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ishii123

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Mar 13, 2005
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  1. Attending Physician
Does anyone have personal experience switching from the military medical corps to the public health service (PHS)?

Overall, I enjoyed my time as a military physician, but I cannot see me and my family living the military lifestyle for 20 years. However, I can see myself finishing off my military commitment and then switching to the PHS to earn my 20 years service and get the same retirement/pension (as military personnel serving 20 years). The PHS seems to be a humanitarian organization madeup of many intellectuals, research-orientated, and more open-minded (more liberal and laid-back than military). It also has significantly less deployments overseas. These qualities are definitely attractive to me. I'm especially interested in possibly serving as a PHS Medical Officer at the NIH, FDA, or CDC.

This topic has been somewhat addressed by the following thread. But it's mostly 2nd and 3rd hand info:
http://forums.studentdoctor.net/showthread.php?t=364382&highlight=public+health+service
 

NavyFP

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10+ Year Member
May 18, 2006
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  1. Attending Physician
Does anyone have personal experience switching from the military medical corps to the public health service (PHS)?

Overall, I enjoyed my time as a military physician, but I cannot see me and my family living the military lifestyle for 20 years. However, I can see myself finishing off my military commitment and then switching to the PHS to earn my 20 years service and get the same retirement/pension (as military personnel serving 20 years). The PHS seems to be a humanitarian organization madeup of many intellectuals, research-orientated, and more open-minded (more liberal and laid-back than military). It also has significantly less deployments overseas. These qualities are definitely attractive to me. I'm especially interested in possibly serving as a PHS Medical Officer at the NIH, FDA, or CDC.

This topic has been somewhat addressed by the following thread. But it's mostly 2nd and 3rd hand info:
http://forums.studentdoctor.net/showthread.php?t=364382&highlight=public+health+service

I have worked with a number of PHS docs and there are a few things to know. Many of the docs in PHS are pure admin types. They do very little in the way of clinical medicine. There are some doing research at NIH and have a practice of sorts. Indian Health Service does have practicing docs, but those are being scaled back. In the PHS you have to find your own job, they are actually deploying docs(yes there are PHS docs in Iraq and Afghanistan), and you typically need to change jobs for promotion.

So, yes, PHS can be a rewarding way to go, but it is not all peaches and cream. It depends on what you want to do.
 
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