, and if I have to moonlight or seek out additional opportunities, I'll do that. With all the great things the military does it was just literally shocking to me to find out what the healthcare system has become.
Understood. Just continue to keep your wits about you when your colleagues awaken to the reality of the situation. Nothing worse for the enlisted to overhear physicians bitching about how bad they have it when those same troops are on food stamps.....of course it's not their fault they have a family of 6 at 20 years of age but that's another thread....;)
 
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resxn

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EX-44E3A beat me to the punch--100% agree with what he said

You come here as a recruiter. How can you possibly come here and rip on the very people you recruited? We're the problem? Wrong. You're the problem. You and every recruiter and officer like you who give us the line, "shut up and do what your supposed to and be grateful for the opportunity to do it because you don't have debt."

You've never met an Army doc that doesn't complain of the things of which we complain here? Are you freaking blind? Do you even talk to them after they've served? Or do you ask selective questions like, "Tell me, do you like taking care of our service men and women?"

I walk around my clinic on a daily basis. There are over 118 medical officers here. Not a single surgeon is staying in beyond his/her commitment. Of the PCM's, only 8 are staying in for their 20 years. Granted, I'm USAF, but the retention rates are even worse in the Army.

If you think you can play this off as a few disgruntled guys who conglomerate on a website rather than being representative sampling of the overall state of military medicine, you are as worthless as the program for which you recruit.

If you ignore the issue, you are the problem. In fact, when you recruit into it without being honest (don't say you don't know a dissatisfied Army doc because it just tells us you have no idea what the current state of affairs is) you are in fact making the problem even larger.

Your job is to recruit. You get medals for getting signatures, not for getting quality people who made the right decision for themselves, so get off the high horse and actually address the comments made here. Don't lay the blame here. We're a little more experienced than the average joe you're talking to about your program.
 

Galo

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Ok, first of all, I am not a doc, so I cannot give an accurate assessment of all Army Residencies and even if I was, I surely would not be able to through experience alone. My offer to help anyone on the fence or to answer questions to the best of my ability are based on the core questions - commitment, OBLC, application process, what we pay for, Army Life, etc...

I have never spoken with an Army Physician who has had even close to the horrible experiences/training you all are claiming. I truly feel your disgruntled feelings lie at the heart of why you do what you do – so you therefore must have chosen Army medicine for the wrong reasons. This forum seems to attract docs/students who have had bad experiences and need to vent/complain/get others to hate the military medical system. Army docs who are happy and satisfied with their job and service truly live the Army Values and do what they do for the right reasons, not because they are worried about what a future employer will think. And they certainly do not feel they need to vent about their satisfaction on these forums...which I would love to see, a pro-military medicine forum!!

I have been in the Army for 13 years. My entire career has been based on the fact that I am the master of my own destiny. I have made every assignment and job happen. I didn’t just sit there and wait for someone to tell me what to do. Had I done that, I surely would have been dissatisfied with some assignments. Physicians are no different. Anyone can say the Residency training is sub-par. Well, if you think it is – do what you need to do to get what training you think you need! You must seek out and do the hard jobs and do them well. Take some leadership positions. Figure it out. God knows that if I had less time in the Army I would do HPSP in a heartbeat, but I do have enough time to do PA School (barley). I am excited about the concept of taking care of the best patients in the world. I am excited about taking care of soldiers who will take a bullet for us all. I am not excited about working with any physician who cannot find value in the Army Healthcare System. If nothing else, you find value in working with the fine people who do what they do everyday - the physicians, PA’s, nurses, medics for the purpose of serving and taking care of soldiers and their families. It’s that simple.
The Army will give you a medical education, great residency training (believe it or not), and an experience that is just not attainable anywhere else. All the Army asks is that you help them figure it out. Make your career happen. If you want to get out after your obligation, fine, just adjust your attitude so you can care for our soldiers and their families with the best end state in mind – the patient’s, not yours.

It’s a pretty simple concept. Take charge of your own career. You will have to do that in the civilian sector without doubt.

I do not profess what I do not know, but I do know that 90% of all success is attitude. See it and it will happen, it’s up to you.

I apologize for any recruiter out there who has deceived any applicant. This is not the norm, and we certainly do not want physicians in the Army that feel like they were “tricked” into serving.

So, please understand what I do is a job, and I do it with passion because I know that the quality of students I find to sign up for HPSP is the same quality of physicians that may be taking care of me and my family someday.

