It depends on when your schools of interest cycles end. If there are at least a few months left, I’d go for it and take the GRE. Not all schools have rolling admissions. Where I teach, our application period opened months ago but we don’t start looking at applications until the fall.
I work in the local jail
200-300 adult inmates
lots of interesting folks
we are one of 300 triple certificate facilities in the entire country (out of about 4500 facilities)
The struggles are real - having to fit in a secure environment is tough at times, security runs all.
Slowly they are realizing that medical goes through me (Medical Director just does supervision no patient contact) and after almost 4 years it is coming around.
Not for the new grad, not for someone that can't take an order,
BUT the pluses - they let me practice the way I want (I follow the formulary, have the lowest pharmacy expense in state, and am okay telling the inmates "no" for stupid things) I can refer out when needed but manage A LOT of stuff with out - never do I send out for simple proteinuria and htn, manage almost all DM - (have sent one out in 4 years), manage a lot of ortho myself (amazing what time and rest heals) and most of the pulm (only end stage COPD'ers go out - NOT a new grad setting....
Retirement vests in 10 years and I am a group group 2 (direct care and custody of inmates) and therefor get an extra 5 years of service added onto my time. I have 4 years of military time I am buying back as well
I am on call 24x7x345 (vacation sucks at 2 weeks, going to 3 at 4.5 years) and at times the call is nothing, other times it is tough
BUT I have a 20 hr commitment, work 3 days, and get paid as a physician (not salary, hourly and they hound me on my hours - which is fine cause I hate working for free and I function EXACTLY as the doc - I run the show)
So after 12 years (vest at 1/2 time for 20 hours per week, but 4 years military buy back and 10 years to vest) I am pension eligible and will have credit for 15 years - by my calculations I will get just over 30k/year from pension at that time. Plus supplemental insurance till I die (or full insurance if age <65)
So my 1.5-2m in savings, and 32k per year, with free insurance is worth it (I think....)
***I have heard horror stories about jobs in BOP or other state systems so make sure you know what you are getting into for facility.
Also - VA pay sucks so don't bother
I considered doing the same. Feedback from employees within the prison system (mostly nurses) is that providers are extremely understaffed. They work very long/hard hours on a salary which is much lower than you would make outside of a state position/job. I am not sure if these positions are overtime eligible or not.
A pension would be nice, but those who I spoke with said... "Run and don't look back."