Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  

Looking to join the Military as a PA.. Where do I start?

Recommended Posts

I am a new PA (with 3 months family practice experience) and am seriously considering joining the military. I already serve a large (90%) of the marine population as a civilian PA.

I am going to contact the recruiters, but was wondering if anyone in the military had any advice on which branch to pick... or how to start? Any inside advice?

and Will they take me with so little experience, or should I ride out the contract that I have now with my employer, which ends in December?

 

My girlfriend tells me not to join the marines or navy because of "sexual harassment" issues she's heard about from her female military friends. She's an army wife, so definitely biased.

 

Also, from what I'm reading I'd give in as O-2? I dont know much about the military lingo.

 

Thank you.

 

:smile:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, you can't go into the marines. They receive all they health care support from the Navy.

 

I'm say Navy because I'm biased, but I think it's the "just right" one between AF and army.

 

Yes, you would go in as an O2. I would talk to a recruiter, but it may not work out anytime soon with sequestration and all the political BS going on. I think they normally take about 5 direct accessions per year.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Well, you can't go into the marines. They receive all they health care support from the Navy.

 

I'm say Navy because I'm biased, but I think it's the "just right" one between AF and army.

 

Yes, you would go in as an O2. I would talk to a recruiter, but it may not work out anytime soon with sequestration and all the political BS going on. I think they normally take about 5 direct accessions per year.

 

 

 

I just realized that about the marines by doing some more research tonight. What do you mean by "just right?" :) and "direct accessions?" I put in requests with navy, army and air force... so I'm just waiting to hear back from recruiters.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The Army Reserve and National Guard are short PAs right now. Contact an AMEDD recruiter and they should be able to get you started.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Remember though, when something isn't the way the recruiter told you it was going to be, point this out by saying, "but my liar told me..yada ..yada".

Do the research. Know what the facts are. Don't TRUST anything they tell you and only half of what is in your contract. It can be great, but you need to know what your getting into first. Talk to those that have been there first hand.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Remember to include in your decision making process, that you should prepare yourself for a deployment to Afghanistan. The recruiter will probably tell you that you'll be sippin' mai-tai's in sand diego. As a Navy PA, you can obviously go anywhere the Navy has a base, ship, training, etc. You also go wherever the Marines have a base, training, deployed, etc. You can ALSO go with Army units (which is more common than you'd think). Here's a great article from a female Navy PA that went with an Army SF unit to Afghanaland. http://navymedicine.navylive.dodlive.mil/archives/2943

 

I'm biased towards going with the Marines as I was an infantry FMF Corpsman with them from 2004-2010. But my point is to just understand that the Navy will provide you with quite an experience and has the potential to give you a very diverse place/culture of employment. Be it Navy, Marines, or Army units that you get assigned to. Talking with a recruiter can't hurt, just research everything and don't trust them at all.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That's a very good article Chris. And to add to what he mentioned above, make sure anything you're told by a recruiter is in writing in your contract before putting a signature anywhere.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Navy is a between place. Better housing than army, not as good as AF. Deployments are shorter than army, but longer than AF. More diversity in what to do in navy and where you can go, and you can do all kinds of specialties. Wanna be spec ops, do it. Wanna just be FP, cool. Wanna be with the marines, go for it. Wanna be on the hospital ship, mercy or comfort, you can do that too. Or just work your way into a hospital based specialty.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I am a new PA (with 3 months family practice experience) and am seriously considering joining the military. I already serve a large (90%) of the marine population as a civilian PA.

I am going to contact the recruiters, but was wondering if anyone in the military had any advice on which branch to pick... or how to start? Any inside advice?

and Will they take me with so little experience, or should I ride out the contract that I have now with my employer, which ends in December?

 

My girlfriend tells me not to join the marines or navy because of "sexual harassment" issues she's heard about from her female military friends. She's an army wife, so definitely biased.

 

Also, from what I'm reading I'd give in as O-2? I dont know much about the military lingo.

