Usaf Bsc?

Discussion in 'Military Medicine' started by spinner, Jun 14, 2008.

  1. spinner

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    I've been working with a USAF medical accessions recruiter since mid-May, and have been told many wonderful things about the BSC: he told me that I'd be working with the "latest equipment" during my stint as a health physicist (yeah, sure, given what I've read on here about medical facilities/equipment lagging current standards by 5-10 years) and that promotion to O-6 would take place in 5 + 5 + 5 years. I'd be starting as an O-3.

    Here's the thing: I'm not an MD, but would like to become one, possibly at AF expense. Given that I'd be in the BSC for a non-trivial amount of time (two-plus years, at least), what would be the most expiditious and cost-effective route to an MD in the military? Do MC and BSC officers share the positive, upbeat rapport that my recruiter so heartily claims (not trying to stir the pot here, but I did read a thread about how physicians are sometimes subject to the leadership of incompetent BSC personnel)? Any advice for a potential BSC person?

    NB. I haven't signed on the dotted line yet and would like to gather some input before doing so(?)
     
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  3. The White Coat Investor

    The White Coat Investor AKA ActiveDutyMD
    Physician Partner Organization

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    What's a medical physicist? In my experience, a BSC is a line officer that works in a building closer to the hospital than the flightline. I have zero interaction with them, except one was my commander when I deployed. He was the worst commander I've ever dealt with.

    Seriously, I don't know much at all about being a BSC, but if your recruiter is suggesting you'll be hanging out with docs all day, I'd be a little skeptical.
     
  4. spinner

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    As I read more and more, it looks like a bureaucratic nightmare. It's a lot of (1) nuclear medicine and radiation therapy, (2) telling people the safe limits for acute and integrated radiation dose (LOTS of paperwork here; not thrilled), and (3) hitting people on the head with a rolled-up newspaper for unnecessary/unsafe exposure (and filling out a ton more paperwork):

    Conducts medical physics activities. Supervises and performs calibration of equipment used in diagnosing and treating disease, including high-energy accelerators, Co-60 teletherapy units, x-ray therapy machines, nuclear medicine imaging system, diagnostic x-ray machines, and ultrasonic devices. Participates in planning and managing patient treatment and diagnostic procedures. Participates in actual procedures, such as radiation therapy set-up, surgical implants of radioactive materials, and special diagnostic, nuclear medicine, and radiographic procedures. Advises medical specialists of requirements for, and availability of, new equipment and computer techniques to improve patient care and treatment. Supervises all phases of acquisition, from preliminary procurement procedures through operation. Teaches principles of health physics for care and treatment of patients to resident physicians.
     
  5. BKK

    BKK Member

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    BSC (Biomedical Science Corps) officers are not line officers, but a very diverse collection of health care professionals. How I describe the BSC to line officers and others is who we are not: We are the non-Physicians (MC), non-Dentists (DC), non-Nurses (NC), non-Administrators (MSC), in fact all of the other professionals that make a MTF function. Optometry, PT, OT, Pharmacy, Public Health, Bio-environmental Engineers, etc.

    While I cannot speak to day to day life as a Health Physist, I now a number of former BSCs that are now physicians, of one specialty or another. Many were Academy grads that spent 2-4 years as a BEE or Areospace Physiologist that went onto medical school or to USUHS. Many of the other BSCs with a specialty degree (Pharm, Optometry, PT, etc) tend to stay in their chosen profession unless they decide on a major educational change. I know of at least three AF Opthalmologists that were AF Optometrists before they decided to return to Med School/Ophthalmology.

    BK
     
  6. AndyM

    AndyM Bioenvironmental Engineer

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    Health physicists aren't usually hospital folks; those are medical physicists. If you are actually qualified as AFSC 43E1G, or bioenvironmental engineering, as it is now classified, then you have a background in applied radiation physics or industrial hygiene. In the AF, we do typically use the latest and greatest, no lie. Finally, you'd need to be a Ph.D or be a certified HP with several years' experience to get advanced rank (which, by the way, is a position of significant responsibility, not an entitlement).

    The two don't typically interact at all, unless there is a clinical site needing to be surveyed or there are expeditionary activities being conducted (plan on deployments in today's AF). As for "incompetent BSC personnel," you should already know that there is a chasm of difference between the various career fields of that branch. The Biomedical Science Corps includes a loose organization of several disciplines.
     
  7. Milrad

    Milrad Junior Member

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