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PSR36 in the United States Army

Discussion in 'Podiatric Residents & Physicians' started by Army Captain, Aug 7, 2006.

  1. Army Captain

    Army Captain Junior Member
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    For those students who are interested in an exciting, challenging surgical residency, consider the United States Army PSR36. The PSR36 is a 3-year surgical residency. The first twelve months of the residency are at Dwight David Eisenhower Hospital in Fort Gordon, GA. The last 24 months of the residency are at Fort Bragg, NC home of the XVIII AIRBORNE Corps. AT Fort Bragg, you will have the opportunity to attend and witness a plethora of podiatric injuries unseen in the civilian population. Those interested in the Army's PSR36, join the Army as a Captain. Please contact CPT Christopher Cheagle for additional information.
     
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  3. funfeet

    funfeet Member
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    How do you go about doing this? Do you join after pod school/before residency? And how would you join as a captain? And during residency, I'm assuming you get paid as an O3 then? Thanks
     
  4. efs

    efs SDN Advisor
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    I am currently the Chief Resident at this program, (DMU 2003) and will be completing it 1 November. (We are off-cycle due to the Officer Basic Course).

    It is a great program (in my opinion), but it is not the right place for everyone. The military offers many benefits, but it is a different lifestyle and has some aspects that will not appeal to some people. Overall it is a good thing to do.

    I don't want to go into a long diatribe about the pros and cons or any other specifics here, but I would be more than willing to answer questions or help in any other way if possible.

    I would tell you that if you are even remotely interested, a rotation as a student would be well worth while. There are no drawbacks to this. It will give you an opportunity to see what is available and can enhance any student's rotational experiences.

    If there are any specific questions, I would be more than happy to address them.

    Eric
     
  5. efs

    efs SDN Advisor
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    There is a dual application process. You need to apply to the residency program through CRIP as with any other residency. At the same time you need to submit an application through the Army for direct commission. I would recommend doing this at the end of your third year (if you are applying for this program.) There is no obligation to the military unless and until you are accepted for the residency program.

    On acceptance to the residency, you would also be accepting an obligation to military service. Right now it is a 4 year obligation in return for 3 years of training for a 7 year total commitment. You would start as a Captain (O-3), and attend the Officer's Basic Course in the summer before beginning residency. This residency is currently a combined program where the first year is a Ft Gordon, GA and the following 2 years at Ft Bragg, NC. The following service obligation would be at the needs of the Army, but assignment would be determined by need. The consultant currently wants to put people where they will be able to make full use of their training, and easily work towards board certification.

    Due to our patient population, we see some difference than most civilian programs. Though we mostly see the active duty population, we are also seeing family members and retirees. We do have a skewed clinic. It tends to be heavier in trauma, sports medicine, pediatrics and especially surgery. There is not a heavy diabetic population, and we don't see much if any "routine care".

    Overall it is a great program, but does have some drawbacks. I know that I am well trained surgically, and feel comfortable doing most surgical procedures. My exposure to office management and primary care is limited. For the time being, that isn't much of a concern though. Written Boards were easy, and I expect to have all of my cases for Board Certification within the next year or so.

    Dollar-wise it seems that I may not be keeping up with my classmates, but when you add in th value of the benefits, I would need to be making around 120K to have a similar lifestyle. There is currently no student loan repayment or similar benefits offered by the Army, but they continue to look at changing this. I don't see any change in the near future, but it is being looked at.

    There are a lot of benefits and some drawbacks. I certainly wouldn't recommend it for everyone, but for the right person it is a great way to go.

    If there are any specific questions, I would be more than happy to address them.

    Eric
     
  6. funfeet

    funfeet Member
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    Thanks so much for all that information. I am strongly considering this option. How long is the officer training?
     
  7. efs

    efs SDN Advisor
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    The Officer's Basic Course is currently 10 weeks with an extra 2 week "Pre-Course" for those without previous military training or ROTC.
     
  8. AZPOD Rocks

    AZPOD Rocks Class of 2010
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    Eric,

    I have a few questions.
    1. Do you have a family? If so, how is it on them?
    2. What are the hours like? Are they more reasonable than typical civilian residencies?
    3. Can you paint a miniature picture of what you expect it to be like upon graduation from your residency (in terms of scope of practice, deployment, etc.)?

    Thanks,

    AZPOD Rocks
     
  9. efs

    efs SDN Advisor
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    1. I don't have a family (well; I do, but I'm single). Some of the other past and current residents do. I really wouldn't be able to give you a first hand account, but don't think this program is any different on the family life than any others.

