Apr 26, 2010
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New to the forum, just finished up my 4th year of med school and am heading to intership in a civilian residency program this July. I have no prior military service, but am interested in serving my country in the future as a physician.

Had a couple of questions regarding being a physician in the Reserves (any branch). Is it possible to complete programs such as the 6 week Flight Surgeon school or the DMO school as a Reservist? How about with the Army/Air National Guard, either active or as reserve?

Also, on an unrelated note, does anyone know how to go about becoming a Coast Guard Flight Surgeon? I realize the Coast Guard is served by USPHS physicians, which is why I wondered how they go about becoming Flight Surgeons.

Finally, and this may be pretty out there, any way that Coast Guard physicians (either active duty or reserves) can be deployed or otherwise work with DOGs or MSST/MSRTs?

Sorry for all the questions! Thanks so much
 

JackADeli

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Aug 28, 2008
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Not sure this answers your question/s... but I did a simple google search.... coast guard flight surgeon. I suspect with just a little more effort you might find much more:
http://www.brooksidepress.org/Products/OperationalMedicine/DATA/operationalmed/OperationalSettings/CoastGuardAviationBasedMedicalServices.htm
...Coast Guard flight surgeons are trained at either the Air Force or Army flight surgeon courses. After completing a one-year Coast Guard specific syllabus they are designated as CG flight surgeons. There are also a small number of PA's trained at the Army flight surgeon course that are designated as aviation medical officers...
try: http://www.uscg.mil/
 

notdeadyet

Still in California
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Is it possible to complete programs such as the 6 week Flight Surgeon school or the DMO school as a Reservist?
Can't speak for Navy side (DMO school), but on the Army side, you can definitely take the flight surgeon course as a Reservist/National Guardsman.

Can't help you on the Coast Guard flight surgeon thing.
 

VHADOC

5+ Year Member
Apr 15, 2010
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Also, on an unrelated note, does anyone know how to go about becoming a Coast Guard Flight Surgeon? I realize the Coast Guard is served by USPHS physicians, which is why I wondered how they go about becoming Flight Surgeons.

Finally, and this may be pretty out there, any way that Coast Guard physicians (either active duty or reserves) can be deployed or otherwise work with DOGs or MSST/MSRTs?

I've previously looking into Coast Guard flight surg. The following is from my recollection couple years ago. You would probably have good luck cold-calling a Coast Guard medical unit asking to speak with a flight doc with some questions about the job.

To get in you basically apply to the PHS. Get through the PHS application process. If I recall correctly, you can take a commission without taking a job. Then you can sit in the reserves or whatever they call it (earning no money) waiting for a job/location to come up that you're interested in (Coast Guard, IHS, prisons, etc). If you take a Coast Guard flight surg billet, I believe you sign a contract, go to your duty station, then off to flight surg school with Army for few months, then back to your duty station.

I spoke with three Coast Guard flight surgeons, all three loved it (two cold calls, one director in DC I believe). Not 9-5, not all glory, but lots of operational work, fair amount of adrenaline, not exactly routine. See your family every night. Generally less clinic. And if clinic, generally healthy folks with injuries, not sick.

One thing about PHS in general, and applies to Coast Guard as well. Be prepared to move. Sure, it's stateside and near the water, but depending on your spouse/child situation, this may not be for you. On the other hand, if single or married with wonderlust, maybe a great gig.
 
OP
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Apr 26, 2010
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Thanks for all the help.

Contacted Capt. Wade McConnell, the liaison for USPHS/CG. He said there are no funds available for loan repayment specifically with the Coast Guard. He also sent this attachment, which I figured might be really helpful to some other people, so I'll attach the whole thing (long):

COAST GUARD PHYSICIANS

CLINICS
35 small, F[/SIZE]amily Medicine clinics, located in coastal locations throughout the Continental U.S. and outside the Continental U.S. (Hawaii, Puerto Rico, Alaska). Most clinics have a single physician with one nurse practitioner or physician assistant. Several clinics have three or more physicians.

PHYSICIANS AND OTHER STAFF
• Most clinics have a staff mix of military (Coast Guard Corpsmen called Health Services Technicians or HSs) and civilian or contract nurses and providers. All clinics have on site administrative support.
• Currently ~60 physicians, mostly Family Practitioners, with a few Pediatricians, Internists, Emergency Medicine, Occupational Medicine, Preventive Medicine and two Psychiatrists.
• About 20 of the 60 physicians are actively working as Flight Surgeons; about forty of 60 physicians have received 7 additional weeks of aviation medicine training (flight surgeon training).
• All Coast Guard Physicians are Public Health Service Commissioned Corps officers, wear Coast Guard uniforms and have military rank. Pay scales are identical to the military, and the benefits are the same; excellent malpractice, 20 year retirement, 30 days paid vacation and some assistance with CME. Most assignments are 5 years, with an option for a one year extension.

DUTIES
• Most physicians are involved in full time outpatient primary patient care, with some supervisory requirements. Eight physicians are dedicated full time to policy, planning, quality assurance and force management.
• Patient care responsibilities include active duty personnel, their families and retirees, although patient profiles vary from clinic to clinic. Inpatient care and OB are optional but generally not available in Coast Guard clinical settings.
• Coast Guard physicians are occasionally called upon to perform search and rescue (usually flight surgeons) or humanitarian missions. Deployments (time away from home) are generally short (2-3 weeks) and are almost always covered by volunteers. No Coast Guard physicians served in the Gulf War or in Bosnia, although the waters off Haiti and the Caribbean are frequent areas of need. Coast Guard physicians did serve in Vietnam, and can be activated into the Navy during war time (WWII).
• All PHS physicians serving in the Coast Guard are covered by the Uniformed Code of Military Justice. This code requires consent for drug testing, limits some expression of sexual orientation, and occasionally imposes strict punishment for certain crimes.

TIME LINE
• Physicians in the Coast Guard receive new assignments in November of their fourth or fifth year of their current assignment. Transfers usually occur in July or August. As a result of retirements or separations, generally 3-4 physician positions become available each year. We try to identify candidates in December for the following summer. The process of joining the Public Health Service (PHS Recruitment 1-800-279-1605) is long, slow and at times frustrating. We try to keep a list of potential candidates in case a candidate is disqualified due to physical requirements (the physical and weight requirements are moderately strict), past legal problems or some other issue. For physician candidates with past PHS or military service, this process is easier. Other restrictions/disqualifications for application are currently:
• Age over 44 (past military/PHS service extends this year for year)
• Non-US citizen(never waived)
• Over 8 years of prior military service (we have received waivers for this restriction in the past)
WHO
• We are currently interested in candidates who are fully residency trained in a primary care specialty, especially Family Practice, and licensed in the U.S. or P.R. Pediatricians, Occ Med and Preventative Medicine docs are welcome, but must be willing and able to see adults as the most important aspect of their practice.
• The Coast Guard currently has very limited opportunities for long term or residency training, about one slot every other year. A CG physician without prior residency training will, near the end of their first CG tour, be expected to apply for and then complete a family practice residency (CG funded), prior to receiving a second tour as a CG physician.

Contact:
• CAPT Brent Pennington @ 202-475-5170
• CDR Wade McConnell @ 202-475-5186[/SIZE]