Fall 2019 USUHS Newsletter and How to Get a Faculty Appointment

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Here is the newsletter:

Faculty Development Newsletter Fall 2019

The newsletter contains info on getting a faculty appointment, but here is an explanation recently sent out at NMC Portsmouth:

For those who help train USUHS students (medical students, NP trainees,
nurse anesthesia students, etc.), did you know that you are eligible for a
faculty appointment at USUHS? Why obtain a faculty appointment? If you
have an interest in academic medicine, a faculty appointment is an important
part of your CV. If you are going to make a career in academic medicine,
the longer you hold a faculty appointment, the better your chances for
faculty promotion. Outside the military, promotion equates to more salary
and is sometimes necessary to be considered for certain academic positions.

So how do you get one? First, you need to determine what academic “rank”
you are eligible for. See the Clinicians Flow Chart attachment, but for
most the deciding factor will be if you have routine versus random/episodic
teaching of USUHS students. Clinicians who regularly teach USUHS students
generally will qualify to become a Clinical Assistant Professor. Those with
intermittent, random or episodic teaching can be appointed an Adjunct
Instructor or Adjunct Assistant Professor.

To apply, you will need to gather the appropriate documents per the
appointment promotion checklist attachment. For example, to become a
Clinical Assistant Professor you will need:

– to complete the Online Faculty Appointment Application
– a CV in AAMC Format
– a letter of recommendation from the local department chair or
program director
– a command endorsement (this is usually brief, at the end of the
above letter of recommendation)
– complete a USU Form 107

This information is then forwarded to the appropriate USUHS Department POC
(see the dept POCs attachment) who then presents this for appointment to the
University. Subspecialists fall under the parent specialty (for example,
Ophthalmology would go to Surgery). More information is available at:

NCC Program Director Search – Orthopaedic Surgery

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Here is the announcement/recruitment letter for the Program Director position for the NCC Orthopaedic Surgery Residency.

The memorandum to the Surgeons General requests the widest dissemination of the announcement to ensure that all physicians desiring an assignment as a Program Director have the opportunity to apply.

Here also is the DoD Policy and Selection Criteria for GME Program Directors, as well as the ACGME requirements for this position.

Please note:    Applicants are required to submit a bio in addition to CV and letter of intent, NLT 1 Nov 2019, to CDR Melissa Austin (contact in the global). Applications should have concurrence from their Detailer and Specialty Leader.

An applicant’s CV must include a section about faculty development activities that they have done.

An applicant’s CV must demonstrate at least 3 years of documented education and/or administrative experience, as well as ongoing clinical activity in the (sub)specialty for which they are applying.

An applicant’s CV must demonstrate current board certification in the (sub)specialty in which they are applying.   Current medical licensure must also be documented on the CV.

An applicant’s CV must demonstrate current ongoing scholarly activity.

The Letter of intent must include the candidate’s level of commitment to GME and the Program Director position, including the number of years they are willing to serve, and that if selected, that they will accept the position.  This program is 6 years in length.

Family Medicine Chair Position at USUHS

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Here is the position announcement:

FAM Chair 2019

Despite what it says in the announcement, you don’t send nominations to USUHS directly. They all come through the FM Specialty Leader to CDR Melissa Austin (contact info in the global) at BUMED. They are due to her by 15 OCT 2019.

How to Sign Up for AMDOC While Website is Down

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For those who want to take or are trying to apply for AMDOC (see the leadership course catalog for FY 20 for dates), the website for application is currently down. To apply, please fill out these forms and send to Ms. Edna Smith (contact info is in the global address book):

NMPDC Non-Operational Nomination Form for AMDOC


Throwback Thursday Classic Post – Could a Master’s Degree Get You Promoted?

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When discussing why they failed to promote, one of the more common reasons that officers give is that they were unable to get a leadership position. When I ask them how they prepared themselves for these positions and what they did to improve their chances of getting one, they often don’t have much to say. Frankly, they didn’t do anything “extra” or above and beyond their normal duties to prepare for and get a leadership position.

Don’t be one of those officers.

The recipe for promotion is fairly simple. Superior performance in leadership positions leads to early promote (EP) fitreps, which leads to promotion. As promotion gets more difficult, the competition for leadership positions is likely to increase, and officers need to find a way to differentiate themselves from the crowd, increasing the chance they’ll get leadership positions. Obtaining a master’s degree can be one of the things that will distinguish you from other physicians and can dramatically increase the chances that you are competitive for career advancing positions.

What Kind of Degree Should You Consider Getting?

This depends on your career goals. If you want to become a leader in research or global health engagement, an area of increased focus in the Navy, you probably want to get a Master in Public Health (MPH) or similar degree. If you want to become a residency or fellowship director, a master’s degree in adult or medical education would fit the bill. If you want to become an operational leader, attending a war college would make sense. And if you want to become a clinical administrator or pursue executive medicine, obtaining a management degree, such as a Master in Business Administration (MBA), Master in Medical Management (MMM), or Master in Healthcare Administration (MHA), would make sense to me.

How Can You Get a Master’s Degree While on Active Duty?

There are many ways you can do this, but the most common include:

  1. Complete a fellowship that includes a master’s degree. Some fellowships either include or have the option of obtaining a MPH, such as the Global Emergency Preparedness and Disaster Response Fellowship. I also know of multiple officers who asked the Graduate Medical Education Selection Board for an additional year of fellowship to obtain a degree or simply for permission to obtain a degree alone. What are the chances this will be granted? Well I’m sure the chances change from year to year, but they are zero if you don’t ask.
  2. Complete the distance learning Executive MBA from the Naval Postgraduate School. This is how I got my MBA for the cost of books alone, and I think the program is excellent. You have to go to Monterey for 1 week at the beginning of the 2-year program, but after that all classes are held on-line.
  3. Apply for the Navy Career Intermission Program and take time off to get a degree.
  4. Attend a war college. Intermediate colleges are for officers who are O4 or below, while senior college is for O5 and above. If you’re interested, contact your Detailer.
  5. USUHS offers a Master in Health Professions Education.
  6. Pay for it yourself and do it in your free time on-line or in person. One program to look into is offered by the American Association for Physician Leadership ( By taking some CME you can then enroll in various patient safety and management degrees that are all physician focused. The on-line University of Massachusetts healthcare focused MBA that they offer is the most reasonably priced MBA that I could find that is accredited by the top business school accreditation body. If you want a fast MBA (but pricey), look into the University of Tennessee Physician Executive MBA program (

While committing to a master’s degree program will take major time and effort, that is the point. It is a well-recognized way to demonstrate to the Navy that you’ve made a serious commitment to your professional development and could go a long way toward giving your next interview for a leadership position.