Monday, June 13, 2011
War is the Answer (Military Medicine)
What if I HAD gone to Uniformed Services University Health Sciences School? For those who might not know, the US military has their own school where they train their own doctors (for free), and then they own your ass for like 7 years after residency. All together, you end up in the military for about 15-18 years. It's also the school I got accepted in to in 2009, and couldn't attend.
Was it for the best that I didn't go? Well, now that I didn't end up going there, of course it was for the best! But if I had gone there, I suspect I would be saying that THAT was for the best too.
Here is my take on military medicine:
-You are a total badass.
-You get to wear a sweet uniform (I was accepted to Air Force)
-School is free. Like, completely free. Free like you get to keep your money, and they pay you.
-If you want to travel, well, you'll travel to many sandy places...
-You get to be a doctor. Which is sweet.
-They own your ass for like 16 years. If they say jump, you say how high. If they say dance, you say I'm your private dancer baby, two dollar for a lap dance, four dollar for smoochy, ten dollar for back room bung bung. (Those prices are low, I know - I have some self-esteem issues).
-They pay you worse once you are an attending than you would be paid in the private sector. But they pay you better while you are a student/resident. It basically works out that a non-military doctor overtakes the military doctor in total money (pay minus debt) after about 2-4 years as an attending. Which means that if you stay in military medicine your whole career, your opportunity cost is in the hundreds of thousands.
-You could get shot. Which kind of applies to being a doctor in Balitmore as much/more than it does to military medicine, so this con is in brackets.
So yeah, those are the big ones. All in all, I don't think there's a wrong decision, but I will add this: the retention rate of doctors in the military is very very bad, like 10% or something. The vast majority of military doctors leave the military as soon as they are eligible. Take that for what it's worth. Axl out!