Jump to content

Army PA Life


Recommended Posts

If you are a new PA in the Army expect to be assigned as the medical officer in a maneuver (field) battalion. This means you go where the battalion goes. If they go to the field. you go to the field If they are deployed, you are deployed.  In summary you are the medical provider for that battalion and responsible for the medical care of the soldiers of that battalion. In addition you are part of the battalion staff. You are the chief advisor to the battalion commander on all medical matters.

In the cantonment area you will more than likely be assigned to a Troop Medical Clinic. In the mornings you will be  providing sick call for active duty soldiers.  In the afternoon you will either train your medics or be assigned a position at the local military hospital on the post you are assigned to. More likely than not it will be some sort of Urgent Care clinic where you will see walk in Retirees, dependents  or Active Duty Soldiers. You might be assigned to work some weekends covering the Troop Medical Clinics or the Emergency Room. 

In the field you will live with your medics. You are responsible for everything medical in the field. Everything. This includes your medics, supplies and the medical care provided. You are responsible and accountable for all the medical equipment in your battalion aid station. You will need a strong group of medics to help and support you. This may be your biggest challenge. I have seen many Army Physician Assistants fail because of lack of training of your medics within your section. This training includes medical, supplies and administration of providing medical care in the field.

In regards to duty stations, if you are a new Physician Assistant look at the Army locations that support maneuver divisions. Ft Bragg, Ft Campbell, Ft Hood etc. That is where you will go. The Physician Assistant position in the Army is to support the ground troops at the lowest level. Just a handful of positions are available at non division level duty stations.

As far as favorite duty stations I would say I enjoyed all of them. Some more then other. I always told my medics if you want to be miserable you will be. If you are surrounded by good people then life is not bad.  I had great medics working for me.  My Commanders respected my opinions. My last duty station was Ft Leonard Wood, MO. I loved it there. Worked Troop Medical Clinic in AM and Primary Care some afternoons and at my Engineer Battalion Aid station several days a week. I never made it to Europe but every PA I ever talked to  enjoyed that tour of duty. It is a accompanied tour meaning you can take your family. Also did TDY (180 day short tour) to Ft Wainwright/Greeley Alaska. Great tour. ETS from the Army was when told I would do a one year tour to Korea unaccompanied.  My wife had just had just given birth to our little girl and I had a two year old son. Wasn't going to leave her by herself so I got out after 12 years and finished in the Army Reserves and National Guard.

As far as other educational once you are in and establish yourself as a asset to the Army specialty training is available in orthopedics, emergency medicine, occupational health, cardiac perfusion and aviation medicine to name a few.

Practicing medicine as a Army Physician Assistant gives you a lot of independence. With that independence comes responsibility. As a stated above you are the medical consultant to the Battalion commander. He will look to you for advice and opinions on the health and welfare of his soldiers. The learning curve is steep, conditions are challenging but extremely rewarding if you are successful. 

 

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, TDIowa said:

If you are a new PA in the Army expect to be assigned as the medical officer in a maneuver (field) battalion. This means you go where the battalion goes. If they go to the field. you go to the field If they are deployed, you are deployed.  In summary you are the medical provider for that battalion and responsible for the medical care of the soldiers of that battalion. In addition you are part of the battalion staff. You are the chief advisor to the battalion commander on all medical matters.

In the cantonment area you will more than likely be assigned to a Troop Medical Clinic. In the mornings you will be  providing sick call for active duty soldiers.  In the afternoon you will either train your medics or be assigned a position at the local military hospital on the post you are assigned to. More likely than not it will be some sort of Urgent Care clinic where you will see walk in Retirees, dependents  or Active Duty Soldiers. You might be assigned to work some weekends covering the Troop Medical Clinics or the Emergency Room. 

In the field you will live with your medics. You are responsible for everything medical in the field. Everything. This includes your medics, supplies and the medical care provided. You are responsible and accountable for all the medical equipment in your battalion aid station. You will need a strong group of medics to help and support you. This may be your biggest challenge. I have seen many Army Physician Assistants fail because of lack of training of your medics within your section. This training includes medical, supplies and administration of providing medical care in the field.

In regards to duty stations, if you are a new Physician Assistant look at the Army locations that support maneuver divisions. Ft Bragg, Ft Campbell, Ft Hood etc. That is where you will go. The Physician Assistant position in the Army is to support the ground troops at the lowest level. Just a handful of positions are available at non division level duty stations.

