Basic Readiness Officer Course (Artist Formerly Known as BMDOC) Still Not Available

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Here is an update on BROC, a course that used to be called the Basic Medical Department Officer Course:

After several meetings and recent updates, regrettably BROC (formerly BMDOC) is still under revision/development.  After fully updating the content just into the early COVID constraints, DoD departed from using flash media– which caused further delay due to also having to convert the entire course from flash media to Articulate software and rerouting to Navy eLearning for another review prior to release.

BROC is of course still waived as a pre-req for attending AROC or any other courses at this time.

We are hoping to have BROC up NLT end FY 21 4th Quarter (October 1). 

Continuous MC Symposium – Dr. Dale Smith’s Last Lecture Before Retirement – Q&A Session Tomorrow!

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Watch the video of Dr. Smith’s recorded lecture on the History of the Medical Corps here:

Join us for the Live Q&A Session with Dr. Smith tomorrow, May 5, 1200 EDT:

Throwback Thursday Classic Post – Authorship and Academic Careers in the Navy

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I recently gave a talk to the Emergency Medicine residents at NMC Portsmouth about authorship and academic careers in the Navy. Here is the outline of the talk and some tips…

Academic Career Options

There are a number of options for those who are interested in establishing an academic career in Navy Medicine. Here are the ones I know of:

  • Residency programs at a medical center – Serving as teaching faculty at a residency program at Walter Reed, San Diego, or Portsmouth.
  • Family Medicine (FM) teaching hospitals – Serving as faculty at the FM residency programs in Ft. Belvoir, Lejeune, Camp Pendleton, and Jacksonville. This opportunity is not just for FM physicians, but for Internists, Pediatricians, subspecialists, etc. as the FM programs need all of those people to support the education of their residents.
  • Japanese internships – Both Yokosuka and Okinawa have internships that are structured like Transitional Internships and allow Japanese physicians to learn how American medicine is conducted. Most graduates try to obtain letters of recommendation and apply for graduate medical education (GME) in the US. Taking a leadership role in these programs can prepare you to lead GME programs when you PCS back to the US.
  • Transitional internship programs – Leadership opportunities in Transitional Internships are open to just about every specialty, and many physicians have used Transitional Internship Program Director as the stepping stone to O6.
  • Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences (USUHS) billets – Many specialties have billets at USUHS that allow you to take a leadership role in the departments and teach medical students.

Authorship Options

The opportunities to publish have increased dramatically during my 20 year career. For example, you’re reading this blog and that didn’t exist when I started. Here are the opportunities to publish that currently exist with some tips listed after each:

  • Apps – This is the only thing on this list I haven’t tried, but there are articles that explain how to do it and tell stories of physicians who made money doing it.
  • Blogs – This isn’t hard to do, so there’s nothing but time and effort preventing you from putting your opinion out there for others to read. Don’t underestimate how much time this takes, though, so know what you are getting into. I have literally spent thousands of hours on this blog.
  • Books and book chapters – I’ve published 4 books (you can see 3 of them on Amazon here) by working with my specialty society, so that is one opportunity to pursue when it comes to books. The easiest way to start writing books chapters is to find someone you know that is senior to you who already writes chapters and offer to be a co-author for the next edition. If you go to your department head/chair or residency director, they should be able to tell you who writes book chapters in the department.
  • Case reports – This is the entry path to publishing and where I made most of my initial academic bones. Frankly, publishing case reports gotten me a lot of my academic reputation, fitrep impact in block 41, and subsequent promotion to O4 and O5. Nowadays, there are a lot of journals and it is easier than ever to get something accepted, especially if you are open to publishing cases on blogs or in newsletters.
  • Humanities – Many journals regularly publish 1-2 page articles about the experience of being a physician, ethics, military medicine, and other related topics. A common way to get one of these published would be to deploy and then write a humanities piece while deployed or upon returning about your experience.
  • Newsletters – I wrote a personal finance column in one of our specialty society newsletters for 7 years. If you can get a regular gig like this, it will force you to write on a regular basis and really build your CV and academic reputation. Every specialty has newsletters and “throw away” journals that arrive in the mail. Contact the editors, offer to write something, and see if this is something you enjoy.
  • Podcasts – Similar to blogs, this is fairly easy to do with some free software (Audacity), a $50 USB microphone headset, a podcast host (I host on this blog’s WordPress site but here are other hosts out there), and the time to figure out how to post your content on the Apple store. Like blogging, it is very time consuming. Personally, it is not my favorite thing to do (which is why my podcast has lagged way behind) because I have zero interest in learning how to properly edit recordings, but there is nothing preventing you from getting your voice out there.
  • Research manuscripts – If you want to do research, you should start with the Institutional Review Board (IRB) that your command is subject to. There will be resources available to help you, but in my experience it is a pull system (you have to inquire and go get them) and they are not pushed to you. Typically, you’ll find grant writers, statisticians, and sources of money to do research. You’ll also find additional military rules and regulations heaped on top of all of the already existing IRB rules and regulations. This latter fact is what dissuaded me from doing a lot of research in my academic career.
  • Review articles – Most journals solicit authors to write review articles, so it is hard to get one accepted if it is unsolicited. That said, if you shorten it a bit by focusing on a more narrow topic and build it around a case presentation, you can get them accepted as case reports.