Like I said, YOU ARE A LIAR. You are not even qualified to make statements about physicians, training, taking care of patients, and you start off by saying that, then devolve into blaming us for bad attitudes. To see the look on your face when you get a glimpse of what we talk about. Till then go back to your hole, and show people what line to sign their life away on.
 

grumbo

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The amount of anger on this board is amazing, and seemingly contagious. True the recruiter is a salesman, but that does not equal liar. A knowledgable car salesman can tell me about some new car I'm looking at, but he won't be able to go into everything that can go wrong. He's not going to go into the inner workings of he engine or the intricacies of the new electronics (or the things that can go wrong with both). He will simply be able to quote me the readily available statistics and show me how the stuff works. If I want to know everything about the car, I need to talk to the mechanics, engineers, testers, and independent evaluators. If I expect the salesman to be all of those things, I have very unrealistic expectations. If you do your homework on a car and decide you are going to buy, then you can go to the salesman and he will answer some last minute questions and help you sign the paperwork. Don't expect more than that.

Calling someone a liar for not having all the fact, when there is no way he can have all of the facts, seems a bit over zealous.
 

BKK

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I will be the voice of reason here, at least in my mind. I received a three HPSP Optometry scholarship in 93 and am about to complete 11 years of service in the Air Force. I cannot possibly conceive of any mode of practice that I would like better than what I do now. I was not lied to from my recruiter, of course in my opinion I had a much better deal....I finish my last three years of school on the AF's dime and I come in to practice Optometry. This is my 6th duty station and I would not trade any of the experiences that I have had for the pull of big money as a civilian. I would not have any of the free time to enjoy the extra salary. As far as the 6 assignments go, I have been treated very fairly and have been able to pick all but two of them. The two that I did not pick, Barksdale AFB, LA and Turkey, were excellent locations that allowed me to grow in many ways.

Before I get flamed as not being in the Medical Corps and not knowing any different, I really don't care how many people think that I am an idiot for enjoying my profession both as a Health professional and an officer. I feel honored when people say "Thank you for your service." How many times has a health professional heard that from someone on the street that finds out that you are in the health career? Granted, I have not taken a bullet as a result for my service, but I have had patients that are lucky to be in my eye exam room who are grateful for the care that I provide them.

Don't crucify this recruiter for trying to get the word out about the military medical system. Perhaps if some of you would quit bitching about how broke the system is and do something constructive, the system might eventually change. When you bitch about having a non-Physician as a commander (Nurse, Pharmacist, Optometrist, Administrator), are you as a Physician ready and willing to cut back on patient care to become a real leader of troops and deal with all the stuff that a commander has to deal with? Commanders have to make difficult decisions that may not make sense to those in the exam rooms. Yes, sometimes they get focused on trivial minutiae and lose the big picture, but sometimes that might just have the right site picture instead of a griping clinician that is counting down until their ETS.

Flame on.

BK
 

pgg

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My entire career has been based on the fact that I am the master of my own destiny. I have made every assignment and job happen. I didn't just sit there and wait for someone to tell me what to do. Had I done that, I surely would have been dissatisfied with some assignments. Physicians are no different.

Physicians are different. On the whole, the military treats us very poorly.

Contrast this with other highly trained and skilled fields in the military ... pilots, special forces, etc. They're treated like rock stars. It blows my mind that they'll give a low-mid 5-figure re-enlistment bonus to a high school graduate who fills a critical MOS, but physician bonuses haven't substantially changed in what, over a decade?

I'm not surprised that you, as a recruiter, have been treated well.

I apologize for any recruiter out there who has deceived any applicant.

I don't think there's much deception going on; deception implies deliberately lying to people. I just figure they're as ignorant of the problems with military medicine as you are.

And for the record, since you're new to the forum and probably haven't read anything else I've written: I'm one of the few posters here who has had a almost overwhelmingly positive experience in the Navy - as a USUHS student, intern at a MTF, GMO with the Marine infantry (two deployments in the last 3 years), and current resident at a MTF. I think I'm getting pretty good training in my chosen specialty, but I see glaring weaknesses and problems with other residency programs at my hospital. I am not angry or bitter, but the system is not the utopian meritocracy you paint.

And this non-utopia is showing many, many signs of things going horribly wrong, and few (if any) signs that the people in charge are doing anything to fix things.
 

MeganRose

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I apologize for any recruiter out there who has deceived any applicant. This is not the norm, and we certainly do not want physicians in the Army that feel like they were “tricked” into serving.
And yet you endorse a website that propagates the same trickery and outright lies that motivated some to sign. I'm still waiting for you to answer the very valid points that Desperado raised..
 

MeganRose

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mamajama,
You are in for a rough time. It's too early to be so disgruntled. A MS3 praising the military is just as bad as a MS3 trashing the military. Give it time and break in your boots. You have a long haul and starting out like this does you no good.

There will always be HPSP students. You're a smart guy and fell for it and so will thousands more every year. I'm sure the numbers will continue to fall and less and less will join but there will always be new blood. 22 year olds who never had much debt see they are looking at $150k+ they will freak and come running to the recruiters office. The fear of debt is more powerful than the fear of receiving substandard training, real or perceived.

