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how long will I have to serve as an HM before applying to IPAP?


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I will be attending bootcamp for the Navy in October 2018. I have a bachelors degree in sports medicine and will be going in as an E-3 for HM. I plan on attending C school for surgical technician so I can gain more experience before applying to PA school. I would like to know what is the minimum amount of time I am most likely to serve before I can be promoted to an E-5 and apply to IPAP or a civilian PA program. And does anyone have any tips on how I can expedite my journey to becoming a PA (perhaps, should I choose a different C-school)? Any info helps. Thanks! 

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Congrats! Worked for the Navy for 6 years and mentored over 25 Corpsmen during that time.. so I have a little background.

Did you negotiate coming in as an E-3 Corpsman? If so, with your Degree you should be asking for E-4 at least. Minimum time in rank is 1 year I believe, so 2 years if you pass your exams and get great evaluations each time.

Pipeline for IPAP is tough, but if you press your LPO and Chief they should be able to help you complete the application and send it up the proverbial flagpole.

Surg Tech C school will get you great experience in the OR if that is what you ultimately want to do. There are dying breeds of Cardiac Techs, Dermatology Techs, Wound Care Techs and the like which dont have C Schools anymore. Corps School will give you the basics, but it all depends on which C School you choose ( or what is offered, not always a choice), and where you get stationed. SO--- at best you are at the whim of the Navy, but seek each assignment for what it is worth and gain the experience treating patients.  If you get stationed with the Marines, that's ER Medicine and Ortho all rolled into one!

Hope this helps!

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Prior HM, 3 years Gen HM, 3 Cardio Texh, 1 year C school for Cardio tech. Got out as E5 at 7 years in 2011, took long to finish Bachelors, now in 2nd month of civ PA school.

You already have bachelors so you're good there. The earliest you are eligible to take E4 exam is 6 months after bootcamp. Then the earliest you can take exam for E5 is 1 year after being E4. I made E4 on my second try, E5 on my third try. I came in as E1 made E2 upon bootcamp graduation. So took me 5 years to make E5. That's considered avg time. I've seen stellar sailors do it in far less time. It can be done but challenging. So have realistic goals on that. Sometimes just being stellar doesn't count, got to play the Navy games and politics. 

C school is a no brainer. Pick the one you are most interested in, NOT what will make you sound cool on the application for schools. I love cardio and I'm glad I chose that. You can't go wrong with any c school honestly. IPAP would be a challenge. You'll be competing with many stellar candidates. It is just as competitive.

Bottom line you're going to get great training and experience. However it all depends on you to seek out all the opportunities and make the best out of it all. 

Good luck in boot camp and good luck in basic A school. If you have more questions feel free to reach out. 

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On 9/25/2018 at 9:41 PM, moleashish said:

Prior HM, 3 years Gen HM, 3 Cardio Texh, 1 year C school for Cardio tech. Got out as E5 at 7 years in 2011, took long to finish Bachelors, now in 2nd month of civ PA school.

You already have bachelors so you're good there. The earliest you are eligible to take E4 exam is 6 months after bootcamp. Then the earliest you can take exam for E5 is 1 year after being E4. I made E4 on my second try, E5 on my third try. I came in as E1 made E2 upon bootcamp graduation. So took me 5 years to make E5. That's considered avg time. I've seen stellar sailors do it in far less time. It can be done but challenging. So have realistic goals on that. Sometimes just being stellar doesn't count, got to play the Navy games and politics. 

C school is a no brainer. Pick the one you are most interested in, NOT what will make you sound cool on the application for schools. I love cardio and I'm glad I chose that. You can't go wrong with any c school honestly. IPAP would be a challenge. You'll be competing with many stellar candidates. It is just as competitive.

Bottom line you're going to get great training and experience. However it all depends on you to seek out all the opportunities and make the best out of it all. 

Good luck in boot camp and good luck in basic A school. If you have more questions feel free to reach out."

It seems that the manning for HM is pretty heavy. Most of the guys I went through training with in that rate had quite a low advancement percentage. Even if guys were super motivated to study and what not there is a lot of politics and admin that goes into having a solid-well rounded advancement average. You will get some additional education points towards advancement with your bachelors, but you need to submit your transcripts directly to the Navy College in order for them to upload it into your record (I made the mistake by not doing this and it wasn't on my record for 1 exam). Maybe someone can speak to this, but I don't think you will be above a 3.0 on your evals through C-school or A-school. So once you are out of C-school and at your first duty station, get heavily involved. Take on responsibilities right out of the gate (SARP, tobacco cessation coordinator), actively seek out work all of the time. If you see something your peers aren't doing-take advantage of these opportunities. Find someone who is well respected and does well-pick their brain. Advancement can be irritating-and a lot of what IPAP looks at (from what I saw in research, not in experience) is diversity and experience. I see a lot of HMC and HM1's on the list of people accepted into the program. I'm sure a lot of these folks are IDC's with experience running clinics as IDCs at home and forward deployed, FMF, etc. Even if not IDCs I'm sure they have overseas experience on grey hauls, in the field as FMF corpsman, or DMTs with Seal Teams, etc. Don't be hesitant to talk to people about your plans of becoming a PA to those you work with. You will ultimately work with PA's who can offer a lot of guidance (and eventual letters of recommendations). 

You always have the option to fulfill your contract, separate, and apply in the civilian sector (which is what I am doing). During your time as a corpsman you will get thousands of patient care hours, meet many PAs who can mentor you and recommend you to these schools, get continuing education, military health-care experience, and you can take some more classes utilizing TA. Even though you have a bachelors, you can utilize TA to take additional prerequisites with an approved education plan for a civilian PA program. Generally, you cannot take lower level classes through TA if you already have a bachelors, but there is a loop hole if you are using these credits for prerequisites towards a higher level degree. 

I bring this option up because there is always a way. The IPAP seems like an amazing program and if you want it you will definitely have some opportunities to apply (multiple times) even if your not sure you'll get in. If I had more time I'd apply for sure (why not?). If it doesn't work out don't get down on yourself. You would have done all the work to set yourself up for success, and that work will line you up as a high caliber candidate for a civilian program. Best of luck with everything and enjoy it! Reach out if you ever need anything.

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