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Thinking seriously about Army reserves

Strongman

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    It seems like a wonderful opportunity to earn extra pay while serving your country but keeping the opportunity to land a civilian job after residency. What is the catch? From my understanding...I get about 1200/month to do nothing in residency. Afterwards, I give the army 2 for 1 years of service for years the stipend collected. That service is only a total of 3 weeks a year or a weekend a month. Someone please correct/inform me. Is the catch the time that I can be deployed to active duty? what is it...please help with info for I am seriously thinking about this....
     

    Croooz

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      Strongman said:
      It seems like a wonderful opportunity to earn extra pay while serving your country but keeping the opportunity to land a civilian job after residency. What is the catch? From my understanding...I get about 1200/month to do nothing in residency. Afterwards, I give the army 2 for 1 years of service for years the stipend collected. That service is only a total of 3 weeks a year or a weekend a month. Someone please correct/inform me. Is the catch the time that I can be deployed to active duty? what is it...please help with info for I am seriously thinking about this....

      This is currenty being asked...
      http://forums.studentdoctor.net/showthread.php?t=175984

      There is NO limit to how often and for how long you will activated...and you WILL be activated. The time you are talking about is the bare minimum. You say nothing about getting sent to war...or has someone lied and said not to "worry about it"?
       

      Strongman

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        Croooz said:
        This is currenty being asked...
        http://forums.studentdoctor.net/showthread.php?t=175984

        There is NO limit to how often and for how long you will activated...and you WILL be activated. The time you are talking about is the bare minimum. You say nothing about getting sent to war...or has someone lied and said not to "worry about it"?

        I was told that I can complete my residency with absolutely NO obligation during this time. My only obligation is the usual reserve obligation that comes down to 3 weeks a year. I was also told that there is a low likelihood that I would get called overseas to war. Again, that is what I was "told" by the recruiter.
         
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        militarymd

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          Strongman said:
          I was told that I can complete my residency with absolutely NO obligation during this time. My only obligation is the usual reserve obligation that comes down to 3 weeks a year. I was also told that there is a low likelihood that I would get called overseas to war. Again, that is what I was "told" by the recruiter.
          :laugh: :laugh: :laugh: :laugh: :laugh: :laugh: :laugh: :laugh: :laugh:
           

          Croooz

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            Strongman said:
            How about some text :confused:

            He doesn't need to add text...his point was made. If you want a hundred other people to come on here and tell you what I did, that just ain't gonna happen. I was in the reserves as an enlisted sailor, working at a hospital...I went IRR the week before 9/11...3 docs were activated to work at the hospital. One spent 6 months, the other 9 and finally the other asked to be augmented back to active duty because he had lost his practise....but these are limited experiences....

            I'm sure I didn't work with a few docs who had "accidents" in order not to go to Desert Shield/Storm thereby the reservist was sent.

            You're being fooled by your recruiter. You will not be called when you are in residency but after that you most definitely will. Food for thought...the recruiter is probably making the argument that by the time you get out of residency Iraq will be over and yadda yadda yadda....This might be very well true but the military is getting smaller and smaller and calling the reserves back on active duty is the first choice. I can't blame the administration...from cost perspective it's great to have a part-time military.

            You've been warned. Join and you'll find out first hand why many recruiters are despised and what the "needs of the service" really means. Your choice...make it a good one.

            Ask yourself: Who has something to gain from this? Do I or xMilMD or anyone on this forum? How about your recruiter? I'm sure they are very sincere but in the end who gains what? This isn't win-win...not for you.
             

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            tscottturner
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              Strongman said:
              It seems like a wonderful opportunity to earn extra pay while serving your country but keeping the opportunity to land a civilian job after residency. What is the catch? From my understanding...I get about 1200/month to do nothing in residency. Afterwards, I give the army 2 for 1 years of service for years the stipend collected. That service is only a total of 3 weeks a year or a weekend a month. Someone please correct/inform me. Is the catch the time that I can be deployed to active duty? what is it...please help with info for I am seriously thinking about this....

              Not to say that your recruiter is lying, but the 2 for 1 that you serve after residency WILL be on Active Duty (either at a US Army post or deployed overseas). After that you will go back to a reserve status, where you can be called to active duty again, as needed. I spent 6 years on active duty as a commissioned officer, including a year in Kuwait/Iraq. After multiple conversations with several military docs, I decided to leave active duty to attend med school in an IRR status. The program is not a bad one - you can typically get the specialty that you want, no questions asked. The only issue that I had is that I didn't want the commitment - another 6+ years on active duty.
               

