n618ft

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What's available for the GMO's for the USAF? I'm shying away from the Navy since a lot of the GMO's send you out to sea - would suck if I had a family by then.

Do they have USAF flight surgeons from HPSP? Has anyone here done it? How's the time away from family? Do they send you to UPT? How much would that add to my committment? Are there any residencies you'd have to match into to do this? (Interested in EM, Ortho, or Rad) I'd love to go (I was an airline pilot till last year and currently a flight instructor)... could show them a thing or two :D

Also, if you don't go GMO, you're pretty much with your family, correct?
 
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sethco

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What's available for the GMO's for the USAF?
It changes every year. Can't be predicted where positions will open, but basically every base where there are flying ops.

Do they have USAF flight surgeons from HPSP?
Yes.

Has anyone here done it?
Yes. About 25% of residency applicants.

How's the time away from family?
It sucks. Generally 6 month deployments unless you are attached to a squadron. I just finished my 2nd (and last) 4 month deployment during my 4 year Flight Surgery tour.

Do they send you to UPT?
No. UPT is for pilots. Flight docs go to AMP. Why would you go to UPT if you are already a flight instructor? Am I missing something?

How much would that add to my committment?
Depends on whether you just want to serve out your time as a GMO or if you want to only be a GMO for 2 years.

Are there any residencies you'd have to match into to do this? (Interested in EM, Ortho, or Rad)
If you don't match, you will become a GMO. A lot of people will do a flight surgery tour before going into residency (some even by choice!?!)

I'd love to go (I was an airline pilot till last year and currently a flight instructor)... could show them a thing or two :D
Ummmmm...I think you have the wrong idea of what flight docs are and what they do. What would show "them" and who are they that you would "show"?

Also, if you don't go GMO, you're pretty much with your family, correct?
No. Please read the previous posts on this subject and start with the FAQs. This has been answered ad nausem.
 

Charlie0318

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No. Please read the previous posts on this subject and start with the FAQs. This has been answered ad nausem.
To be fair there is a TON of posts to try and sift through and the ones concerning time spent away from family are kind of hidden in the middle of threads and not easily found.

In fact I have been sifting through threads for 4-5 weeks now trying to read up as much as I can and found little on this subject. As someone who is getting married next week and strongly considering AF HPSP I would not mind hearing about this as well. Most of the posts I have found are regarding if your spouse is also in the military or medicine or both, but my spouse will be a home maker that can go wherever I am. In this situation if I am able to match directly into a residency then when active duty roles around she can go wherever I am stationed and we would only be separated for a deployment correct?

From what I understand it varries, but typically over the 4 years of active duty I would only be deployed 1-2 times for 3-6 months each, but AF tends to have shorter deployments?

At least this is what I have sort of gathered from posts. If someone could confirm or correct me I would appreciate it! :)
 

sethco

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To be fair there is a TON of posts to try and sift through and the ones concerning time spent away from family are kind of hidden in the middle of threads and not easily found.

In fact I have been sifting through threads for 4-5 weeks now trying to read up as much as I can and found little on this subject. As someone who is getting married next week and strongly considering AF HPSP I would not mind hearing about this as well. Most of the posts I have found are regarding if your spouse is also in the military or medicine or both, but my spouse will be a home maker that can go wherever I am. In this situation if I am able to match directly into a residency then when active duty roles around she can go wherever I am stationed and we would only be separated for a deployment correct?

From what I understand it varries, but typically over the 4 years of active duty I would only be deployed 1-2 times for 3-6 months each, but AF tends to have shorter deployments?

At least this is what I have sort of gathered from posts. If someone could confirm or correct me I would appreciate it! :)
As a resident, you will be non-deployable (in general)

Speaking as a flight surgeon, you will obviously be separated from your spouse for deployments. In addition, there are other TDYs, such as C4, primary training, continuing education, accident investigations, and other mission-related short TDYs not considered deployments.

AF use to have the shorter deployments, but times are changing. Army is shortening their deployments, while the AF is lengthening their standard to 6 months. If you are a flight surgeon attached to a flying squadron (as opposed to being assigned to a med group), you will deploy however long your squadron deploys. Otherwise, flight docs and all AF specialties (except for a couple surgical subspecialties) will deploy for 6 months. The standard is 6 months deployment, followed by 18 months at home station. So, for a 4 year tour, 2 deployments would be standard. Individuals vary and I have seen people skate by for 3-4 years without being deployed. Likewise, I have seen people be deployed for almost half of their tour. This may change by the time you are eligible for deployment.

I can't stress how important it is for your spouse (whether they have a job or not) to be OK with the military commitment because any friction from being in the military will be magnified when you go TDY. The quickest way to a divorce would be if your spouse is anti you joining the military.
 

