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Rander/SOF Docs

Discussion in 'Military Medicine' started by The Tolf, Mar 5, 2007.

  1. The Tolf

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    Does anyone know what it takes to become a doc with the Rangers or SOF? I assume you do your internship/residency (do you have to do a certain specialty), and then go through Ranger School and/or SOF training?
    Can anyone with real background (not my conjecture) help me out?
    Thanks!
     
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  3. The Tolf

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    Can someone change the title to "Ranger/SOF Docs"?
    Thanks!
     
  4. Ex-44E3A

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    What branch of service are you attempting to attain this through?

    I can only point you towards the AF end of things (but so much of our operations are joint now, that you'll probably end up working with almost everybody eventually).

    If you simply want a Ranger tab, you can attend Ranger training as an AF troop... it's not strictly for Army.
     
  5. Apollyon

    Apollyon Screw the GST
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    Dr. Jeffrey MacDonald. That is all.
     
  6. Dr. Dukes

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    ???
     
  7. The Tolf

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    I should have been more specific. I am asking this question for my boyfriend, who refuses to get an SDN account, and therefore makes me do all of his posting.

    He be going through the Army, and his question is this: he will graduate from medical school when I am 29 (birthday is October), and a Surgical residency program at 35, which seems a little old to go through the entire Airborne/Ranger/SOF pathway. If he does Army medicine he really wants to serve with these units, and is wondering what the path is like.
    Thanks!
     
  8. PathOne

    PathOne Derminatrix
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    Jeffrey MacDonald was a physician who joined the Green Barets (SOF). In 1970 his pregnant wife and kids were found brutally murdered on post. He was first discharged and nine years later convicted as the murderer, and is still in jail. Don't know the particulars, but apparently it's a highly complex case.
     
  9. edinOH

    edinOH Can I get a work excuse?
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    Kill the Pigs. Acid's groovy.
     
  10. Ex-44E3A

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    What in the world are you people talking about? What does an SF guy who supposedly murdered his wife/kids (are you saying he did? or that he really didn't?) have to do with the OP's question?
     
  11. tscottturner

    tscottturner Member
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    Go to socnetcentral.com and there is a whole section on "SOF Medicine". You'll probably have more success over there.
     
  12. Apollyon

    Apollyon Screw the GST
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    OP's question was SOF doctors. Jeffrey MacDonald was an SOF doctor. It is a direct example. That's what we're talking about.
     
  13. Ex-44E3A

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    Er... WTH? Before you turned this into a "true crime" thread, the OP asked about the track one would take in order to become an SOF doc.

    I missed the part where he said "tell me about a famous purported murderer who was also an SOF doc."

    I concur. This thread is unlikely to prove helpful in any way.
     
  14. The White Coat Investor

    The White Coat Investor AKA ActiveDutyMD
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    I know two docs who spent time with the special forces in Afghanistan. Both were interested in Emergency Medicine, but simply didn't match in the very competitive military emergency medicine match. So they were stuck in a surgical internship and made GMOs. They spent 2-4 years chillin' wit da villains, and then got into a residency program. They both enjoyed the time, although the deployments were very frequent, but generally short.
     
  15. paradude

    paradude Junior Member
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    The last paper I saw on the subject was from April '05 detailing how 50% of SF Docs are USU grads, as far as I know there are typically 11 Army docs in Special Forces, somebody please correct me if that is wrong.

    http://www.dod.mil/brac/minutes/minute-files/IEC/IEC-12Minutes18Apr2005.pdf
     
  16. paradude

    paradude Junior Member
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    We have two current EM faculty at USU who have worked in Special Operations, one AF and one Army. I'm an MS1 so take this post with a grain of salt but from Emergency Medicine Interest Groups I've attended at school, it seems that most Docs affiliated with SF/Rangers are Army (obviously) and they typically come from FP, EM, or Gen Surg. You certainly have to be board certified now-adays to get one of those postions.
     
  17. Apollyon

    Apollyon Screw the GST
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    Does that help? Granted, it might be a slight diversion, but it directly addresses the OP.

    It seems that you are sorely affected by this. That's on you, dude. However, to ease your concerns, I'm done here.

    That's "what the hell?"
     
  18. Dr. Dukes

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    I would assume they go through their residency and then get assigned to a SOF/Ranger unit and complete that unit's specific training?
     
  19. grumbo

    grumbo Member
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    In talking to a few SF docs, SF medical service corps personel, and other students interested in this, I'll try to give my take on this.

    In order to be an SF doc, you do not have to go through Q school and all that jazz. In fact, most of the battallion docs are not Q school qualified, and you do not have to be ER. They do generally have airborne and maybe air assault which are much shorter and much easier courses. The majority of the slots are "flight surgeon" slots. SOC did this specifically so the doctor's spots are not limited to a specific specialty. Instead, any doc in any specialty can go through the 6 week flight surgeon course and be eligible for a SOF position. Now, these docs do not get too involved in all of the "cool" training and missions. They are support and generally stay at the base of operations and the 18D (medic) will stabilize any casualties and bring them back to the doc for further work and evac. If a doc is highly motivated, he can do some of the SOF training with the unit, but only what he can handle easily.

    There is a second type of SF doc who is a little bit crazy and goes through the entire Q school and such. After the first two phases of Q school, the applicants break up into their specialty (weapons, demo, medic). The medic section is 6-9 months long, but docs get a shortened, modified course for this. Then they return for the final phase of Q school. If you finish this school, then you are a green beret doc and not just a doc working with the green berets. In any case, your role is still going to be very similar to the doc above, but you would probably go on more direct missions rather than being at the base camp.