    2. Hours are about the same as any civilian program I visited. Longer than you'd like it to be. To some extent you can make of it what you like. I prefer to get in early to have some time to get organized, study, catch up on paperwork, etc.
    Things have changed a bit from year to year, so what I put here might not be the same later. Due to the transition from PSR-24 to PM&S-36 during my first year, I started at Ft Bragg and have been here the whole time. The current deal is for the 1st year to be at Eisenhower Army Medical Center in Augusta GA. They have a different patient population. (More trainees, more retirees) I haven't been there, but understand their hours are more like regular office hours. On the other hand, most of the outside rotations will be done there so schedules may change from month to month. (Same as any other residency).
    I'll run through a typical week. Every day starts at 7 AM, radiology rounds with Ortho to review the on-call stuff from the day and night before. Sometimes nothing to report, other days runs 30-45 minutes. Every day 730-800 is left open for "Fracture Clinic". The ER or outlying clinics may send people over if they need us to see them. (On call person is responsible for this.) Most of the time there isn't anything, but the time is available. Usually the on-call person will field the calls, and can head off some of this, or have them come in at a time that might be more convenient for them. Monday mornings are usually preops. Monday Afternoons are for clinic based procedures. Typically stress tests, hardware removals, nail procedures, etc.
    Residents see their own clinics (with supervision), and the schedules will vary. Tue, Wed, Thur typically one day will be in clinic and the other two in the OR, but varies by resident. Which attendings they are working with will vary. We are given a lot of responsibility, and a fair amount of leeway, but again this varies by resident. If you need more supervision, or help, you'll get it. Friday mornings are set aside for academics, though this often gets preempted by cases that need to be added to the OR schedule. Friday afternoons is typically an overflow clinic to see people that needed to be seen, but other clinic appts were full. So typically 2-3 full OR days/week. On call depends on the number of residents available/off-service. Usually 1/3-4 days. Call is taken from home, most of the call issues usually come in during the day. Every residnecy is a bit different, and as far as schedules I think this program is similar to many others.

    3. The last one is really the big one. The experience with vary from person to person, and to some extent is what you make of it. You will move, and may not have much input as to where. That will depend on who is rotating, and where they need people. The consultant knows the residents and what they can do, and will take that into consideration. A first assignment may be at a location where there is another podiatrist who may take on many of the administrative duties. In other locations, you may be the only podiatrist. At any you will be able to work within the full scope of your training. They will also work with you to help in getting board certified. There really are no bad places to be sent, just some are better than others. You'll have to be the judge of this, as everyone has different opinions.
    Deployment is not a big deal. We currently have one active duty podiatrist deployed to Iraq for a 1 year rotation. There have been others before, but they are typically filling the same position. That is at a fixed facility (combat support hospital), so you wouldn't be out doing patrols or anything crazy. I wouldn't expect them to take someone fresh out of residency to do that either. Their preference is for us to get some experience first. The deployment also goes on your record and can be helpful with promotion.

    There is definately more that could be said. Hopefully I answered some of the questions. My recommendation for anyone who is remotely interested is to take the time to do an externship rotation or at least visit. If you cannot work that out, at least try to set up a visit with an Army podiatrist even if it is not one of the residency sites. Even if you are not planning to apply, an externship rotation is a good idea. It would provide you with some exposure to a different setting, typically will see a fair amount of trauma, sports med, arthroscopy, pediatrics and a good amount of OR time.
     
  10. funfeet

    funfeet Member
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    You said that you are "off-course" because of OBC. Can you explain that? Do you start residency later? And if so, the residency through the Army is set up for that, correct? If you go in to this program with military training, can you get promoted?
     
  11. efs

    efs SDN Advisor
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    I started the Officer's Basic Course in July the year I graduated. After finishing that, I had time to move and get settled before starting residency. Instead of they typical July start, I started 1 November. (Thus off-cycle). They're set up for that, I don't graduate until 1 November, so the time is the same.

    Because we have a doctorate degree, we have a direct commission as a CPT. If you had previous military experience (or a previous residency) you may get "constructive credit", meaning that they back-date your date of rank, possibly making you eligible for promotion sooner. If you have previous military time, it may also give you more time in service, putting you higher on the pay scale. Typical promotion time for CPT to MAJ is 6 years. If you come in with no previous experience you will have 3 years in residency and a 4 year payback commitment, meaning that you are likely to be promoted to MAJ before your military commitment is over.
     
  12. funfeet

    funfeet Member
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    Okay, another question, do you know how long a typical promotion for Major to Lt. Colonel? With my previous experience time (~3 years), I can try to get Major before even my commitment time if they actually do that. I know this is looking way ahead, but making a commitment in the military is life changing, especially for family. So i'm just weighing my options.
     
  13. AZPOD Rocks

    AZPOD Rocks Class of 2010
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    Eric,

    Thanks for the excellent response. I spent a year in a state medical command facility as a ROTC cadet and an E-5 in the National Guard and thoroughly enjoyed it even though it was really only about 3-4 weeks of weekends and extra activities which I participated in for the whole year.

    I have often thought about serving upon graduation but the incentives don't seem to be great financially. I hope things get a little better by the time I graduate because your residency sounds interesting. I think I'll try to do an elective rotation there.

    You didn't mention weekends as far as working. Are you off on the weekends (with call)? If so, is this typical of most podiatric residencies?

    Thanks Again,

    AZPOD Rocks
     
  14. efs

    efs SDN Advisor
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    I think it is currently about 4 years from MAJ to LTC (pin on time). Being in a situation like that can make this a more attractive option for you. Starting off a little higher on the pay scale never hurts.

    Eric
     
  15. efs

    efs SDN Advisor
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    Sometimes have to put in some time on the weekends, though this is usually the on-call person or if you are in an outside rotation. Similar to any other residency.
     
  16. Army Captain

    Army Captain Junior Member
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    Eric,

    Would you have an interest in presenting the Army's PSR36 at the Temple University School of Podiatric Medicine?
     
  17. efs

    efs SDN Advisor
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    PM sent.

    Thanks for the offer.

    Eric
     
  18. PodunkUDPM

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    any updates about this program? i am definitely interested
     

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