How to Build Your Academic Career in the Navy

What is the easiest way to build an academic career? It is simple but not easy. Not that many people follow through on it. Here are the steps:

  1. Obtain a USUHS faculty appointment – This blog post tells you how to do it.
  2. Progress toward promotion

This 2nd step is the step that most people fail to follow through on. They get appointed as an Assistant Professor, and then they stop working toward promotion to Associate Professor or full Professor.

In general, an Assistant Professor is a local/regional expert, an Associate Professor has established themself as a regional/national expert, and a full Professor has reached national or international acclaim. If you touch base with your USUHS department once a year and get their assessment about what steps you need to take to get promoted, you will be forcing yourself to progress in your academic career.

For example, I’m an Associate Professor of Military & Emergency Medicine and recently applied to be a full Professor. The feedback I was given was that I needed 3-4 more peer-reviewed publications as the first author. I may or may not choose to try and get them, but at least they gave me an honest assessment of what I needed to do. If you do this annually, you’ll get actionable feedback that you can address as you build your academic chops.

Intermediate Executive Skills Course – O3/O4

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The Intermediate Executive Skills Course has Medical Corps availability for the June 7 – 10 VIRTUAL course, designed for developing leaders within the MHS (senior LT and LCDR). See course description below. Please have interested parties self-nominate NLT 13 APRIL 2021 by completing the attached nomination form and forwarding to CAPT Anthony Keller (contact in the global). Proxy nominations will not be accepted:

Course Description: The Defense Health Agency Intermediate Executive Skills Course (DHA-IES) provides education and training on leadership and management skills necessary to successfully serve in an intermediate-level leadership position within a DHA medical treatment facility (MTF). The course is designed to facilitate attainment of selected Joint Medical Executive Skills core competencies as identified by a Tri-Service review board of MHS senior leaders. The course consists of 21 web-based training (WBT) modules available through Joint Knowledge Online ( followed by a 40-hour resident course located on JBSA-Fort Sam Houston, Texas. The resident course includes 8 hours of Corps and Service-specific training facilitated by Army, Navy, and Air Force medical leaders.

DHA Peer Support Training

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Registration is now open for the Special Feature Webinar, Peer Support Training that will occur on 24 March 2021 from 1430-1630 (ET) virtually through Adobe Connect. This special feature webinar will offer up to 2.0 Continuing Education/Continuing Medical Education (CE/CME) credits. To register for this course, please visit the following link:

Event Overview:  This Special Feature Webinar describes the detrimental impacts to health care providers of significant career events such as adverse outcomes of care, litigation, adverse licensure actions, deployment, career transition and COVID-19. Evidence-based interventions and recommendations are provided for colleagues, peers and leadership to support providers through these events, and the scrutiny and stress that often accompany them. The educational content has been developed by an internationally recognized subject matter expert in the fields of peer support and health care provider resiliency. The primary focus of this event is to improve the ability of Military Health System (MHS) providers to support their colleagues in an empathetic and productive manner after a significant career stressor; and to ensure that all MHS health care providers have access to a safe, non-judgmental resource that supports emotional, physical and professional well-being after these events.

After this webinar, participants will be able to:

  • Recognize effects of adverse events on clinicians.
  • Demonstrate skills for providing peer support to colleagues.
  • Discuss methods for overcoming barriers (organizational and professional) to peer support.
  • Develop a support structure to assist clinicians when going through rapid change, transitions and uncertainty.

Participation: To register for the Special Feature Webinar, Peer Support Training, please visit the following link:

Need Orthopedic Surgeons for Emergency War Surgery and Combat Orthopedic Trauma Surgery Course – 25-26 MAR, San Antonio

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There are openings for this course 25-26 MAR 2021 in San Antonio, which you can read about here:

It is not centrally funded and would need to be funded by your command, but it would get you a lot of progress toward meeting your readiness criteria and KSAs. The POC is:

Laura A. Martinez
Navy Medicine CeTARS/Quota Manager, Education Operations (M7)
Naval Medical Forces Support Command (NMFSC)
Commercial: (210) 808-9651 DSN: 420-9651 Cell: (910) 333-7239
Email: check the global

Fort Belvoir Director for Education, Training and Research – O5/O6

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Details are in this announcement:

Applications instructions are spelled out in the document and are due 5 MAR 2021. Anyone applying needs to have Detailer clearance to do so.