Navy Doctors? — The Bump
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Navy Doctors?

My DH is currently in med school, and for a long time we've talked about him enlisting in the navy when he's done.

A major draw, is, obviously, the money. The recruiter he spoke to before said that med school loans would be repaid. We're halfway through and already have a 100 thousand in debt in school loans. 

I also come from a family where the service is something to be proud of and many of my family members have served. DH... not so much. They don't see it as bad, but his mom can't understand why we'd even consider this since it means deployment.

I'm almost 100% sure that he'll be enlisting (which means I'll be joining you all!) but we've heard a few comments that have made me nervous and I'd love to hear from someone who may actually know what they're talking about (not the guy in my church who has never served but runs his mouth anyways).

What's deployment like for doctors in the navy? We were told by the recruiter that doctor deployments aren't typically as long (although we'd be fine even if they were). But I've had dozens of people tell me that it's all lies and he'll spend far more time away than at home and that I'm silly to think he'll have any time for me or LO. (I was told this before med school as well, and guess what- they didn't know what they were talking about).

Can navy doctors live in base housing? Someone spent twenty minutes the other day trying to convince me that doctors weren't really considered part of the navy, just support staff, so we wouldn't have benefits like health care and base housing.

Thanks for your help ladies! 

Re: Navy Doctors?

  • My DH was roommates with the flight surgeon (doctor) on his last cruise. They do deploy just as long as the rest of the people not shorter not longer. His roommate was there from beginning to end just like my DH. In this case 7 months. He will deploy if he is assigned to a ship (sea tour). If he is assigned to a hospital he will not deploy (shore tour). It is the same for everyone.

    I have never heard anyone say doctors don't get the same benefits that is ridiculous. I know several of them and they are all treated the same as far as benefits.

    Base housing depends on the base. Some bases don't have housing for everyone so only the really high ranking get housing other bases have more options. We personally prefer to live off base anyway. 

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    I have no idea about how the Navy functions. When my husband Enlisted in the Air Force, really helped me get the answers I needed. HTH!!!  

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  • jags09jags09 member

    I don't know much about Navy doctors but I do know they are part of the Medical Corps.  The midwife that delivered my son was TAD (temporary assigned duty) to our area for a year.  She tried to see her family once or twice a month on weekends.  I don't know if this is the norm or what.

    This link may be able to provide you a little more information.

    Good luck with your decision! 

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  • Um, they are part of the Navy. I promise you! And they are treated just like everyone else in terms of deployments and benefits.

    The deployment length will really depend who he is assigned to...if he's the Squadron doc, it'll be deployment schedule with the squadron. If he's at a Naval Hospital, he'll be pulled for deployments as needed. If he has a specialty, generally they don't deploy as much, but their skills as docs are still needed (there has been no gynecologic oncologist at the San Diego Naval hospital because he's been deployed).

  • I am a corpsman and the docs I work with deploy for 6 months unless they agree to go for a year. I have only seen one doc deploy for a year since I have been here. Like the post said before mine if it is shore duty like me they get pulled as needed. Mostly to field hospitals and do pretty much what they do in the states. I almost deployed to afghan with a LT and from the little bit of the deployment I went on we were going to go through pretty much the same pre deployment training and work ups. ?

    He will have the same benifits as everyone else when it comes to healthcare and housing. I live on base and let me tell you the officer housing looks WAY nice from the outside (never been inside one). I am trying to think if there is anything else I could tell you. If you think of more questions let me know and ill do my best to answer them for you.?

  • Navy. Capital N.
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  • IlumineIlumine member

    Someone spent twenty minutes the other day trying to convince me that doctors weren't really considered part of the navy, just support staff, so we wouldn't have benefits like health care and base housing.

    I know where the confusion comes from - its two part

    First, TRICARE is made up of both a military network and civilian network (downtown) around a military base (catchment area).  The downtown providers augment the base providers, especially when it comes to specialists.  And if the base is particularly big, TRICARE will assign a network provider as your PCM (dependents and retirees - the AD MUST see a military PCM).  

    Second, TRICARE hired a ton of Civilian Providers at the beginning of the war, to fill the MTF slots of the MIlitary Providers who were deployed.  These providers work on base, but do not get any military benefits.

    As an aside, if your DH is going to be a military doc, he will not be enlisting, he will be commissioning.

  • I'm not sure on deployments, but they can live on base housing.  However, he'll be an officer, so it may be limited depending where you are.  Where we are there is no on-base housing and we would have had to be wait-listed if we wanted one of the off-base housing communities.  As for being considered support staff, some say that about the JAG too but just because their job isn't on a ship doesn't mean they aren't Navy!
  • My DH is an Army doctor.  I can tell you that they are absolutely part of the military.  However, your DH would not "enlist" he would become an officer.  As a new doctor he would start out as O-3 (once he's completed medical school).  

    There are great benefits for doctors who went to civilian medical schools, like loan repayment.  Plus, doctors in the military get special pays on top of their basic pay - there are two biannual specialty pays, one that they get just for being a doctor and another that they get for their specialty (for instance my DH is a RAM - Resident of Aerospace Medicine) and they are good chunks of money.  Plus many doctors get another pay - something like a "multi-year specialty pay" or something like that - I could ask my DH the name for sure.  

    You will get the same benefits - Tricare, BAH (Basic Housing Allowance, or live on base), etc.  I would recommend living off base though because you usually can get a bigger nicer house off base with your BAH.  

     Is your DH planning to do his residency in the Navy?  If so, he's non-deployable while doing his residency, which could be several years depending on the residency he chooses.  Also, residents in the military make an 0-3's salary which is often more than civilian residents.  

     If you have any questions I can ask my DH for you.  Good luck!   

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  • DH is an army doc (doing his residency in ortho). He did the HPSP program, so they paid for med school and provided a stipend.  Once he does his 5 year residency, he will owe the army 4 as staff. The benefits are great, the pay during residency is more than most civiliian residents make, and no SL's! He is absolutely part of the military, so I don't know who told you that yours wouldn't be, but they are just wrong.

    Deployments depend on your specialty, but ortho is 6 months and he's non deployable until after his residency. There is no GMO for his program. 

    You would probably do better living off base, as most residents and their families that I know do live off base. We purchased a house because we knew we would be here for 5 years and then once he's staff at just one other base for 4 years and then out.



  • imageExpectantSteelerFan:

    However, residency does not count for or against obligation.  He just completed intern year (first year of residency).  He wants to do radiology, so he has 4 more years of residency.  And although he applied to defer his Navy time and do his residency at a civilian hospital, he was denied, so we just did our first year at Naval Medical Center Portsmouth.  The only Naval hospitals are in Bethesda, Portsmouth, or San Diego, so unless your dh does a civilian residency, you will be in one of those locations.



    The hospital at NAS Pensacola has a residency - I know for a fact Family Practice and Aerospace Medicine (for Navy & Army) but probably others as well.  So not just those hospitals.  My DH just finished his Aerospace Medicine residency here.  

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