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Unwanted GMO

Discussion in 'Military Medicine' started by Pablo06, Jun 13, 2008.

  1. Pablo06

    Pablo06 New Member 5+ Year Member

    Jan 11, 2006
    I apologize for similiar posts, but my mind is spinning around in circles over this matter. This is in regards to the Air Force HPSP. I could just be misinterpreting the information available on these boards (highly likely).

    From what a recruiter tells me.....
    If I got accepted for a civilian residency but did not get accepted for a military residency, I would be GUARANTEED a deferment regardless of the specialty and whether or not it is needed by the military.
    He also says that the only people in FS spots are those that choose to be a FS as their first choice and those that do not match into military or civilian residency. There seems to be an unusually high number of flight surgeons to me, especially if these are the only two ways a person can become one.

    From these boards.....
    It seems that there is no guarantee and that there is a chance of being "pushed" into a GMO/FS spot.

    Is there anyone of this board who has been accepted to a civilian residency but been pushed into a GMO/FS spot? I would greatly appreciate feedback on this matter.

    I am very interested in military medicine, but I am not interested in getting screwed over due to false information from recruiters. I will mostly likely either do this program or the ARNG program.
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  3. sethco

    sethco Senior Member 10+ Year Member

    Dec 12, 2003

    No, No, No!!!!!!!!!!

    I am convinced that this recruiter is lying on purpose. They are going well beyond ignorance to the system.

    Here is the way it works. I will use Emergency Medicine as an example (I am making up the exact numbers as an example)...

    8 spots at Wilford Hall
    12 spots deferred

    Now, let's say this year there are 40 applicants. Out of these 40, 8 will be given a residency spot at Wilford Hall, 12 will be deferred to find an E Med program in the civilian world, and 20 will have to do a minimum 2 year GMO/FS tour before being allowed to reapply (Most people will just finish their 3/4 year commitment after their GMO/FS tour and then get out)

    The past 3-4 years, 25% were not accepted to a residency and were pushed to a GMO tour and the majority were not by choice. This percentage is much better in the Army and supposedly the Navy is significantly improving on their percentage, but the AF has no intention of improving on this. In fact, there are rumors going around that they are going to increase the non-residency trained Flight Surgeons by 10% this year. this is just rumor, but I would not be surprised at all.

    Don't believe anything this recruiter says. You will get honest answers here from pro and anti-mil med people and people that fall somewhere in the middle (like myself)

    Hope this helps.
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2008
  4. Pablo06

    Pablo06 New Member 5+ Year Member

    Jan 11, 2006
    Thank you for the quick response sethco. You have been a great help, and now on Monday I will have the pleasure of telling the recruiter he can shove the contract up his you know what. I will make sure and bluntly point out the error of his ways.

    Also, nothing is final until the contract is signed correct? The Air Force is trying to commission me but I haven't even seen my own contract yet, and I thought that commissioning would come after the signing of the contract.
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2008
  5. sethco

    sethco Senior Member 10+ Year Member

    Dec 12, 2003
    Correct on both accounts. Nothing is final until you signed the contract and take the oath.

    If you still want to serve in the military, but are worried about the prospect of having your training interrupted by a GMO tour, you should look into the FAP program more closely.
  6. mitchconnie

    mitchconnie Member 10+ Year Member

    Oct 27, 2002
    Ahh...yes...It's the classic bait and switch, straight out of the Air Force recruiter's playbook. While the above may be TECHNICALLY true, it's not at all what you think.

    Take sethco's example to heart. First, you go through the military match and attempt to match into residency training in your chosen specialty, either in the AF or civilian deferred. If you do not match into your specialty, you WILL NOT complete your training uninterrupted and you WILL be a GMO/FS...period...end of story. You have no choice.

    The "automatic" deferrment that you will get if you fail in the military match is only a one-year internship-only deferment so that you can get a license. So sure, you can do that intern year in whatever specialty you want, but you won't be allowed to complete your training.

    The AF match results clearly demonstrate that 25-30% of students are getting these "automatic" one-year deferments and being forced into flight surgery thereafter. Of course, if you want to do primary care you will almost certainly match for straight-through training, but for anything competitive, your odds are probably around 50% of matching for uninterrupted residency training.

