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It varies with the command. You can be assigned to a tender, which provides services to itself and to the crews of the boats affiliated with the squadron. You can deploy with them. There is sick call--lots of it on tenders--and special duty physicals, and chamber watch. If there is a clinic or hospital nearby, you can be assigned to work/ cover call there. If there is a decompression service, there is usually a chamber watchbill you can be assigned to share.
Some DMOs are assigned to research billets, and may do a lot of chamber dives and get to write papers. Others are assigned to SEAL battalions and may deploy with them. Wherever you go, you will be expected to fulfill the primary care role and the screening physical examiner role, with waiver processing and other typical administrative responsibilities. If there is a hospital in the vicinity of your activity, they will usually try to grab you for some duty or another.
Actually, flight surgeons can and do fly. However, we are the most likely to get bumped off a flight as we do not have an "essential" job on the aircraft. I just flew the other day in AWACS. I have a couple of friends flying in F-16s, C-135s, A-10s, and others in rotary aircrafts. It depends on where you are stationed and what squadron you are attached to, and which aircrafts you are qualified for (i.e. If you have a medical condition that restricts what aircraft you can fly in). Now, if you are talking about being a pilot, that we are not qualified to do.
another question to add to this thread...how difficult is it to get into Dive Medicine if you join after you are a non-military trained physician, who has completed a civilian residency? Is this even possible? (or maybe a FAP physician?)
-Thanks for any input
this info is ALL second hand, so if I were you'd I would double check it or wait for someone to respond with more insight.
I was in Panama City for a few days this summer looking at the Dive Program. From what I remember, there is classroom time in Groton, Conn, or elsewhere and then the dive portion of the training takes place in Panama, City. What I definitely remember was that the physical requirements were moderately intense--swimming, pull-ups, push-ups, curl ups and a run--all back to back. For a girl I am very athletic, but this was a little intimidating and part of the reason why I am not considering it so much now (I know I could do almost all of it, but I haven't done more than 2-3 consecutive pull-ups since I was 12!).
I saw the research labs--they were running a test while I was there and divers were biking underwater...I don't know what other details I am allowed to disclose, but it looked cool. The LTs who I was following said they basically provide primary care to the divers and must complete a certain number of dives each year. There was a senior doc who they answered to, but they worked at clinics and had "other" responsibilites that I don't really remember.
A doc who spoke to our class at OIS was a civilian opthomologist who decided to enter the dive program at 40 and the deal was that if he could make it through the training he could do it and he did. I think he was a civilian before that, but I could be wrong...