The Medical Corps Chief invites interested officers to apply for an opening in the Medical Corps Chief’s Office as Medical Corps Policy and Practice Officer. Active issues include ensuring currency and competency for providers, evaluating courses of action in the ongoing operational medical officer conversion effort, and physicians’ roles in highly reliable health care.
They are ideally looking for someone to arrive in the June timeframe as the incumbent departs in July as to allow for turnover, but they will consider all interested people. All interested parties should contact the Corps Chief’s Office as directed in these documents:
(Here are some Military Career Progression Slides from a career planning lecture I often give to accompany this post.)
The typical career progression for a Medical Corps officer if promoted on time (the first time they are in-zone) is:
- 5 years – selected for promotion to LCDR
- 6 years – promoted to LCDR
- 11 years – selected for promotion to CDR
- 12 years – promoted to CDR
- 17 years – selected for promotion to CAPT
- 18 years – promoted to CAPT
For example, I’m a 15 year CDR, so I’ll be in-zone in 2 years at year 17. If I’m selected the first time I’m in-zone, I’ll be promoted to CAPT in year 18.
There are 5 general career paths in the Navy that lead to promotion, and I firmly believe that all can lead to promotion to CAPT. They are:
One of my favorite things about the Navy is that you don’t have to stay within the same career path as you progress in your career. I have happily jumped around and managed to promote to LCDR and CDR on time. During my first tour at USNH Okinawa, I was largely clinical. After that I was academic but transitioned to more of an administrative role, culminating with my time as a Detailer at PERS. In my current role as Commander of a Joint Medical Group and Joint Task Force Surgeon, I’m both administrative and operational. My next tour will return me to an academic setting where I hope to score a major administrative role at the command but once again “be academic.”
As you progress down your chosen career path, one of the major determinants of whether you will promote is whether you get the jobs that will allow you to progress to the next rank. The following lists include many, but certainly not all, of the collateral duties, positions, and achievements you should strive for once you reach each rank. If you can get some of these positions and do well in them, it should allow you to break out on your FITREPs and increase the chances you will promote. Of note, in each rank appropriate list there are positions from all 5 general career paths.
LTs or LCDRs looking to promote should focus on achieving these milestones or positions:
- Getting board certified, which is pretty much a requirement to promote
- Completing a fellowship, but trying to avoid being a fellow in the years right before they are in zone so that the non-observed FITREPs you often get don’t hurt your chances at promotion
- Completing a deployment, but again trying to avoid doing it right before you are in zone due to the small competitive groups you often get on your FITREPs
- Assistant/Associate Residency Director
- Department Head (DH) is a small/medium military treatment facility (MTF)
- Assistant Professor at USUHS, which is very easy to get if you just apply. See my promo prep document for the info on how to do this.
- Publishing professional publications
- Research, preferably defense-related
- Departmental collateral duties
- Hospital committee member or chair
- Executive Committee of the Medical Staff (ECOMS) member
- Civilian leadership positions, like in your specialty society’s state chapter, for example
- Senior Medical Officer (SMO) or Medical Director in your department at a large MTF
CDRs looking to promote should focus on:
- Residency Director
- DH of your department in a large MTF
- Associate Professor at USUHS
- Director position (Director of Medical Services, Director of Clinical Support Services, etc.)
- Officer-in-Charge of a clinic
- Major committee chair
- ECOMS member, Vice-President/President-Elect, or President
- Senior operational leadership position
- Division Surgeon
- Group Surgeon
- Wing Surgeon
- Commander, Amphibious Task Force (CATF) Surgeon
- SMO on an amphibious platform
- Staff position at BUMED
- Specialty leader
- Deployment requiring an O-5 or higher
As a LT or LCDR, I was able to get board certified, complete a fellowship at the right time, deploy twice, become an Assistant Professor at USUHS, publish numerous publications, do some research, obtain numerous departmental collateral duties, chair a hospital committee and be an ECOMS member at USNH Okinawa, become a SMO in the Navy’s largest emergency department, be an Associate Director at a large MTF, and hold numerous civilian leadership positions.
As a CDR so far I have promoted to Associate Professor, been a major committee chair and member of ECOMS, and served a tour as a Detailer. Currently I’m a specialty leader and am deployed in a senior operational role that required a CDR or CAPT.
All of this took a lot of work, but made it easy for my leadership to fight for and justify early promote (EP) FITREPs that allowed me to promote to LCDR and CDR on time. Will it work for CAPT? We’ll have to wait on that, but the more of these things you can achieve, the easier it will be for your leadership to do the same thing for you. You need competitive EPs to promote, and doing these things, giving your leadership the ammunition to justify EP FITREPs, is the path to getting them.
The following is available for O5/O6 officers with a desired fill date of 1 DEC 2016. Please contact your Detailer by 30 NOV 2015 if interested.
Commandant, School of Medicine
The Commandant of the USU School of Medicine (SOM) is the senior military officer-in-charge of all officers assigned as students to the F. Edward Hébert School of Medicine. With the support of the Army, Navy, Air Force,
and Public Health Service Company Commanders, the Commandant exercises command and control over the medical and graduate students assigned to the University.
The mission of the Office of the Commandant is to provide military leadership, to teach and instill “officership”, and to support medical education and professional development so that each student achieves the goal of becoming a world class military physician.