Charlie0318

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Sethco,

Thank you very much for taking the time to answer my questions! Don't worry I would not even be considering HPSP if my fiance was not 100% supportive of the idea. In fact I was not considering it because I didn't think she would be interested, but she read a little about it and we talked and for our situation I think it would be of great benefit in the long run.

I hope to specialize in Family Medicine out of med-school. I would prefer not to do GMO or FS duty as it would involve more time away from home so I plan on working hard in school to have the best shot possible at matching straight in. It is hard not knowing what will be in demand by the time it finally comes around, but i guess that risk is just part of the process and something to be considered.
 

NavyFP

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Sethco,

Thank you very much for taking the time to answer my questions! Don't worry I would not even be considering HPSP if my fiance was not 100% supportive of the idea. In fact I was not considering it because I didn't think she would be interested, but she read a little about it and we talked and for our situation I think it would be of great benefit in the long run.

I hope to specialize in Family Medicine out of med-school. I would prefer not to do GMO or FS duty as it would involve more time away from home so I plan on working hard in school to have the best shot possible at matching straight in. It is hard not knowing what will be in demand by the time it finally comes around, but i guess that risk is just part of the process and something to be considered.
While I get the idea of not doing a GMO/FS tour, don't get the idea that as an attending Fam Med doc you won't be spending time away from your family. This from a Fam Med doc currently building sand castles.

Fam Med is less likely to do a GMO/FS tour than other specialties though. The competition for the spots is not as great as some of the non-primary care specialties.
 

Charlie0318

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While I get the idea of not doing a GMO/FS tour, don't get the idea that as an attending Fam Med doc you won't be spending time away from your family. This from a Fam Med doc currently building sand castles.

Fam Med is less likely to do a GMO/FS tour than other specialties though. The competition for the spots is not as great as some of the non-primary care specialties.
Well I had thought that with Fam Med in the Air Force they have the fewest forward bases and thus I would be more likely to just get stationed at a base somewhere where my family can come with me.

Do you think there is any truth to this?

What do they have you do during deployment? I guess provide primary care to the troops that are deployed there?
 

mcclesm

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Well I had thought that with Fam Med in the Air Force they have the fewest forward bases and thus I would be more likely to just get stationed at a base somewhere where my family can come with me.
This isn't true at all, and just because it is an "Army" base in Iraq or Afghanistan, doesn't mean there isn't AF personnel there. Many of the large bases over there are joint bases. I was stationed at a very large Army base in Iraq that had an AF hospital (and clinic) there, as well as several Army clinics. In these forward deployed locations AF and Army docs work side by side. Like the posters said above, expect to be deployed at least ~12 months in a 4 year AF assignment, and hope you don't get sent to Korea. Your family can come with you to the base you get assigned to, but obviously isn't going to go with you on a deployment.
 

sethco

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Well I had thought that with Fam Med in the Air Force they have the fewest forward bases and thus I would be more likely to just get stationed at a base somewhere where my family can come with me.

Do you think there is any truth to this?

What do they have you do during deployment? I guess provide primary care to the troops that are deployed there?
No.

They stay at home, go visit their family, go on vacation, etc. They can go anywhere but to your deployed location. Think of it as a base that won't allow civilians or people not on orders for that base in and won't allow you off-base. That is why it is called TDY or deployment. Is this clear?

BTW, AF FPs are just as likely (if not more) to deploy as the Navy/Army FPs. Like I said, if you are worried about deploying and being away from your family, do not join the military. Deploying is a way of life in the military. Don't join if you are not OK with being away from loved ones from an unspecified time.
 

Charlie0318

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I understand that I will deploy and that obviously family cannot come during those times. That I have come to terms with, I had just gotten the impression that in AF I would have 1-2 deployments of 3-6 months over my 4 year pay back but that most of my Active Duty time would be spent stationed at a base in the Continental US with my Family.

It sounds like if I go FM it would most likely be 2 deployments of 6 months. Why is that? Is the demand just for primary care overseas? Obviously I would not be treating wounded soldiers so what are they having FM Docs do over there?
 

NavyFP

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I understand that I will deploy and that obviously family cannot come during those times. That I have come to terms with, I had just gotten the impression that in AF I would have 1-2 deployments of 3-6 months over my 4 year pay back but that most of my Active Duty time would be spent stationed at a base in the Continental US with my Family.

It sounds like if I go FM it would most likely be 2 deployments of 6 months. Why is that? Is the demand just for primary care overseas? Obviously I would not be treating wounded soldiers so what are they having FM Docs do over there?
For most specialties you will do 2 deployments in a 4 year period. Exceptions rad, derm, ophtho, path, PM&R, urology. Those specilaties may not deploy as much, but they are deployed as GMOs, so its not like they are completely immune. How many times you are tagged is op tempo dependant and how good your chain of command is at blocking for you.