My point to you is "man up" and accept your lot. Don't expose your troops to what they will only consider to be whining. Do your time, help those you can, and get out. I understand the need to vent. However you ain't done nothing to vent about just yet.

You don't even know where she's coming from. By this time in my third year, I had done the majority of my rotations at military hospitals and have spent all of my clinical years surrounded by military residents at both civilian and military sites. I wouldnt be so quick to say that she/he isn't coming from at least a moderately well informed position.
 

orbitsurgMD

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I will be the voice of reason here, at least in my mind. I received a three HPSP Optometry scholarship in 93 and am about to complete 11 years of service in the Air Force. I cannot possibly conceive of any mode of practice that I would like better than what I do now. I was not lied to from my recruiter, of course in my opinion I had a much better deal....I finish my last three years of school on the AF's dime and I come in to practice Optometry. This is my 6th duty station and I would not trade any of the experiences that I have had for the pull of big money as a civilian. I would not have any of the free time to enjoy the extra salary. As far as the 6 assignments go, I have been treated very fairly and have been able to pick all but two of them. The two that I did not pick, Barksdale AFB, LA and Turkey, were excellent locations that allowed me to grow in many ways.

Before I get flamed as not being in the Medical Corps and not knowing any different, I really don't care how many people think that I am an idiot for enjoying my profession both as a Health professional and an officer. I feel honored when people say "Thank you for your service." How many times has a health professional heard that from someone on the street that finds out that you are in the health career? Granted, I have not taken a bullet as a result for my service, but I have had patients that are lucky to be in my eye exam room who are grateful for the care that I provide them.

Don't crucify this recruiter for trying to get the word out about the military medical system. Perhaps if some of you would quit bitching about how broke the system is and do something constructive, the system might eventually change. When you bitch about having a non-Physician as a commander (Nurse, Pharmacist, Optometrist, Administrator), are you as a Physician ready and willing to cut back on patient care to become a real leader of troops and deal with all the stuff that a commander has to deal with? Commanders have to make difficult decisions that may not make sense to those in the exam rooms. Yes, sometimes they get focused on trivial minutiae and lose the big picture, but sometimes that might just have the right site picture instead of a griping clinician that is counting down until their ETS.

Flame on.

BK

You should have stopped at your second paragraph. Your last bit--the references to "bitching" and other dismissive crap pretty squarely identifies you as a careerist seeking the approval of your superiors and looking for an administrative slot yourself. You are right, civilian practice requires a different skill set that you have needed in the military. And you may be right that that life doesn't offer much for you. Best to know your limitations.

The way you seem to be going, I am sure you will be promoted to something you will like.
 

resxn

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I will be the voice of reason here, at least in my mind. I received a three HPSP Optometry scholarship in 93 and am about to complete 11 years of service in the Air Force. I cannot possibly conceive of any mode of practice that I would like better than what I do now. I was not lied to from my recruiter, of course in my opinion I had a much better deal....I finish my last three years of school on the AF's dime and I come in to practice Optometry. This is my 6th duty station and I would not trade any of the experiences that I have had for the pull of big money as a civilian. I would not have any of the free time to enjoy the extra salary. As far as the 6 assignments go, I have been treated very fairly and have been able to pick all but two of them. The two that I did not pick, Barksdale AFB, LA and Turkey, were excellent locations that allowed me to grow in many ways.

Before I get flamed as not being in the Medical Corps and not knowing any different, I really don't care how many people think that I am an idiot for enjoying my profession both as a Health professional and an officer. I feel honored when people say "Thank you for your service." How many times has a health professional heard that from someone on the street that finds out that you are in the health career? Granted, I have not taken a bullet as a result for my service, but I have had patients that are lucky to be in my eye exam room who are grateful for the care that I provide them.

Don't crucify this recruiter for trying to get the word out about the military medical system. Perhaps if some of you would quit bitching about how broke the system is and do something constructive, the system might eventually change. When you bitch about having a non-Physician as a commander (Nurse, Pharmacist, Optometrist, Administrator), are you as a Physician ready and willing to cut back on patient care to become a real leader of troops and deal with all the stuff that a commander has to deal with? Commanders have to make difficult decisions that may not make sense to those in the exam rooms. Yes, sometimes they get focused on trivial minutiae and lose the big picture, but sometimes that might just have the right site picture instead of a griping clinician that is counting down until their ETS.

Flame on.

BK

For what it's worth. I work kitty corner to 3 AD optometrists and have worked with a total of 6 in the last 2.5yrs as they've PCS'd in and out. All of them are happy with their careers and their decision to be in. None of them think the income difference is substantial given the perks available so I would doubt that salary plays any significant role in your career field.

Thus, you really have no way to state anything in this forum other than to say your recruiter was honest.

