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Navy PA specialties

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I'm starting PA school this summer and I'm seriously considering applying for Navy HPSP. The only thing that is holding me back is that I have worked in critical care for the past several years and I absolutley want to stay in critical care (ICU) as a PA. Does anyone know if this would be a possibility? From people I have talked to it seems like most Navy PAs work in primary care. Thanks.

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No ICU specialty. Most Navy PA's are in primary care billets. There is a 12-month orthopedics fellowship and a brand new 18-month emed fellowship and that's it. I think there are 2 slots per year for each, with about 200 PA's on active duty. After completing either one of those, you do a "utilization tour" in the specialty and then fall back into the regular rotation. Also, from my understanding the emed fellowship doesn't get you into an ER or UC setting - the utilization tour is either with the Marines or the SpecWar community - which you can just as easily be sent to w/o the training. I'm sure the fellowship is good training, though - it's an abbreviated version of the physician emed residency. My point is that the biggest need in the Navy is primary care, either in an operational or garrison setting - so that's where you'll be. Granted, when operational it won't be strictly primary care in the civilian sense, and you very well could be seeing emergent patients. But ICU? Not unless you're a nurse.

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I am afraid for you that what HMtoPA? is saying is for the most part true. ICU is not a Navy PAs mission normally and while you may, just may end up in a time split between Primary Care and a critical care type setting at a larger MTF, you will spend a large portion of your career in Primary Care, UC, Operational Medicine and/or deployed. Recruiters and the uninformed will say otherwise though so watch yourself!


-Navy PA-C

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  • 8 years later...
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4 hours ago, Redeemed1999 said:

What about Cardiology? Can a PA specialize in cardiology in the Navy?


Never met one, never heard of one. I imagine the brass would find this a poor use of a PA that they like to keep either a generalist or in a specialty that’s useful in trauma/wartime critical specialty.

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