Questions about GMO tours

Discussion in 'Military Medicine' started by undecided17, 09.29.14.

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  1. undecided17

    undecided17

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    Hello,

    I am a premedical student in a BSMD program. I am planning to finance my medical education with an HPSP scholarship, but I need some questions answered before I commit. Any information is greatly appreciated.

    1. Is an internship year required upon graduation from medical school if I want to do a GMO tour?

    2. If yes, will the internship incur an extra year of commitment (4 years of medical school + 1 year of internship = 5 year commitment)?

    3. I know this has been discussed previously, but the most recent information I found was six years ago and I want to know if anything has changed: will completing a GMO tour make me a competitive applicant for civilian residency?

    4. If so, will it be helpful for any residency, or only for certain specialties?

    Thanks in advance.
     
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  3. colbgw02

    colbgw02 Delightfully Tacky 10+ Year Member

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    1. Yes. Obtaining an unrestricted medical license is obligatory for all medical corps officers, and all states require at least one year of post-graduate medical training (i.e. internship) in order to obtain such a license. Failure to get a license will result in dismissal from the medical corps and reclassification in a different corps.

    2. No. Internships neither add to nor take away from existing commitments.

    3. Overall, people have found GMO tours to be a net benefit when returning to civilian residency training. That doesn't mean there aren't programs out there that won't "get" who you are and what you've been doing with your time, but there are more programs that will value your experience. Also, being a GMO won't cover up holes in your application. That is, don't expect to get into a civilian ENT residency with a step I of 215 just because you were a GMO for 4 years.

    4. Not sure. I think it's going to be more program dependent, rather than specialty dependent. I will say that it's more likely that a surgical specialty will expect you to repeat your internship, even if your first one was in surgery. Whereas, non-surgical specialties are more likely to make you or resitern or maybe even start as a PGY-2 (e.g. radiology).
     
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  4. Perrotfish

    Perrotfish Has an MD in Horribleness 7+ Year Member

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    1) You must complete an internship in something to obtain a medical license. Without a medical license you are only allowed to provide medical care under very strict supervision in an internship. So yes, you need to complete an Internship to do a GMO tour

    2) The year of Internship is obligation neutral. If you do residency training beyond Internship, then at the end of residency you will either owe the total number of years you did residency for, or the total number of years you owed going in to residency training, whichever is more.

    3/4) If you choose to do two consecutive two year GMO tours and then go out into the civilian world for residency training, the experience of posters on this board is that residencies look favorably on your time, in any specialty. However it's a minor positive, and won't compensate for poor grades and/or test scores in medical school.

    Other comments:

    1) Be aware that only the Navy still sends the majority of its graduated Interns through a GMO tour. The Army largely uses board certified GPs for the same jobs, and the air force uses a mixture of the two

    2) Be aware that the majority of military doctors, even in the Navy, do complete their residency within the military after a single 2 year GMO tour. 4 years is a long time to wait between Internship and graduation.

    3) Be aware that, if you do a two year GMO tour, a longer residency within the military can extend your obligation. Remember: its your obligation going in or the length of residency training, whichever is more. So if you do a 2 year GMO tour and only have two years of obligation left, and then you do a 4 year general surgery residency, you would owe 4 years at the end of residency. On the other hand if you did a 2 year Pediatrics residency you would only owe the same two years at the end of it.
     
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  5. undecided17

    undecided17

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    In your experience, would you say that 4 years as a GMO would result in medical skill atrophy? I am looking to enter EM or surgery, if that helps.
     
  6. Perrotfish

    Perrotfish Has an MD in Horribleness 7+ Year Member

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    So the point of using Internship trained GMOs for operation billets, as opposed to board certified doctors, is that you haven't acquired many skills that can suffer atrophy. You will only have completed an Intern year.

    That being said, yes, even with just having done an Intern year you do experience some skill atrophy after a GMO tour. At least in Pediatrics a newly returned GMO has do three months as a 're-tern', completing a month each in the NICU, Ward, and Clinic in an Intern's role before they're allowed to practice a senior resident. So yes, you can expect a steep learning curve as a returning resident. '

    BTW, in the interests of full disclosure I did not actually do a GMO tour. This is all second hand.
     

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