              MountaineerDoc

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                Strongman said:
                It seems like a wonderful opportunity to earn extra pay while serving your country but keeping the opportunity to land a civilian job after residency. What is the catch? From my understanding...I get about 1200/month to do nothing in residency. Afterwards, I give the army 2 for 1 years of service for years the stipend collected. That service is only a total of 3 weeks a year or a weekend a month. Someone please correct/inform me. Is the catch the time that I can be deployed to active duty? what is it...please help with info for I am seriously thinking about this....

                The CATCH?! it is YOU by the recruiter...
                You get 1200/mth for residency for say 2 years,
                You lose 12,000/mth (best case) post residency during deployment for 2 years total, now you do the math...

                I have 12 retirement years in kid at 42 years old, and the last 8 are looking longer to reach than the first 12...

                Don't do it...
                 

                denali

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                  Strongman said:
                  It seems like a wonderful opportunity to earn extra pay while serving your country but keeping the opportunity to land a civilian job after residency. What is the catch? From my understanding...I get about 1200/month to do nothing in residency. Afterwards, I give the army 2 for 1 years of service for years the stipend collected. That service is only a total of 3 weeks a year or a weekend a month. Someone please correct/inform me. Is the catch the time that I can be deployed to active duty? what is it...please help with info for I am seriously thinking about this....

                  You want the catch? Just look at the news... It IS NOT "only a total of 3 weeks a year or a weekend a month" anymore!
                   

                  Strongman

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                    GeoLeoX said:
                    I hope by now that you realize we have a quorum consensus.

                    Oh my God (I am not being saracastic). I feel as if you can not really trust the government for anything nowadays. I agree with the above. Not one person has said "Hey it is awesome and the best decision I've made in my life."
                     
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                    AubreyMaturin

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                      Strongman said:
                      Oh my God (I am not being saracastic). I feel as if you can not really trust the government for anything nowadays. I agree with the above. Not one person has said "Hey it is awesome and the best decision I've made in my life."

                      Only about a dozen of the thousands of military docs actually post on this page, so don't get discouraged. I am sure that some people are actally postive about thier experience. Make a consious decision based on the facts and you should be fine.

                      I am not a mil doc yet, but I will be soon. I have found the negativity on this site to be both informative and enlightening, but I am not basing my opinions on teh experience of others. I will not have an opinion, in fact, until after I have experienced mil med for myself. Opinions are based on experience, and I have none. Neither do you, so read the fine print and make the decision that is best for you.

                      By the way many people have sent me private postings telling me how much they loved USUHS/HPSP and mil life as a doctor. Wish these people would actually send these post to the public pages. Help balance the scales.
                       

                      MountaineerDoc

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                        AubreyMaturin said:
                        By the way many people have sent me private postings telling me how much they loved USUHS/HPSP and mil life as a doctor. Wish these people would actually send these post to the public pages. Help balance the scales.

                        Heads up, it the recruiters :laugh:

                        On a more serious note though... Years ago the military was VERY different. My initial date on active duty is 01/09/1983, and much has changed over the years. The past experiences of old in no way reflect the recent experiences of todays military environment. The military in my youth helped to develop me as a man and a leader, who is going to be a doctor. I don't believe todays military does that as well as it did 20-30 years ago...
                         

                        Jeff05

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                          dude,
                          do NOT do it. i'm a fourth year and i have many friends that are realizing what a mistake they've made. financially it does NOT make sense. just take out the FULL loans - in most specialties you will pay them back without ANY problems. if you join you are selling your freedom during the years of your life when you'll need it most. again, unless you really want to serve your country DO NOT do it. the benefits are not worth your personal freedom (and the freedom of your significant other)
                           

                          GMO_52

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                            Strongman said:
                            Oh my God (I am not being saracastic). I feel as if you can not really trust the government for anything nowadays. I agree with the above. Not one person has said "Hey it is awesome and the best decision I've made in my life."

                            There are many military docs at all levels who are positive about their choice. However, you asked if the "catch" is that you can be called to active duty...that's not the catch, that's the whole reason for the existence of the reserves. And now, more than ever, reservists are spending lengthy periods on AD in very undesirable places. In some cases, they're actually staying in Iraq/Afganistan LONGER than the active duty folks. So, feel free to sign up but 1) don't start a practice where you'd have to fire people when you're called up 2) expect to spend a year or more on AD overseas 3) understand that, at the end of your time, you could be kept longer. My opinion on this, if you want to serve, jump in all the way. The reserves can turn into a really really bad deal.
                             