 

Thank you.

 

:smile:

 

I'm currently an AF PA. One of my friends is a former Army PA. PM me if you want details on either of these branches.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I use to love when the other branches of the armed forces would come to our air force base. They were blown away by how nice we lived, and it was true. I choose the AF 1st 2nd and 3rd. You will love it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I use to love when the other branches of the armed forces would come to our air force base. They were blown away by how nice we lived, and it was true. I choose the AF 1st 2nd and 3rd. You will love it.

 

They don't call it the chAIR Force for nothin' right? Jk :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
They don't call it the chAIR Force for nothin' right? Jk :)

 

No, I'm not kidding! I drill at Luke AFB and the gallery actually had hired staff that went around and picked up out trays and plates. The lady was seriously mad when we all said it was ok and that we could clean up our own mess... she exclaimed,"It's my job, now leave it."

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think the best question is, what do you want out of the military? Many think you are looking for the best base to live on. If that is the case, then take their advice. If it is not the case, tell us what you want.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I agree with 3GeronimoPA, who I know is a combat vet. I was an Army PA almost my entire professional career and during some pretty crappy deployments. When i was in PA school with the air force and navy students, they would stare at me and my army buddies when we would tell them stories about Army life because it sucked. But that being said, I have a very good friend, who is in fact a smoking hot woman, who is an Army trained PA as well. she's one of the smartest women I have ever known. Anybody that has even looked at her the wrong way as far as inappropriate behavior goes, got torn to shreds. Sexual harrassment in the military isn't something you should base a career choice on because although it happens, it's not as widespread as the fear mongers want you to believe. That woman, she got out of the Army the same time I did, she worked civilian practice and decided she wanted to finish some active federal service for retirement. She finished a doctoral degree and talked to an air force recruiter who snapped her up immediately. She's got a clinic job, great hours, everybody is professional. In her words, night and day compared to how we were treated in the Army. If I had to do it all over again, I would go air force.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I was a female assigned to an all male Army unit (artillery) including 2 deployments to Iraq. I never, ever felt harassed. My soldiers- patients and medics- loved me. I was told again and again that I was the best provider/boss they had ever had. I know harrassment happens, but like dd10 said, it is not everywhere and it's no reason to make a career decision. I was professional and that's how people treated me.

 

I do think you need to consider carefully why you want to join the military. Especially with no prior experience at all, you should expect to be shocked, disappointed, disillusioned, overworked and underpaid.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I want to join the military mostly because of the article you posted!! I love that kind of experience, and I think I can get that from the military. I want to serve the country... it's why I became a PA. Also a big factor would be to make a small dent in my student loan bills. Thank you for all your advice. Housing is not super high on my important list...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Depend's on where you want to be i.e: what branch and what kind of work (flight surgeon GP etc). I'm kinda of jaded on military healthcare at the moment, its a lot of bureaucracy a lot of squadron politics a lot of long hours and i know alot of burned out flight Suergeons/Doctors/PA's. Just be real careful in what you get into and do all your homework before hand. If your looking for a more stable environment I would recommend the guard of reserve, actually I would recommend the guard and reserve in general, more laid back. Good luck! Didnt mean to dissuade you but defiantly do your homework and if you have any questions feel free to PM Im pretty in the know in terms of AF medicine.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Depend's on where you want to be i.e: what branch and what kind of work (flight surgeon GP etc). I'm kinda of jaded on military healthcare at the moment, its a lot of bureaucracy a lot of squadron politics a lot of long hours and i know alot of burned out flight Suergeons/Doctors/PA's. Just be real careful in what you get into and do all your homework before hand. If your looking for a more stable environment I would recommend the guard of reserve, actually I would recommend the guard and reserve in general, more laid back. Good luck! Didnt mean to dissuade you but defiantly do your homework and if you have any questions feel free to PM Im pretty in the know in terms of AF medicine.

