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Salty Dog

Joining The Navy As An RN Or MD?

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Salty Dog

POSTED FOR miles-high.

Would anyone please tell us the pros and cons of joining the US Navy, as an RN or MD?
We have some ideas through the internet search but would like to hear from those who have been there!
Thank you in advance!
 

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SkyMan

Not sure too many here were military medical. I was AF and while I was at OTS we occasionally saw 2 week MIMSO trainees attempting to march. Military Indoctrination for Medical Services Officers. It's a little bit about the military but mostly about the differences between military medical and civilian procedures.  We had to graduate to get commissioned whereas they arrived already commissioned with rank according to their training/experience.  They were mixed in with some of our classes.  We had a Full Colonel in a lecture on how to read a pay statement.  We were told he'd been a hospital head and was going to do the same at some base. I think new RNs and PAs start about Captain and Drs Major.  Probably similar for the Navy. 

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Headshot

Hmmm...

I believe the major advantage for serving in the military as a medical officer is that there are substantial scholarships for nursing school and medical school for those who commit to serve (in advance). It is one way to get through medical school without incurring huge debts, and it is probably the number one reason why doctors (and nurses) serve.

If medical school has already been paid for, I can't even imagine what the advantages would be. Military doctors make a lot less (on average) than those in private practice. Then again, there are no set-up costs (office, equipment, etc.) for military doctors, so they can save a little bit of money to help them get set up in private practice after their commitment ends.

One thing you might want to look at is serving in the reserves or national guard systems. Then, the obligation is much less, and it is basically a part-time job (one weekend per month and two weeks per year) for doctors and nurses. It will give extra income and still allow for a private practice.

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SkyMan

One advantage is not having to pay malpractice insurance.  That's an even bigger advantage for those that may have had some "incidents."

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CardiacKid

Pros would be instant commission with benefits commensurate with rank. As a RN  or MD they could be assigned to any number of Hospitals  and Clinics worldwide. Twenty year retirement and ongoing free education are also pros. The military typically assigns positions of responsibility to younger personnel. This could be a great asset if they stayed for retirement or left earlier. Cons are it is the military. Personal likes and dislikes don't carry much weight. They are expected to obey orders without hesitation. Working hours could be long. Arduous deployment is another con. The Navy provides medical support for the USMC. To expound on the twenty year retirement. A MD or RN could retire at a young enough age to land a well paying position. I have two doctors who are retired Navy Captains (O-6) who joined busy practices and are doing quite well. 

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SkyMan

One more con (or perhaps pro) is the very real possibility of sea duty. Something to think about if one is just looking to work in a hospital and go home at night. 

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bmoore

You can get part/all of your medical school paid.

Also you have a better chance of getting into a specialty residency program that is highly competitive. i.e. surgery.

They get  specialist pay, so based on their specialty they can get paid much more than a line officer.

It is a bit of an adventure before settling down to private practice.

 

 

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Mitch Rapp

Pro- you have the privilege of serving in the United States Navy.  A noble cause working on the men and women of the Armed services.  

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Salty Dog

Other military services also have MDs.

There's also NOAA who provides MD to the Coast Guard. No Coast Guard ships carry MDs. MDs are only at major shore facilities and air stations.

There is always the VA...

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Headshot

A huge disadvantage (for somebody who is married) is deployment. In the Navy there is sea duty. In the Air Force, Army and Marines, there is unaccompanied deployment to the sandbox or elsewhere in the world. Somehow I doubt that Miles-High would be interested in losing his wife to the military for a year while she serves in some remote location. And ... of course ... there are risks. Forward hospitals are favorite targets for mortar and rocket attacks.

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SkyMan

True that when you sign up with the military you sign up for whatever they give you.  There are prime assignments and there are those that just plain suck. Expect one of those and you won't be disappointed.  Regardless though, Miles' days of traveling wherever and whenever will be over, at least accompanied. 

Edited by SkyMan

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