                            GeoLeoX

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                              AubreyMaturin said:
                              Only about a dozen of the thousands of military docs actually post on this page, so don't get discouraged. I am sure that some people are actally postive about thier experience. Make a consious decision based on the facts and you should be fine.

                              I am not a mil doc yet, but I will be soon. I have found the negativity on this site to be both informative and enlightening, but I am not basing my opinions on teh experience of others. I will not have an opinion, in fact, until after I have experienced mil med for myself. Opinions are based on experience, and I have none. Neither do you, so read the fine print and make the decision that is best for you.

                              By the way many people have sent me private postings telling me how much they loved USUHS/HPSP and mil life as a doctor. Wish these people would actually send these post to the public pages. Help balance the scales.


                              I am a mil doc and I love what I do. That's not what this thread was about. I believe that myself and the other "negative" posters were attempting to disabuse Strongman of the notion that the Reserve is "one weekend a month and 3 weeks a year". If I didn't realize what I was getting into (and truthfully, no one fully realizes until the uniform's been on for a while) I doubt that I would be enjoying it as much as I do. This is about education and people learn best from their (and hopefully, others) mistakes.

                              Geo
                               

                              Strongman

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                                GeoLeoX said:
                                I am a mil doc and I love what I do. That's not what this thread was about. I believe that myself and the other "negative" posters were attempting to disabuse Strongman of the notion that the Reserve is "one weekend a month and 3 weeks a year". If I didn't realize what I was getting into (and truthfully, no one fully realizes until the uniform's been on for a while) I doubt that I would be enjoying it as much as I do. This is about education and people learn best from their (and hopefully, others) mistakes.

                                Geo
                                I just want to make I know the whole deal. I recently had a daughter that is now 2 weeks old. As a result, if I will get AD overseas for a year... then this deal is not for me...honestly. I do not mind being sent anywhere in the country. The third sentence above is the most accurate as representation of the heart of my original question.
                                 

                                DrBloodmoney

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                                  My two points of advice are:

                                  1. Know what you are getting into. Recruiters are not physicians, they are not in the med corps, they have no clue about real military medicine. These folks get paid (read: bonuses) to get you in uniform. Try to avoid getting recruited by an enlisted recruiter. I would try to deal with an officer as much as possible. Talk to other docs in the military. Call up a major medcen and ask for the department of your specialty. Ask to speak to a junior staff. I can't imagine they wouldn't talk to you.

                                  2. In the current military climate, there is a very strong chance you will be deployed. Know this, especially if you are in a highly deployable field, or you accept a greater-chance-to-deploy spot, like a PROFIS position.
                                   

                                  Croooz

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                                    Strongman said:
                                    I just want to make I know the whole deal. I recently had a daughter that is now 2 weeks old. As a result, if I will get AD overseas for a year... then this deal is not for me...honestly. I do not mind being sent anywhere in the country. The third sentence above is the most accurate as representation of the heart of my original question.
                                    Strongman...don't do it. I wouldn't. I will have kids and that is going to be the most difficult decision for me. Honestly...I will probably go back in the military but my nonexistant kids will be at least 7 years old when I would go on a DMO. That's if I don't get into USUHS :D I'm getting word that USUHS aren't getting sent to GMO tours...one of the perks. I guess since they've got you for 7 anyway...?

                                    Anyway, congratulations on your daughter. I know the money the recruiter is presenting to you looks good but the reserves are not where you want to be. If you decide to join just go all the way...FAP might...again...MIGHT be something to at least research. Definitely don't waste your time with reserves...it's the equivalent of getting hired & paid to do part-time work only your putting in 120 hours a week. The military is the big winner in the reserves, not you.
                                     

                                    GeoLeoX

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                                      Croooz said:
                                      I'm getting word that USUHS aren't getting sent to GMO tours...one of the perks.


                                      This is definitely not true at this time - I know several USUHSers (esp. Navy) who became GMOs. It would be a major change of heart if it becomes a new policy.
                                       

                                      Homunculus

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                                        Croooz said:
                                        I'm getting word that USUHS aren't getting sent to GMO tours...one of the perks.

                                        well, the graduating interns this year are being sent out regardless of USUHS status or not (Navy that is).


