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Navy HSCP Detailer

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Hey Everyone,

I'm on the Navy HSCP while attending PA school (no prior service) and my recruiter just reached out to me to say that around a year prior to graduation, i.e. this may, the ODD will reach out to me with options for my first duty station. During my last PFA, I met some other HSCP students, and one told me that the detailer had just contacted her and she was a month from graduation.

My question is, will the detailer contact me multiple times before graduation with different options, or is it just a one-and-done type deal, whatever I first pick is solidified? The girl I met said that she negotiated a spot at San Diego. I'll make the most of wherever I'm sent, but obviously there are some places that I'd prefer (especially Bethesda, as I'm a Baltimore native). 

Thanks for the help!

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We are well advised to be proactive about our career management - and this includes discussing duty stations with the detailer.

The typical rule of thumb is to reach out to them 12 months in advance (don't wait for them to reach out). They will want to know each PA's preferences as it is best when the PA gets what they want and the Navy gets happier PAs and families. That said, there are some times when one just has to go where the Navy needs them... Just remember -- almost all our bases are on beaches and we have a great patient population. So even the less desirable bases have their positive aspects!

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Contact detailer at 12 months prior to graduation as said above. May not get a list then. Recontact at 9 months and you should get some choices. Word to the wise, discuss what’s available with other students. I got a list of 4, but my classmate in the same school got a completely different 4 than me at the same time. I ended up choosing something on his list. Also don’t try to be to proactive with moving. Many people bought places the month before and then had orders change last second. They won’t reimburse for any hardship this causes. Doing a DITY move (moving yourself vs letting the navy move you) is very lucrative. I made like 6k. If you have questions about that when the time comes, let me know. If you think you’ll get out at the end of 3 years, think about wher e you’ll go to because the navy will only pay to move you back to your home of record, not further. If you want to deploy, you’re more likely to do that if you go to a naval billet on a marine base (such as Pendleton or Lejeune). Highly recommend Pendleton. I’m not there, but you could go on the SPMAGTF to Australia and Asia. Nice place too, when it’s not on fire.

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Thank you both for all of the help, and thank you for your service! This has definitely made it more clear. LT_Oneal, I'm sure I'll be reaching out in the future.

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1 hour ago, vb315 said:

Thank you both for all of the help, and thank you for your service! This has definitely made it more clear. LT_Oneal, I'm sure I'll be reaching out in the future.

No problem. In case it comes up, with the expansion of the military, they are sometimes putting new grads into operational billets. I do not recommend this. While I’m certain you are smart and capable of handling it, you’ll only be seeing active duty and not dependents. Not good for your skills as you’ll lose skills you gained in school on how to manage hear disease, diabetes, kidney disease, peds, gyn, and multiple comorbid conditions. Even deploying for nine months after a year at a naval hospital I felt my general medicine skills were set back from lack of practice. You’ll obviously gain plenty skills in trauma, ortho, and operational medicine, but if you are interested in cards later I suggest doing a shore billet if given a choice. You can still deploy from these to get that operational experience, especially if on a marine base.

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7 hours ago, LT_Oneal_PAC said:

No problem. In case it comes up, with the expansion of the military, they are sometimes putting new grads into operational billets. I do not recommend this. While I’m certain you are smart and capable of handling it, you’ll only be seeing active duty and not dependents. Not good for your skills as you’ll lose skills you gained in school on how to manage hear disease, diabetes, kidney disease, peds, gyn, and multiple comorbid conditions. Even deploying for nine months after a year at a naval hospital I felt my general medicine skills were set back from lack of practice. You’ll obviously gain plenty skills in trauma, ortho, and operational medicine, but if you are interested in cards later I suggest doing a shore billet if given a choice. You can still deploy from these to get that operational experience, especially if on a marine base.

Thank you for the advice! I've always been interested in primary care, with my main interest in cardiology, but I'm hoping to get to practice a wide range of primary care. From some of your posts I've read, it seems like there's no better place than the Navy. 

As for operational billets, could you expand on that? From what I quickly searched, I would be attached to an operational unit (Marines, a hospital ship, etc.) and wherever they went I would go? I can see how this would limit the patient demographic as the majority of those who deploy are healthy, young marines/sailors.