 

Truth. When folks that don't know the military think about it, they invision deployments; war. The reality is much different. Like many large organizations, there is a ton of red tape to bogged down in. There are folks (PA/Doc's) who get frustrated because they didn't really have an idea of what they were getting into. You have to be a clinician and an officer.

 

In the AF you will learn all about 422's, 469's, and the the MEB process. Fun to be had.:;-D:

 

That said, once folks learn to navigate the red-tape, it becomes a good career....for most.

 

Good luck....military, all branches, is a good way to go, but it isn't all paved with gold.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi,

I am in the National Guard. (28 years now, 12 of which have been full time NG). I recently used my benefits to go to PA school. Just graduated from school. I will be commissioning as an O1E which means with prior enlisted service and shortens the time to promotion. I will be getting 25K a year for 3 years in student loan repayment and then 20K bonus per year for 3 years after that. It will require you to go to officer basic which is about a month long after you complete an on-line phase one of the course to learn about military history etc. Good luck to you. I have nothing but good things to say about the Army national guard. They have treated me well all these years.

Karen

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I think the best question is, what do you want out of the military? Many think you are looking for the best base to live on. If that is the case, then take their advice. If it is not the case, tell us what you want.

 

My thoughts exactly! Are you ready to serve=service before self? Are you just along for the ride?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hey Kasey,

 

I found your post interesting and would like to pick your brain some more if possible. I am prior service, Army(Active) and National Guard (CA)and hoping to begin my PA Program this Fall. Can you email me your contact info.? Thanks

 

Armando

Share this post


Link to post
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.

Sign in to follow this  

  • Similar Content

    • By deltawave
      Hello all,
      I am looking for information from PAs with experience in the Air Guard or the AF Reserves. I would like to hear your opinions on the differences, time commitments, units, patient care, etc.
      Recruiters are recruiters, so anyone with recent first hand experience that could chime in would be appreciated.
      Thank you in advance.
    • 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 Henphrix
      Good Morning,
      Currently, I am on my last semester of undergrad. I currently have my SEAL challenge contract and have a spot to go to BUD/S.
      I want to be a Physician Assistant in the future but prefer serving my country as a SOCM. Once I am old and cant go anymore I will apply to go to Physician Assistant School.
      My goal was set on SEAL and be a medic but I just heard about SARC and they do more medicine. Plus more people who come out of SARC have a high chance of going into Physician Assistant school, from what I've been told. I never heard of a SEAL being a PA. 
      My question is simple. I want to do SOCM before applying to be a PA. My GPA is okay it is a 3.0, trying to get 3.1-3.2 for my last semester, If I do SARC will it give me a boost into PA school or not? 
      If not I will stick to my SEAL contract. If it does I will go ahead and try to go for an HM-ATF.
      (I have not taken the GRE yet was planning to do it later down the road. Plus I want to keep taking college classes to boost my GPA in the future)
    • By binchinminjin
      I'm currently a sophomore in high school interested in becoming a PA. I'm thinking about doing ROTC to pay for schooling and for job opportunities, but I'm not sure how the timeline works out. I plan on doing Running Start, so would I immediately start ROTC in my junior yea of high school? Then, when I graduate and finish with my bachelor's, how do I apply for PA school? The school I'd like to go to (UW MEDEX) requires at least two years of medical experience. Can I gain this by working as an EMT or something else through the Air Force with my ROTC commitment? Then will I go back to PA school and serve more to pay for it, or does the Air Force have some other sort of training for PAs? I'm really confused, guidance would be much appreciated.
       
    • By azstate11
      Hello,
      I have been considering the military after I graduate PA school because I have a significant amount of debt and I think it would be a great experience. Can someone explain the process of joining the National Guard as a PA with no previous military experience? Also, what is the commitment and role of a PA in the guard? Are there significant benefits for loan repayment? I would rather hear this first from someone who has been in this situation rather than a recruiter. 
      Thanks!
×
×
  • 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