                                        So GeoLeoX-- i'll be going to C4 in beginning of march-- any words of wisdom?? :)

                                        --your friendly neighborhood hopes it's warm in San Antonio caveman
                                         

                                        saxman

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                                          The Army Reserves was a great place for physicians during the Vietnam and Cold War eras. During the Vietnam Era, a physician could beat the draft by joining an Army Reserve Unit, and take his/her chances of being called to active duty. It certainly happened but the odds were in your favor that your life wouldn't be disrupted. After Vietnam, the Army Reserves were a gold mine. You attended monthly drills, spent 2 or 4 weeks on active duty each year at Army Medical Centers, or attended professional meetings at government expense. Sure you had the opportunity to take part in special overseas exercises, and I am certain a minority of Army Reservist Physicians were involuntarily called to active duty on occasion. However, you pocketed extra money every month, and accumulated points towards retirment. A great deal!

                                          Things changed during and after Persian Gulf War I. The army was no longer on a cold war stance to fend off the Soviet Hoards. The active duty medical corps had begun a slow decline in numbers and became lean and mean. More docs were suddenly needed to fight a war, and the Army Reservists were called to perform the duty they were really meant to perform. What a shock!

                                          Over the past 15 years the Army has had to rely heavily on the Army Reserve Medical Corps Officers to meet their medical needs both to support combat units or to maintain health care at home. The party has been over for a long time. This has been true for all conflicts extending from Persian Gulf War I to Bosnia, to the current situation.

                                          In my humble opinion, the Army Reserves is no longer a good deal for physicians. There are far better ways to earn extra income. Your chances of activation and deployments overseas are great for the next couple of years. This translates to potential disruption of post-graduate education, separation from family, and financial loss of business/practice income.

                                          If you really want to serve your country in the armed forces and are truly interested in military medicine, my sincere recommendation is to go all the way and ask for a commision and go active duty rather than part-time in the reserves. Just realize what you are getting into, ask lots of questions, and make sure you understand the ramifications of your decisions.
                                           

                                          Croooz

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                                            Homunculus said:
                                            well, the graduating interns this year are being sent out regardless of USUHS status or not (Navy that is).


                                            So GeoLeoX-- i'll be going to C4 in beginning of march-- any words of wisdom?? :)

                                            --your friendly neighborhood hopes it's warm in San Antonio caveman

                                            I'm going to call my "friend's friend" and find out who he's talking to. He's a USUHS student and is convinced on the non-GMO status of USUHS grads. My gut is telling me he is waaaaay off base on this. While it does sound good on the surface that since the military has USUHS grads longer that they wouldn't be required to go GMO. The reality is that the more time the military has the more time it has to do what they need with you...such as GMO. I'll get the "scoop" from this confused soul and see why he believes this so strongly.
                                             

                                            GMO_52

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                                              Croooz said:
                                              I'm going to call my "friend's friend" and find out who he's talking to. He's a USUHS student and is convinced on the non-GMO status of USUHS grads. My gut is telling me he is waaaaay off base on this. While it does sound good on the surface that since the military has USUHS grads longer that they wouldn't be required to go GMO. The reality is that the more time the military has the more time it has to do what they need with you...such as GMO. I'll get the "scoop" from this confused soul and see why he believes this so strongly.

                                              Me: USU grad GMO
                                              Helo Doc: USU grad GMO

                                              On my pier a few months ago, 4 ships, 4 USU grad GMOs.

                                              Somebody smoking the peace pipe.
                                               

                                              denali

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                                                Croooz said:
                                                I'm going to call my "friend's friend" and find out who he's talking to. He's a USUHS student and is convinced on the non-GMO status of USUHS grads. My gut is telling me he is waaaaay off base on this. While it does sound good on the surface that since the military has USUHS grads longer that they wouldn't be required to go GMO. The reality is that the more time the military has the more time it has to do what they need with you...such as GMO. I'll get the "scoop" from this confused soul and see why he believes this so strongly.

                                                There is no "official word" being put out here about not being required to do a GMO tour. I've checked with ~20 of my Navy colleagues and almost all are planning on being GMOs.

                                                There may be the perception that a USUHS grad has a better chance of getting a straight through residency, but I know of no evidence, statistical or anecdotal, to support such a claim
                                                 

                                                GeoLeoX

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                                                  Homunculus said:
                                                  well, the graduating interns this year are being sent out regardless of USUHS status or not (Navy that is).


                                                  So GeoLeoX-- i'll be going to C4 in beginning of march-- any words of wisdom?? :)

                                                  --your friendly neighborhood hopes it's warm in San Antonio caveman


                                                  hey, if you get the PM that I sent you about C4 could you edit it up and post it as a sticky?

                                                  Geo
                                                   
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