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29 minutes ago, vb315 said:

Thank you for the advice! I've always been interested in primary care, with my main interest in cardiology, but I'm hoping to get to practice a wide range of primary care. From some of your posts I've read, it seems like there's no better place than the Navy. 

As for operational billets, could you expand on that? From what I quickly searched, I would be attached to an operational unit (Marines, a hospital ship, etc.) and wherever they went I would go? I can see how this would limit the patient demographic as the majority of those who deploy are healthy, young marines/sailors.

That’s pretty much it. You would handle all their primary care medical needs, screen their suitability for deployment, have their readiness (prevmed stuff) up to date, train with them in the field/at sea for work ups, train corpsman, then deploy with them.

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18 hours ago, LT_Oneal_PAC said:

That’s pretty much it. You would handle all their primary care medical needs, screen their suitability for deployment, have their readiness (prevmed stuff) up to date, train with them in the field/at sea for work ups, train corpsman, then deploy with them.

This is something I really want to do. I would love to be able to work with and help train corpsman, and to work with Marines. Am I likely to be given an operational billet after shore duty (assuming I stay past my 3 year commitment)?

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2 hours ago, vb315 said:

This is something I really want to do. I would love to be able to work with and help train corpsman, and to work with Marines. Am I likely to be given an operational billet after shore duty (assuming I stay past my 3 year commitment)?

It’s unlikely they would let you do anything else. You have a career progression. After a shore billet, you have to go OCONUS or operational, but more likely they’ll need you more operational.

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15 hours ago, LT_Oneal_PAC said:

It’s unlikely they would let you do anything else. You have a career progression. After a shore billet, you have to go OCONUS or operational, but more likely they’ll need you more operational.

Thank you for the insight! I'm unsure of whether I'll stay in after my initial commitment; do you know if many PAs (either those with scholarships like myself, or direct accession) stay after their initial commitment? For the HSCP I interviewed with a CDR who was the head of a pulmonary clinic at Walter Reed. She mentioned that very few PAs make that rank.

Would it be a reasonable expectation to be promoted to O3 or O4 if I were to stay in the Navy indefinitely? And at what point does a provider move from more clinical work to more full-time managerial work?

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21 minutes ago, vb315 said:

Thank you for the insight! I'm unsure of whether I'll stay in after my initial commitment; do you know if many PAs (either those with scholarships like myself, or direct accession) stay after their initial commitment? For the HSCP I interviewed with a CDR who was the head of a pulmonary clinic at Walter Reed. She mentioned that very few PAs make that rank.

Would it be a reasonable expectation to be promoted to O3 or O4 if I were to stay in the Navy indefinitely? And at what point does a provider move from more clinical work to more full-time managerial work?

You’ll promote to O3 automatically, as long as you don’t kill a hooker or get a DUI, at 2 years before your initial commitment is up. Promotion rate to O4 is about 70-80% and you’ll be in zone for that around the end of of second tour, middle of 3rd. You’ll have to do some command collaterals to make O4. You’ll be doing more admin than clinic work at O4, like running a clinic or something.

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6 hours ago, vb315 said:

Thank you for the insight! I'm unsure of whether I'll stay in after my initial commitment; do you know if many PAs (either those with scholarships like myself, or direct accession) stay after their initial commitment? For the HSCP I interviewed with a CDR who was the head of a pulmonary clinic at Walter Reed. She mentioned that very few PAs make that rank.

Would it be a reasonable expectation to be promoted to O3 or O4 if I were to stay in the Navy indefinitely? And at what point does a provider move from more clinical work to more full-time managerial work?

Forgot to answer your other question. I would say 50/50. In my clinic, we all left after committment was finished. N=4

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6 hours ago, LT_Oneal_PAC said:

You’ll promote to O3 automatically, as long as you don’t kill a hooker or get a DUI, at 2 years before your initial commitment is up. Promotion rate to O4 is about 70-80% and you’ll be in zone for that around the end of of second tour, middle of 3rd. You’ll have to do some command collaterals to make O4. You’ll be doing more admin than clinic work at O4, like running a clinic or something.

