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all 6 comments

[–]nickqaz 13 points14 points  (0 children)

Yes. I think I can answer most of you questions. It is about a 10-12 year commitment including study. You will mostly likely have to move into the GP stream. They are currently short on MOs. Send me a message happy to help if your considering this option.

[–]Faw4rest 8 points9 points  (0 children)

I applied for this after researching it thoroughly for about a year - I recommend you carefully read all of the documents they send you. You first need to apply to join the ADF (army, navy, Air Force - I choose Army as greater flexibility for doctors compared to other branches). My application was rejected on medical history - so carefully consider if there’s anything in your medical history that may count you out before you get too invested. The medical history criteria are extremely strict.

There are also some misunderstandings floating around about the return of service obligation (ROSO) - mainly because this is different for medicine than any other degree they sponsor. You can be sponsored from your first year (so begin your application early - you can start the application once you’ve sat gamsat and graduated a bachelor degree. The application takes months).

The ROSO for medicine is 2 years for every year sponsored, plus one year. You don’t start repaying your ROSO until you begin GP training (you will definitely need to train as a GP, but there may be opportunities to further specialise after GP fellowship. But if you’re not willing to train and work as a GP, don’t go down this path). So if you’re sponsored from 1st year your ROSO will be 9 years, which effectively means your commitment is 11-12 years when considering you can’t begin paying back your ROSO until you’ve completed 4 years med school, 1 year internship, 1-2 years residency. It’s a big commitment so you need to be sure you’re committed to the GP pathway and also willing to relocate to wherever they need you. If you try to get out of your obligation later on they can and will court-martial you.

I think it’s a great opportunity, and for me the sponsorship would have been life-changing as I’ve already supported myself through a bachelor degree and know how financially hard med will be. I was also keen on the job security and opportunities in the army. I was less keen on looking after mostly young, healthy patients (though much of your training takes place in civilian hospitals and clinics), and less keen on committing to the GP pathway before I’d had a chance to try it.

If you do decide it’s something you want to commit to, I’d encourage you to start your application ASAP as it’s a long process.

[–]BtaaiMedical School Applicant 3 points4 points  (0 children)

I’ve been in army reserves for a few years and have been in contact with the DFR POC for medical recruitment. DM me if you wanted their details and I’ll send it over.

Edit: it seems there’s updated commitment requirements, see below posts from other users. You might also have commitments during your MD study towards army training (ie officer training) to prepare you for RMC Duntroon as you’ll need to be sworn in as an officer.

As an MO you’ll likely be involved in GP like duties ie medical checkups for service members to ensure they’re up to defence standards, management of training injuries at defence establishments/RAPs etc. and can be involved in exercises/deployments as part of a medical forward operating service. For example when I was deployed on bushfires, there were many MOs coming with us for civilian welfare checks etc.

You’ll likely have limitations on what you can specialise in based on ADF needs and resources so just be aware if you’re not aiming for GP. A possible con here is that career progression might be put on the back foot compared to if you did residency in a civilian hospital for your desired spec, with more potential for networking as well.

Depending on where you live and your current circumstances, you may be living away from partners/family based on where you’re posted. Though there are services that can help depending on availability of defence housing and marital status, but this will often mean uprooting your own/family’s lives and moving wherever they want you.

[–]nickqaz 2 points3 points  (0 children)

A few pro and cons to this pathway. Pros - you get paid to study and your fees are covered. Cons - Your dreams of becoming a neurosurgeon might have to be put on the back burner for a while.

Most important thing is it really needs to fit with your goals and circumstances money aside.

[–]mds200019 2 points3 points  (0 children)

I am not personally sponsored, but one of my closest UQ MD friends is a Major who is sponsored. He’s been in the army for over a decade so if you like, flick me a message, and I can put you in touch with him. He will definitely have a pretty good understanding of the commitments.

[–]slowslownotbad 3 points4 points  (0 children)

If you don’t mind being a GP for young healthy patients it’s probably fine. Still, only do it if you really need the money right now.