Navy Maternity Leave Shortened from 18 to 12 Weeks

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Here is an article that summarizes the changes that are coming to Navy maternity leave, which is being shortened from 18 to 12 weeks, and other related issues:

BUMED Medical Corps Policy & Practice Officer Position – CAPT/CAPT(s)

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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:

Position Announcement

Position Description

Senior War College Opportunities

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PERS is looking for officers interested in a one year tour at the Naval War College in Newport, Rhode Island to earn their masters degree in national security and strategic studies. Classes start the summer of 2016. Orders can be accompanied; payback is 2 years that can be paid concurrently with other obligations. This education will help officers working in Operational and Executive Medicine leadership positions. Graduation from the NWC can also open the doors to eligibility to some higher level Operational Med opportunities.

To be eligible, members must have completed JPME 1. If interested, please contact your Detailer ASAP.


Senior Detailer Position – CAPT/CAPT(s) Only

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This in an announcement to all O-6 Medical Corps officers eligible to transfer in summer 2016.  O-6 Selects must be an O-6 at the time of their PCS.

The Senior MC Detailer will be transferring and needs to find a suitable replacement to fill this high profile and demanding  job.  PERS prefers officers who have been in overseas and operational billets during their careers.  You must be a good communicator, mentor, and listener.  All specialties are eligible.  You cannot have a history of PRT failure within last 3 years, and typically it is 2 year assignment with an option to extend.

Duties include:

  • Head of Medical Corps Assignments (>3700 officers).
  • Oversee two O5 detailers and one LCDR detailer.
  • PERS advisor to the GME Selection Board.
  • Surgical Subspecialties Detailer – work closely with Specialty Leaders and Placement to detail > 700
  • MC Executive Medicine Detailer – work closely with the Medical Corps Chiefs Office to screen, coordinate and write orders for MC Executive Medicine candidates.
  • Promotion Board Nominations – select MC officers to sit on boards as Recorders and Voting Members.
  • Numerous other duties involving special nominative billets, special projects, and point papers.
  • Daily interactions with Corps Chief Office and BUMED

The position involves a good lifestyle and excellent command environment.  There is a Primary Care Clinic available on base for part-time work.  Moonlighting opportunities are available in the community.

Contact your Detailer if you are interested.

All 24 Podcasts Now Available on iTunes

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When you are just learning how to create a website/blog and podcast, you learn as you go.  I just figured out how to make sure that all 24 of the podcast episodes are available for download on iTunes.  Previously I was only allowing the last 10 to be visible.

So…if you want to check out all the podcasts, click here:

Subscribe via iTunes

Also, PLEASE leave a review of the podcast on iTunes.  So far I have no feedback and any reviews would be helpful.

Deputy Division Chief (O5/O6), Defense Medical Readiness Training Institute, Education and Training Directorate

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The Medical Officer historically fills the Deputy Division Chief position and is considered a leadership position within the DHA Education and Training Directorate. The member should be in the grade of O-5/O-6. General Surgery is the primary choice followed by Emergency Medicine. The position will be vacant 01 June 2016, and a replacement is required. It is preferred that the physician have operational experience and clinical relevance in trauma or critical care. The duty location is Fort Sam Houston, Texas. The position encompasses the following responsibilities:

-Deputy Division Chief of unique Tri-Service training organization, consisting of 104 Army, Navy, and Air Force service members, DoD civilians, and contractors.
-Responsible as the Medical Director for 33 resident and non-resident courses.
-As the Medical Director responsible for validating course curriculum in the Combat Casualty Care Course (C4) which serves as a military unique curriculum for the Services.
-Program manager and instructor for Advanced Trauma Life Support.
-Program manager and instructor for Emergency War Surgery.
-Program manager and instructor Advanced Burn Life Support.

Interested applicants please contact your Detailer ASAP.

Normal Promotion Timeline and the Jobs/Achievements That Get You There

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(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:

  • Academic
  • Administrative
  • Clinical
  • Operational
  • Research

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
  • Detailer

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.