Throwback Thursday Classic Post – Who’s On Your List?

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(It is funny to read this 3 years later, as much of it is true to this day, as you’ll read in my 2019 notes in italics below.)

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 (as it was when originally posted on the blog):

  • 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. (That same person just made me the incoming Deputy Medical Corps Chief. I show up at BUMED on September 3rd.)

Who’s not on my list? There are no admirals on my list (at least there weren’t at the time – there certainly are now). 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 (somewhat of a prescient post, I guess). 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.

Guest Post – Networking and Mentoring for Military Women in the Digital Age

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Guest Post!

Today, we are going to hear from a CDR Schofer of a different variety: the wife.

CDR Wendy Schofer is a Navy Reserve pediatrician. She is the glue keeping the Schofer Family together through my demanding schedule, teens needing regular feeding/watering/supervision at home, and having her own part-time clinical job, nonprofit volunteer work, and regular orders. A personal interest of hers is keeping lines of communication open and mentoring personnel through transitions (of which she has had several).


Great to be here. It’s about time the Other CDR Schofer shared the fun.

I would like to address a couple of forums that have popped up online for females in the military. Yes, Facebook pages. There are a number of private or closed pages available to military women on Facebook. There are pros and cons to weigh for any social media pages:

***Before you sign up for any page on Facebook, be mindful of its privacy settings, as well as your own profile’s privacy settings. There is training on this – use that annual training guidance to ensure that you are not spilling personal nor governmental information inadvertently.

1) Pros according to Schofer:

  • Vetting: a number of these private/closed pages have you complete a questionnaire when you request to join, indicating service branch, where stationed, if know someone already in the group. There are also occasional requests from admin to help identify who truly meets the criteria to validly join the group.
  • Relatively safe haven: I have posted (and seen) questions that some might not ask elsewhere. It’s easier to ask when not face-to-face (see cons)
  • Broad audience/subscribers — you can get input from women beyond your immediate chain-of-command
  • If some guidance is questionable, it will often be addressed by someone else/clarified
  • Celebration of military women (we need to do this more)
  • Wealth of topics: dual-mil, pay, retirement, mentoring, protocol, hot topics, family leave policy, transgender policy/transitions, car transport, PCS, pet transport, looking for general mentorship, leadership approaches, uniform guidance, BRS, life after military, transitions to/from Reserves…
  • I love how professional my colleagues are: they are quite measured in their responses and often quote the MILPERSMAN

2) Cons according to Schofer:

  • It’s Facebook, still need to be mindful of OPSEC
  • It’s Facebook: social media can still call folks out online, or you may post something that you regret – also screenshots/forwarding can occur from people WITHIN your group – so nothing is truly private.
  • I am clearly only addressing the females in this audience. No males are allowed on these forums. It’s not meant to be exclusionary, but to support the safe haven noted above (how many men REALLY want to know the nitty-gritty about which bras to wear for pumping while in uniform?).
  • Take everything with a grain of salt. Just because someone has seen it/made it worked, doesn’t mean that it applies in your command.

Pages I have experience with, and others to consider:

There are other pages with broader appeal, such as Spouse Clubs, NOSC (for Reserve personnel) and local/regional unit supports. Examples local to Norfolk would be the The Oakleaf Club of Tidewater, Hampton Roads NOSC, Chesapeake Military Moms and Spouses Meetup Group.

These are not just for women, and tend to cover more family/childcare questions. But they highlight that there are a ton of resources available to families, whether established at a location, PCSing in, needing childcare suggestions or moral support. We are finding more and more moral support electronically – let’s use that for good. It has been immensely helpful in my Reserve transitions.

Thanks for joining me here. And please, keep it safe on social media, including realizing when to just turn it off and join the real world.

FY18 Enlisted to Medical Degree Prep Program

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If you know of an enlisted member interested in attending medical school, make sure you tell them about this program:

R 121431Z JUL 17





RMKS/1. This NAVADMIN solicits applications and provides guidance for the
FY-18 Enlisted to Medical Degree Preparatory Program (EMDP2).

2. The EMDP2 is a 2-year undergraduate education program open to enlisted
personnel of all ratings who meet eligibility requirements in line with
reference (a). The EMDP2 is a partnership between the Uniformed Services
University of the Health Sciences (USUHS) and the armed services to provide
an opportunity for highly-motivated, academically promising enlisted service
members. The EMDP2 consists of intensive coursework, preparation and
mentoring to prepare students for application to medical school. Upon
completion of the program, successful students will be competitive for
acceptance to U.S. Medical schools.

3. Selectees are assigned to the Uniformed Services University in Bethesda,
MD for a 24-month period. Individuals selected for the EMDP2 program will
remain on active duty while completing coursework and will receive pay,
allowances, benefits, and privileges of current paygrade. Selectees will
receive permanent change of station orders to USUHS for the entire length of
the course. All school expenses (i.e., books, tuition, labs, etc.) will be
paid by USUHS for the entire length of the course.

4. Deadline for submission of applications for FY-18 enrollment is
1 November 2017. Application packages must be postmarked on or before the
deadline date. No additional documents or packages will be accepted after
this date. The selection board will convene in December 2017. All
application requirements are specified in reference (a) which can be found at, or

5. Strict adherence to package submission requirements will be a primary
factor for selection. The application is a reflection of the applicant.
Applicants must review their package in its entirety before submitting. A
minimum score of good on the latest physical fitness assessment and
qualifying Scholastic Assessment Test/American College Test scores are

6. This NAVADMIN does not modify any previous guidance contained in
reference (a) regarding selective reenlistment bonus.

7. Applicants assigned to a nuclear training command or who hold a nuclear
navy enlisted classification (335x, 336x, 338x 339x) and are applying for the
FY-18 EMDP2 selection board must obtain conditional release from nuclear
field duty prior to submitting an application for consideration for the FY-18
board in line with NAVADMIN 070/13. To obtain a conditional release,
applicants must submit an Enlisted Personnel Action Request (NAVPERS 1306/7)
to Nuclear Propulsion Program Management (OPNAV N133) via the detailer at
Enlisted Nuclear/Submarine Assignment (PERS-403). The FY-18 EMDP2 selection
board will only consider nuclear enlisted candidates who have conditional
release included in their EMDP2 application.

8. Applications should be mailed to:
Bureau of Medicine and Surgery
Office of the Hospital Corps (M00C5)
7700 Arlington Blvd
Arlington VA 22042-5113

9. Point of contact is HMCS John Hendrick, Office of the Hospital Corps,
Bureau of Medicine and Surgery, who can be reached at (703) 681-9241, or via
e-mail at

10. Released by Vice Admiral R. P. Burke, N1.//


Navy-Wide Medical Student Mentor Program

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I’m re-posting this because they still need more mentors and there is some confusion.  Although this program is being coordinated at/by NMC Portsmouth, it is Navy-wide and for any interested physicians to participate in.  Please consider doing so.  Go to the original post to get the info:

Navy-Wide Medical Student Mentor Program


Medical Student Mentor Program

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Naval Medical Center Portsmouth will be taking the lead on a Navy-wide mentoring program for HPSP and HSCP medical students.  They are looking for physicians who would like to mentor young officers, help them transition from the civilian world into active duty, and prepare them for GME applications.  Anyone interested should complete this PDF and send it to Mary Jane Slade at NMCP (she’s in the global address book).

NMCP will create teams of at least two physicians with different backgrounds so the group can field a variety of questions.  The physician will have to spend an hour or so a month in a group discussion.  They have topics and lecture outlines created.  They are hoping to launch the program in May 2017.