I suppose I’m known for bold moves like these:
- I wrote a book about how to become an Emergency Physician…when I was a medical student.
- I wrote a guide about how to promote to 06…when I was an O5.
Maybe as I age (and lose hair) I’m getting less bold because this time I waited until I matched in Executive Medicine to write a blog post about how to match in Executive Medicine.
Let’s start with the basics. If you want to match in Exec Med, here are the starting points:
- You need to get the Exec Med AQD. This is mostly done by holding leadership positions and attending courses like the Advanced Readiness Officer Course (AROC). Once you go to the website and figure out what you have left to do, you can usually do it by completing a few online trainings.
- Your record needs to be free of black marks, which include legal issues or PRT failures in the last five years.
- You need to be board certified, if applicable.
- You need to be an O5 or O6.
You need to have held and excelled in at least one leadership position with a fair amount of responsibility. These positions would include:
- Department Head at a medium to large military treatment facility (MTF)
- Official milestone position (which include Chief Medical Officer or CMO and Officer-in-Charge or OIC for Medical Corps)
- Associate Director or Director
- Medical Executive Committee (MEC) President
- Senior operational position
Optimally, you would have done more than one of the above positions. Other Corps would have other positions, but the ones above are what the Medical Corps is looking for.
Nice to Haves
While not required, there are some things that are nice to have. They would include:
- Advanced management training like an MBA, MHA, etc.
- Joint Professional Military Education
- Operational experience
Operational experience can really come in any form. It could be with Flight Surgery, Undersea Medicine, Surface, the USMC, a hospital ship, the Seabees, SPECOPS, and really anything else operational. The type of operational experience, though, could impact your options in Executive Medicine.
For example, if you want to be XO of NMRTC Camp Lejeune or Camp Pendleton, you should probably have USMC experience. If you want to be XO of the COMFORT or MERCY, hospital ship or Surface Force experience would help your cause.
The application process kicks of in the spring and is announced by BUMED and usually on this blog. At its most basic, the process works like this:
- Apply to Navy Personnel Command – Once announced, you need to get started early as you need to get multiple endorsements in order to apply.
- Pass an oral board – You are asked questions by one admiral and current and former COs for about 10-15 minutes. If you don’t pass the oral board, you do not advance to the next step.
- Your record gets screened for command at a screening board in Millington, TN – This is why you need to use the Promo Prep to make sure your record is up-to-date.
- BUMED composes the “slate” – This is where the Deputy Corps Chiefs, Corps Chiefs, DSG, and SG all work together to assign the most qualified members who screened for command to all the available positions.
- Applicants are notified – Traditionally, the Deputy Corps Chief calls those who did not slate (get a position) and the Corps Chief calls those who did slate.
This is a summary of how to match in Executive Medicine. After being a Detailer and now Deputy Corps Chief, this process is very familiar to me and I suspect there are important details I’m leaving out, so please reply with any questions and I’ll answer them as they come in.