Hi all - I've spent the past week or so perusing the forum, so hopefully none of my questions have been addressed ad nauseum. Background: - Finishing pulmonary/critical care fellowship from a reputable institution. US-educated the whole way through school/training and no black marks along the way - No service obligation or background in the military. I've always been putting it off because I didn't want to restrict my residency/fellowship options and I didn't know what I wanted to do medically. Thankfully, I ended up falling in love with a specialty that (apparently) is desired by the military and now I *think* I'm ready to sign up. - I'm single and won't be tied down anytime soon. Very OK with relocation q3-4 years. - I have a **** ton of debt (400k despite no undergrad debt; 6.7% interest rate) Goals/motivations: - I know this sounds cheesy, but I don't feel like I've repaid my debt to society yet. I can't really explain it better than that; after doing some critical care moonlighting over the course of this winter, I just don't think pulling that type of money doing cushy private sector work would sit well with me. I'm probably crazy, though, so feel free to say as much. - I want to diversify my non-clinical skills. Things like leadership/management, resource management, etc. - Money isn't a big motivating factor as long as I'm not digging a big hole as far as my student loans go. I'm fine making 50-60% of what a private sector MICU job would entail as long as I'm not paying off my loans for 10-15 years. Here are the issues I'm hoping to get everyone's advice/experience/thoughts on: (1) When you're a "critically short wartime skills" IM subspecialty, how often do you end up doing non-specialty work? Am I running the risk of doing general medicine when I deploy or even just at station? Is there any way to negotiate that before signing and *actually* hold them to it? (2) Who should I be talking to right now? Is it kosher to just cold-call/email a pulmonologist who's active duty, or is it a small enough world that I run the risk of ruffling feathers? (3) I haven't been impressed with the recruiters I've spoken with so far. The navy and AF ones didn't know much (and said that most of their time is spent recruiting nurses), while the Army guy painted such a rosy picture that I'm worried he was blowing smoke up my arse. Will I eventually get referred to a physician-specific recruiter who can sit down and talk nuts/bolts with me? Do I get some sort of physician "liaison" within my subspecialty prior to signing? (4) What sorts of things are typically negotiable while also being enforceable after I sign? (5) Air Force told me "before you sign, we'd be able to give you a list of 3-4 places you'd almost certainly be stationed, that way you can estimate what sort of BHA you'd be getting". Is that a total lie? (6) How does clinical mentorship work? If my first job were to be with a private practice group, I'd have 4-6 more experienced attendings I could ask for help anytime I ran into a difficult clinical situation. Do military subspecialists end up being either solo or one of only like 2-3 people at their station? (7) Army is trying to get me to sign up for Reserves until I've taken my board exams, then convert to active duty. Would taking an accession bonus for Reserves disqualify me from getting the massive CSWSAB (looks to be about 300k for PulmCC)? (8) Is it even remotely possible that I could get my first placement at a place with residents +/- fellows and do some teaching? What about institution-sponsored research? Is that a thing? Thanks in advance for any wisdom/criticism. Part of my issue is that I haven't found anybody who's walked this path before, so I'm having trouble getting worthwhile reality-checks from people I can trust.