As far as favorite duty stations I would say I enjoyed all of them. Some more then other. I always told my medics if you want to be miserable you will be. If you are surrounded by good people then life is not bad.  I had great medics working for me.  My Commanders respected my opinions. My last duty station was Ft Leonard Wood, MO. I loved it there. Worked Troop Medical Clinic in AM and Primary Care some afternoons and at my Engineer Battalion Aid station several days a week. I never made it to Europe but every PA I ever talked to  enjoyed that tour of duty. It is a accompanied tour meaning you can take your family. Also did TDY (180 day short tour) to Ft Wainwright/Greeley Alaska. Great tour. ETS from the Army was when told I would do a one year tour to Korea unaccompanied.  My wife had just had just given birth to our little girl and I had a two year old son. Wasn't going to leave her by herself so I got out after 12 years and finished in the Army Reserves and National Guard.

As far as other educational once you are in and establish yourself as a asset to the Army specialty training is available in orthopedics, emergency medicine, occupational health, cardiac perfusion and aviation medicine to name a few.

Practicing medicine as a Army Physician Assistant gives you a lot of independence. With that independence comes responsibility. As a stated above you are the medical consultant to the Battalion commander. He will look to you for advice and opinions on the health and welfare of his soldiers. The learning curve is steep, conditions are challenging but extremely rewarding if you are successful. 

 

Do you have any experience with the Army's active duty health professions loan repayment program? 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Similar Content

    • By Jmac19
      Hey all,
      Prior active duty currently in the reserves and will be applying for the IPAP not this up coming cycle but the next. And one thing my wife and I talked about was potentially going back to active duty to finish out my 20 years. I know that if you go to IPAP as a reservist you have to do 6 years as a reserve PA, but the question is is it possible to go active after that 6 (or even before the 6 are up) and is that process the same with the 369 form? 
       
      Any guidance is welcome since we’re serious about it!
      thanks!
      Mac
    • By winstonetwo
      I found some old post about this topic but only a few people were involved and it was from quite a few years back. I thought I'd bring it up again for more clarification for all.
      Looking for suggestions on how to/ how you enter military experience into CASPA.  What are your thoughts on dividing all of that up between medical and non-medical experience, training and schools, deployment vs. garrison, leadership roles, and awards? Did you add past certs that have since lapsed? Should it be broken down by each duty station or each title? Also, how did you quantify the number of hours and should it be one lump sum or divided up? Any thoughts would helpful.
    • By iignacio
      I'm going to be applying to PA school soon, as well as a slot for the HPSP for the Air Force. I was wondering if there was a scholarship that goes through the Army or if its the same scholarship as the Air Force. I would love as much info as I can get.  
    • By vinnchenz
      Former AD Army 92R, 68V....soon to be graduating from PA school in Dec 2017.  I am interested in loan repayments and serving. I will be moving to Buffalo, NY in early 2018.  Does anyone have any information on a number of slots, (if any assigned to BFLO or Rochester) where I would drill, or who I may be assigned to, deployment opportunities and or military training opportunities?  I've spoken to an AMEDD recruiter, but he had limited information on these questions.  I'm currently out of state and it's it's several hours away.  I'd be interested in the Army, Navy, or Airforce, but I'm under the impression there's no financial benefit in the latter two.   
      Any information would be helpful, and greatly appreciated.
      V.
    • By asrmyers
      Hi all! 
       
      I'm about to enlist in the National Guard in order to proceed to IPAP next fall. I'm currently an undergrad with one semester of school left and have fulfilled all requirements except 2 chemistry credits and shadowing hours and I just have a few questions.
       
      I've been told that PAs in the guard, after completing school, only have to drill 4 times a year, does anyone know if this is true?
      I'm also curious if anyone knows if, during the program, students stay on base or if they are paid BAH and if my significant other would be able to move with me?
       
      In addition, I currently only have a 3.1 GPA (hopefully 3.2 by the time of graduation), is this considered competitive? I considered retaking classes but an AMEDD recruiter told me they take all classes into consideration to make a GPA and not just my university GPA (my university replaces up to 3 letter grads in the GPA for retaken classes).
       
      Overall, if you don't know any answers to my questions but have some input about the IPAP, I'd love to hear it! I've been searching for first hand experiences to learn more about it but it's hard to find!
       
      Thank you in advance for your time!
×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

Welcome to the Physician Assistant Forum! This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. Learn More