The Commandant reports to the Brigade Commander for military issues and chain of command accountability and serves as the military advisor to the Dean of the SOM. Duties and responsibilities of the Commandant, SOM include:
-Deputy Brigade Commander
-Chairman, Board of Review of Inter-service Transfers
-Member, Student Promotions Committee
-Member, Student Award Committee
-Advisor to the Dean and Associate Dean for Student Affairs
-Provides student resources for Service-specific military career counseling and officer professional development
-Model, stimulate, and foster professional leadership and officership
-Directs Service-specific mandated programs such as physical fitness, weight control, urinalysis testing, officer professional development, and equal opportunity
-Serves as a facilitator for military administrative requirements
The Director, Defense Health Agency (DHA) is seeking nominations to fill the position of Deputy Director, Defense Institute for Medical Operations, Lackland Joint Air Force Base, San Antonio, Texas:
REPORT: AUG 16
EXPERIENCE REQUIRED: Significant experience in military medical operations, international affairs, education and training, and familiarity with the DOD Security Cooperation/Assistance Program.
The Deputy Director is responsible for supporting the Director in leading/executing Defense Institute for Medical Operations (DIMO)
activities in the Air Force and Navy Surgeon General’s initiative of medical
operational training to military personnel of partner nations globally. The
Deputy Director collaborates with Department of State (DoS), Department of
Defense (DoD), Combatant Commanders (COCOM), Major Command (MAJCOM) staffs and civilian agencies to ensure unity of effort in all joint/public/private training endeavors. The Deputy Director manages all functions pertaining to organizational resources, personnel management (within both Air Force and Navy systems), successful execution of international mobile training missions globally, and timely and relevant curriculum development. This position is open To Medical Department officers of all Corps at the O-5/O-6 level with significant experience in military medical operations, international affairs, education and training, and familiarity with the DOD Security Cooperation/Assistance Program. The individual selected can ideally work with the current Deputy Director beginning in early August 2016 and assume the responsibilities of Director in September 2016. This is a rotational position that complements the Director’s service (i.e. if current DIMO Director is AF, Deputy Director will be USN) in order to maintain jointness for the DIMO mission. The Deputy Director will fleet up to Director in August 2017. Additionally, the ideal candidate will be able to hold the position for at least two years to three years.
If you are interested, contact your Detailer.
This is a call for nominations for the position of FORCE SURGEON COMNAVRESFOR (US), which is an excellent opportunity in the Norfolk area!
You must be a CAPT at time of fill in Summer 2016. You also need to be at your projected rotation date (PRD) in Summer 2016, but PERS will consider people who are CONUS with at least 2 years on station. (A command endorsement of your early rotation with a potential gap will be required.)
Contact your Detailer if you are interested. The application deadline is 20 NOV 2015.
In my opinion, every Naval physician needs to have a list of people. On this list are the people who you absolutely, positively will not mess with. When you talk to them, you show them the utmost respect. When they ask you for something, you give it to them better and faster than you ever give anyone anything. These are the people who have determined your career path to this point and are likely to continue to steer if for the near future.
Who’s on your list? If you don’t know, you should think about this as soon as you can. You might think it is silly, but I’d actually make a list. Just to show you I’m serious, I’ll share my list:
- Current Emergency Medicine (EM) Specialty Leader
- Prior Deputy Commander of NMC Portsmouth
- Prior EM Specialty Leader
- Current Director of Medical Services at NMC San Diego
- Prior EM Specialty Leader and Deputy Medical Corps Chief
Why are they on my list? They are Emergency Physicians like me, and they are the most senior and potentially influential people in my career. They are the people who are senior to me, well thought of in my specialty, and get phone calls or in person inquiries when I apply for a leadership position. For example, one of the people on this list thought of me when the Detailer job became available and endorsed me for it.
Who’s not on my list? There are no admirals on my list. As a CDR, it is rare that I’m on the radar of an admiral. Some of them know who I am, and some of them could have a major impact on my career path, but it is unlikely that they’ll take a huge interest in my career until I’m a CAPT and qualify for major leadership positions working directly for them. If an admiral wants to know about Joel Schofer, they’ll probably call one of the CAPTs on my list and ask them about me.
Who should be on your list? The people you should consider putting on your list include:
- Your Specialty Leader and prior Specialty Leader
- Your Detailer
- Influential people in your specialty who are 1-2 ranks senior to you
- Whoever is currently in the job(s) you want
Undoubtedly there are other people you should consider, but this list is a good start.
Once you create the list, here are the things you need to keep in mind. Always treat these people with the utmost of respect. You should always treat everyone with respect, but these people get special attention. Never get into an argument with them. I’m not saying you have be a “yes man” (or woman) and agree with everything that they say, but any disagreement needs to be collegial and respectful. You want to prevent them from getting mad at you, if at all possible. When they ask you for something or they give you a task, it immediately rises to the top of your to-do list. In addition, you never give them anything but your best, maximal effort.
The Navy is a large organization that can appear impersonal, but people run it. The people on your list are the ones who are going to determine your future and whether you get want you want or not. If I were you, this is one list I’d put some thought into and actually make.
The following National Capital Region program director positions will be opening in spring/summer 2016 in Bethesda:
1. Occupational Medicine Residency
2. Pathology Residency
3. Pediatric Infectious Diseases Fellowship
4. Pain Medicine Fellowship
5. Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Residency
6. Body Imaging Fellowship
Contact your Detailer if you are interested in applying.