I'm glad to see that I'll likely make at least one promotion! I obviously don't know whether or not I'll stay after my initial commitment (I have no military experience), but I'd always imagined myself enjoying it. If O-4 is a likely progression coming after tour 2 or into 3, that would be around 6-8 years in? Seems like a great experience that one might not get, in such a short time, as a civilian. In any case, I'm looking forward to all the things I'll experience, whatever they may be.

Did you or your colleagues have any reason in particular that made you leave? I read a bunch of different opinions in forums and it seems like a lot of people say to avoid military medicine. I always thought they were just complainers, but I've never known anyone who's experienced it that I could ask.

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On ‎1‎/‎30‎/‎2018 at 7:25 PM, LT_Oneal_PAC said:

Pm you

Hello, 

I got accepted into the Navy HSCP and I was following this informative discussion post between you and vb315. Would you mind filling me in on your response to why some might say avoid military medicine? Overall, did you enjoy your time as a Navy PA? Thanks!

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4 hours ago, Lkl1004 said:

Hello, 

I got accepted into the Navy HSCP and I was following this informative discussion post between you and vb315. Would you mind filling me in on your response to why some might say avoid military medicine? Overall, did you enjoy your time as a Navy PA? Thanks!

I learned an immense amount during my time in the military, saw the world, did a lot of maturing, served my country, and worked with some of the best people I think I’ll ever meet. The benefit of HSCP, the money I made in the service, and the benefits I’m receiving now are great.maybe I would have stayed for one more tour if I were single. More than likely I still would have given them the finger. Some people love being an officer and I see those are the ones who stay in (or they are already so close to retirement), all the young sailors without prior service who enjoy medicine more walk away after their initial commitment.

 Now that I’ve received my DD214, I can provide my response without fear of retaliation from my command.

“I’m mainly leaving because my wife does not want to deploy any more. I have a list of reasons why I’m perfectly okay with it:

Too much politics.

you make friends and love your command and colleagues, then it turns over and now you’re left with a s*** team and a CO who is a di** that can’t be bothered to learn your name when presenting you with an award.

Brown nosers promote and get awards over people who actually work.

admin is more important than medical.

people who barely outrank you trying to make you feel crappy because they care about arbitrary rules, like command ballcaps or hands in pockets, but they are the s*** bag sailor by purposely dodging deployments by getting pregnant (a person actually told me this was there plan to dodge deploy prior to theirconception. It worked to get them out of deployment).

no one recognizing your hard work because “junior officers don’t rate that award” or “you can’t receive an early promote on your fit rep because you’ve only been a LT a month,” which is against the instruction to base evals on rank or time in service, despite the fact you did multiple actions that improved or created a new process or volunteered for that hot fill deployment 6 hours before it shipped out.

the “green weenie.” The ethereal phallus of the military that lies and waits for opportunities to screw you. Like changing your orders last second, denying your leave that was previously approved after you bought plane tickets, PSD getting your pay wrong for over a year, telling you you’ll be home for Christmas but then the 3 star decides he doesn’t want to “lose the asset” against the recommendations of everyone. (Not all of these happened to me)

military operations overriding good medicine such as telling you to wean a man off fentanyl patches who never should have deployed in the first place or not letting you send a marine back to the rear from the forward area for his depression and anxiety exacerbation because he has the “boo hoos.”

PAs compete with the entire MSC community of 32 specialties, including health care administrators who have high command visibility and promote easy. So making 20 years is near impossible for a PA who doesn’t have prior service. So why delay your civilian career for something you can’t finish.

Really I could go on forever. I loved the first year I was in. I was telling everyone to join. It all went down hill when I deployed and the command climate was s*** and the morale was low. Everyone said “oh this is the worst. Other units are better. You need to stay.”  Then I got back to the hospital with a new CO who drove moral into the ground and destroyed the excellent command climate that was built over the last 2 commanding officers.

I would definitely do HSCP again, but I’ll never be in a job again where I can’t quit on the spot.”

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Thanks so much for the information! I’m glad to hear the HSCP was positive for you. I am excited for the opportunity! It sounds like staying in is a lot to handle but like anything, pros and cons. Were you only deployed once during your initial HSCP commitment? Do you know others who were deployed more than once during their HSCP commitment? 

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