Thanks for the input, but it is neither relevant nor useful. Again, we have a poster who comes here blaming us for being complainers rather than trying to fix things. That only shows you've read exactly jack squat of what we talk about daily.
 

midn

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Man this place is hostile.

Carry on though, it's entertaining. :thumbup:
 

BKK

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You should have stopped at your second paragraph. Your last bit--the references to "bitching" and other dismissive crap pretty squarely identifies you as a careerist seeking the approval of your superiors and looking for an administrative slot yourself. You are right, civilian practice requires a different skill set that you have needed in the military. And you may be right that that life doesn't offer much for you. Best to know your limitations.

The way you seem to be going, I am sure you will be promoted to something you will like.

If you cant' deal with the truth, deal with it. I stand behind what I wrote 100%. I am not a "careerist", I just understand what the mission of the unit that I am assigned to means. If that is putting steel on target, I make sure those guys can do it. If that means making sure the PRP issues are met, that is the mission. Do something to make the machine work.

If you don't like being in the military, do your time honorably and get out. I really don't want to associate with day counting whiners.
 

BKK

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For what it's worth. I work kitty corner to 3 AD optometrists and have worked with a total of 6 in the last 2.5yrs as they've PCS'd in and out. All of them are happy with their careers and their decision to be in. None of them think the income difference is substantial given the perks available so I would doubt that salary plays any significant role in your career field.

Thus, you really have no way to state anything in this forum other than to say your recruiter was honest.

Thanks for the input, but it is neither relevant nor useful. Again, we have a poster who comes here blaming us for being complainers rather than trying to fix things. That only shows you've read exactly jack squat of what we talk about daily.


Yes, I have read exactly what you have complained about. Do something productive.
 

resxn

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Yes, I have read exactly what you have complained about. Do something productive.

Any suggestions, fellow poster?

Pot, Kettle. Kettle, pot.
 

Ex-44E3A

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Perhaps if some of you would quit bitching about how broke the system is and do something constructive, the system might eventually change.

:laugh: ... a rhetorical smack-down by the guy who helps the military dispense Birth Control Glasses? Oh man... that alone brings the funny.

Glad you enjoyed your time... most of us didn't. Feel free to offer your opinions on this forum, but you can't expect to label all the rest of us as whiners and malcontents, and still be considered a serious player in this debate. Military medicine has major structural and administrative problems, and they're not going to be solved by sucking-it-up or whitewashing.

I don't pretend to understand whatever personal/professional need prompted you to post like you did, but you can go right ahead and attempt to shame us all into silence. It won't work. In fact, we may all get a kick out of tearing into any ill-advised "STFU" posts.

Capt. Letourneau is welcome to post all he wants... with the caveat that he'll be thoroughly fact-checked (and promptly corrected for any errors) by the posters here. I have no problem with letting the students hear all sides of the debate, and decide for themselves.
 

West Side

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Don't crucify this recruiter for trying to get the word out about the military medical system. Perhaps if some of you would quit bitching about how broke the system is and do something constructive, the system might eventually change...etc.
Either you lack empathy, or think your experience is more valid than other posters. So you enjoyed your time...is that reason to tell these other doctors how to feel about being lied to, mistreated, disrespected, and generally had their lives materially affected, to their detriment?

These are their CAREERS we're talking about, and by the sounds of it, many feel like joining the military was a terrible career move, for the multitude of reasons that sound pretty F'ing valid to me. If you can't understand anger or frustration about what might have been, then either you aren't that serious about the potential of your own career, or you're willing to put up with a working environment held together by snot and duct tape, a setting I don't think befits a serious medical operation.

I'm not a doctor, but if I, as a driven human being, was sold one thing, and delivered something fundamentally and materially different, you can bet your ass I'd be hopping mad.
 

resxn

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Let me say this much; I am at least glad to see an officer doing the recruiting. I was recruited by an E-4. How anyone can expect an enlisted high school graduate to have any idea about med school, residency and life as an officer, and especially life as a military medical officer is beyond me.

An effective recruiting machine would be to send docs on a 7-day recruiting TDY once a year. You could give a few talks at colleges and meet with a few applicants 1 on 1. Of course, you'd have to fix the system first or the docs would drive all the applicants away. But at least the applicants would get the straight facts.

I, too, was recruited by an E-4. And had I any of way of knowing better I would have thought perhaps this guy doesn't belong on the integrity pedestal I placed him on seeing that he was within 4 mos of retirement. RETIREMENT!!! and was still an E-4.

I now know well enough that if an enlisted with that many years and that rank is assigned to my clinic I don't expect much. How was I supposed to know back then? He was a career military man. At the time, to me, that made him great. Just as I thought while I was in college that all med students had to be incredible.

Age and experience certainly know how to smack reality into you and beat the idealism out. In many cases, anyway.
 
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