    There are very few docs who attempt Q school and only a handful actually make it. Most docs instead chose to work with SF teams and call that good enough. This is usually done right after residency training, but could theoretically be done as a GMO. However, when selecting the docs, residency trained docs are given higher consideration because they can do more for the team, especially if the team were trying to treat the local populace to build a relationship.

    A quick note on the difference between SF and Rangers. Rangers are more of a kick the door down fighting force with specialized training. The SF guys' main job is unusual operations such as working with a local community, training foreign soldiers, and more delicate things like that with the ability to fight their way out of messes should things go bad.
     
  20. tscottturner

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    The Ranger Doc's likely have to get a few years experience as an infantry brigade/battalion surgeon (after residency) before being allowed to volunteer for ROP and a Ranger unit. IIRC, all MTOE positions in a Ranger battalion (even the Chaplain!) are authorized to go through Ranger qualification (i.e. Ranger School) if they are not qualified already.

    As far as Army SF, I think (but am not positive) that you are actually volunteering to go through SFAS and the Q-course, so that you are actually an A-Team leadin'-trigger pullin' kind of guy vs the traditional "brigade/battalion surgeon".

    Apparently I posted at the same time as Grumbo. While being a Doc working with SF would be cool, you would certainly get much more respect if you were an SF Doc.
     
  21. Croooz

    Croooz Senior Member
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    There are very little slots for physicians on the Q course. There is no need for a physician to be tabbed. There are some. Check their background and most were SF in a previous life. Even if you earn the tab the physician isn't going to be kicking down any doors or pulling any triggers. A physician earns the respect of his guys and their families by providing medical care 24/7...housecalls, going with the family to the hospital...... Teams don't care how much you can shoot, how low you can HALO, how high you can HAHO or anything else highspeed. SF guys are no different in that they want a competent doc who puts the guys above even himself and doesn't complain. They have plenty of operators what they want in a SF doc is a physician first and foremost.

    If you want to speak to some active duty and retired SF men then go to www.professionalsoldiers.com READ the rules BEFORE posting. If you can't find what you're looking for in a search of their website or google then post. They will direct you where you need to go and who you should speak to. Have your ducks in a row.
     
  22. paradude

    paradude Junior Member
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  23. tscottturner

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  24. The White Coat Investor

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  25. paradude

    paradude Junior Member
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  26. Dr. Dukes

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    So basically you have to do residency in whatever, then get assigned to a Ranger unit, then get permission to go through the whole training program?
    By the way, thanks to the OP for asking, and to everyone for asking, I had been wondering about this.
     
  27. tscottturner

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    I think it's finish residency, volunteer for Ranger Batt, attend ROP, complete ROP, approval for joining unit, approval to attend Ranger School, finish Ranger School, join unit. I'm not sure if this is it, or if the completion of Ranger School is necessary to actually join the unit - this is just an educated guess.
     
  28. Dr. Dukes

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    I guess that would make sense...your way the unit doesn't lose a doc during Ranger School and whatnot.
     
  29. The White Coat Investor

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  30. megadon

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    Remember the OPERATOR pipeline for SOF OFFICERS. First, go combat arms, select for Ranger. Go to Ranger school. Be a Ranger. Interview for SOF. Go to SOF school and pass. Back in the day, get to wear black beret. Move to Fayeteville NC and consider growing beard. That's for an operator. As far as docs, my gut feel is they won't take you into the field, that oath we took kinda binds our hands. That's how Force Recon with the Marines handles it, you will be attached as their doc at Lejeune or Pendleton, but will not deploy with the unit. You can however get hung up in a tree after abandoning a perfectly working aircraft with them. (happened to an intel friend of mine).
     
  31. Ex-44E3A

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    On the other hand, you could be Air Force and become a SOFME doc.

    You don't get a Ranger tab, and I'm sure it's sphincter-tightening, but look on the bright side: if you fly in to CASEVAC somebody, you have a minigun to use on anybody shooting at you.
     
  32. RichL025

    RichL025 Senior Member
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    Best summary so far.

    To the OP: ignore 99% of the other posts. They are mostly wrong and nothing but supposition (sorry, no offense meant to anyone).

    I was in SF for 10 years before I went to medical school. You will NOT be doing Hollywood stuff as a Bn Surgeon. Period.
     
  33. tscottturner

    tscottturner Member
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    I found a doc at my med school that is currently SF and a former SF battalion commander. I'm sure his experience is a little unique, as he did the Ranger/SF thing prior to med school, and I think his entire military experience has been in the National Guard (except for a few instances of being called to AD). That raises the question - Can an MD join a National Guard unit and go through SFAS and Q course and fill a slot as a team leader?
     
  34. Croooz

    Croooz Senior Member
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    Not unique at all. I already posted that the majority of SF docs were SF operators before they went to medical school.

    The NG has been placing young men on the teams straight from the street, akin to the 18x program. Yes a MD can join the NG and go thru the Q and pipeline. It will cost your NG unit and there has to be a need. The MD's I know who are tabbed do not work as physicians.

    If your interested go here and contact MSG Edwards. He's very open and will direct you to the proper people.
    http://alguard.state.al.us/20thSFG.htm

    This is the Bragg site. Good AD contacts.
    http://www.bragg.army.mil/specialforces/contact.htm
     

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