    The AF has not eliminated the GMO in any way, shape, or form.
  7. IgD

    IgD The Lorax 10+ Year Member

    Jul 5, 2005
    I don't really understand why the military likes the GMO thing so much. It turns so many good people away. They'd probably end up saving money if they got rid of it.
  8. i want out

    i want out Member 10+ Year Member

    Jul 12, 2006
    I am sure you have heard the saying in the navy:

    "200 years of tradition unhampered by progress"

    The military does the "GMO thing" because thats what they have been doing since before engineers were commissioned officers, from way back when hanging a shingle after internship was common in the private sector also.

    the rest of the world has made progress, and as is generally the case when someone is not forced to change, they keep doing things the same way they always have.

    i want out (of IRR)
  9. sethco

    sethco Senior Member 10+ Year Member

    Dec 12, 2003
    My 4th year of med school, we had to do a 2 day rotation with a physician that does house calls. She was like a GMO (only had her PGY-1 year done) Like and she said she came from the days where it was not "expected" that physicians complete residency.

    Like several GMOs I have met in the past, her medical knowledge surprised me a lot (just not in a good way)
  10. BomberDoc

    BomberDoc ex-BomberDoc 2+ Year Member

    Bravo. Also be sure to point this out to everyone you know who is considering military medicine.

    There is the word, "integrity" that they throw around a lot in the Air Force. Unfortunately it seems that there is very little of it left and a recruiter wouldn't know what it was if it bit him in the @ss.
  11. BigNavyPedsGuy

    BigNavyPedsGuy Junior Member 10+ Year Member

    Apr 11, 2006
    Gotta agree with this one! I think I'll be the only one in hte hostory of this message board to say this: I had a great Navy recruiter and went into the process (fairly) well informed!!

    I applied to all three branches and I did notice one difference. When I applied the AF and Army used enlisted recruiters (both sergeants - can't remember more specifics). The navy had a medical service corps LCDR - it made a difference.

    I think there does need to be better understaning of the medical education system, but I also think it's silly having someone that joined the military straight outta high school, trying to understand the world of college graduate about to enter advanced degree training.

    To the OP, the catch about the military: they can ALWAYS make you do something unwanted. It doesn't mean they will - but they always can.
  12. a1qwerty55

    a1qwerty55 Attending 10+ Year Member

    Aug 16, 2006
    Liar alert. You have been lied to. This is patently false. The military rarely guarantees anything. Especially deferments.
  13. a1qwerty55

    a1qwerty55 Attending 10+ Year Member

    Aug 16, 2006
    The Army is trying to phase out most if not all GMO tours (I referring to the use of docs with only one year of training). This takes time as you have to build enough FP's and IM's to do the job. The Navy is trying to do the same but has a bigger challenge as they have so many platforms that need docs in other words ships, marine units. The AF has been much slower. It is no longer acceptable in America to practice without residency training (although it still happens in some areas). Servicemembers have the right to the same care civilians receive. The Army and Navy seem to get this and the USAF I think is coming around.
  14. dtn3t

    dtn3t Member 10+ Year Member

    Jun 2, 2004
    Don't forget about peds!
  15. deuist

    deuist Stealthfully Sarcastic Physician Lifetime Donor Classifieds Approved 10+ Year Member

    Jun 14, 2004
    Read this letter from Col Hall. She goes through the GME process and paints some pretty dim numbers.
  16. sethco

    sethco Senior Member 10+ Year Member

    Dec 12, 2003
    What do you base this on? Do you know something that I don't? I will agree with you about the Navy and Army, but the AF is not getting rid of GMOs anytime in the near future, nor do they intend to decrease these numbers (unlike the Navy). I was told by my "higher-ups" that they were in fact, increasing the GMO pool by 10% this year for the AF. Now, this is just rumor, I will admit. However, it is not rumor that there are not enough seats at the AMP class to train everybody in July and a lot of people will need to wait until September to start AMP. That tells me that the GMO pool is still going strong in the AF. Any way you look at it, the AF needs highly mobile docs and there are no docs that are more mobile than Flight Surgeons (Whether residency trained or not). IMO, this is futher compounded by the uncertainty of AF GME with med centers closing to inpatient services and new residencies opening (or planning to) within the next couple of years.
    Last edited: Jun 18, 2008
  17. sethco

    sethco Senior Member 10+ Year Member

    Dec 12, 2003
    From the "article"...

    The selection rate for these 526 applicantsÂ’ specialty choices was almost 70% and for the medical students, the selection rate was even higher, close to 75%.

    The more competitive or popular specialties such as Anesthesiology, Radiology, Emergency Medicine, and the Surgical sub-specialties have a higher non-selection rate than some of the Primary Care specialties- paralleling the outcomes in the civilian match through the National Residency Match Program (NRMP).

    It is too bad that she does not mention that the non-selection rate of these particular specialties is actually much higher in the military (Air Force, in particular) than the civilian.

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