Interest in SOST! Lot of questions!

aspiringmilisurgeon

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Below are my questions. I could not find proper details regarding these questions using the search feature and old threads. If I have overlooked something, please be patient and redirect me in the proper direction.

1) Do you know if there are SOST equivalents in the other branches? If so, what are their jobs/training/lifestyles like?

2) How selective (statistically and academically, not physically) is going into SOF medicine with the AF? If you know about this for the Army and Navy as well, let me know about that as well! I am confident I can exceed physical requirements because I have trained up to BUD/S requisite standards. I am wondering about the general selection stats and academic requirements.

3) What does one have to do as a medical student or during HPSP to align themselves with this SOF medicine route?

4) SHOULD one even do HPSP if they want to go into SOF medicine or should they do regular civilian medicine and join up and attempt for SOF med afterwards? I looked into the thread on here about this topic and it seems the general consensus is that prior military experience is preferred.

5) Speaking of which, does "prior military experience" before SOF med include HPSP or does it have to be something like ROTC or actual enlistment service? In other words, will an HPSP or USUHS student be given preference or do you have to have real enlisted experience in order to be given preference?

I look forward to hearing from anyone that has anything at all to contribute to this. Thank you in advance!
 

policemedic

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I will defer to @SOSTCRNA on the SOST questions. He’s the expert.

Regarding your medical education and training, where are you doing pre-med and why did you choose HPSP over USUHS? I am of the strong opinion that USUHS provides an outstanding education that is focused on military medicine. You will learn and do things at USUHS you will not in a civilian medical school. At various points—notably as an MS2 and -4–you will also be taught and evaluated by Pararescuemen, Special Forces Medical Sergeants, SOAR flight medics, SEAL Corpsmen, SWAT medics, and physicians who have enlisted SOF experience.

If military medicine is really what you’re looking for, you should really give USUHS a look. Feel free to PM if you need a POC in admissions.
 

aspiringmilisurgeon

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I will defer to @SOSTCRNA on the SOST questions. He’s the expert.

Regarding your medical education and training, where are you doing pre-med and why did you choose HPSP over USUHS? I am of the strong opinion that USUHS provides an outstanding education that is focused on military medicine. You will learn and do things at USUHS you will not in a civilian medical school. At various points—notably as an MS2 and -4–you will also be taught and evaluated by Pararescuemen, Special Forces Medical Sergeants, SOAR flight medics, SEAL Corpsmen, SWAT medics, and physicians who have enlisted SOF experience.

If military medicine is really what you’re looking for, you should really give USUHS a look. Feel free to PM if you need a POC in admissions.

Thank you for your comment, sir. I currently attend The Ohio State University as a neuroscience major. I have not fully qualified for HPSP yet, but it is still a viable option for me. My GPA is a 3.88 and my MCAT a 519. I am an EMT and have presence in the international research stage, including a presentation. I hope this gives you some background.

I have done my homework on how USUHS works and I will be applying there. Having the opportunity to chose certain elective rotations M4 year so that I could do ranger school or air assault school to strengthen both my experience as military personnel and for SF med selections would be excellent. So yes, I agree with you that this would be a profound experience based on what I know. The only thing that’s holding me back from choosing it is having to live in DC itself. I am an adaptable person and I do not mind where the military would deploy me/make me live in the future, but I was hoping to get away from the bad Ohio weather to something warmer. But, I’m always willing to suck it up and get over this.

I will not be applying for another year or so, so all my doors are still open if you had other advice to offer.
 

SOSTCRNA

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Below are my questions. I could not find proper details regarding these questions using the search feature and old threads. If I have overlooked something, please be patient and redirect me in the proper direction.

Ok, lots of questions here. I'll see if I can help you out.

1) Do you know if there are SOST equivalents in the other branches? If so, what are their jobs/training/lifestyles like?

The army has GHOST teams that have a similar mission for army SOF. I have worked with them some but I don't know if they have a selection process or what kind of field training they do. I do not believe it is as much as SOST. There is the Joint Medical Augmentation Unit (JMAU) that works in the "Joint" environment. Details for that come when you are asked to try out, just know it is there as a possible long- term goal.

2) How selective (statistically and academically, not physically) is going into SOF medicine with the AF? If you know about this for the Army and Navy as well, let me know about that as well! I am confident I can exceed physical requirements because I have trained up to BUD/S requisite standards. I am wondering about the general selection stats and academic requirements.

Academically? If you are smart enough to be a surgeon then you are smart enough. But that is only a tiny portion of what SOST will be looking for-more on that in a bit. As far as selection rates, who knows. It isn't BUDS or INDOC, but not everyone who tries gets picked up. By the time you are ready to attend selection, the process will probably be nothing like what it is today. SOST is constantly changing and evolving, and this is a good thing.

3) What does one have to do as a medical student or during HPSP to align themselves with this SOF medicine route?

Nothing. Learn to be a good physician. Nothing else matters if you suck at being a doc.

4) SHOULD one even do HPSP if they want to go into SOF medicine or should they do regular civilian medicine and join up and attempt for SOF med afterwards? I looked into the thread on here about this topic and it seems the general consensus is that prior military experience is preferred.

Prior service is nice but they wont really care. I have had teammates straight out of civilian residency with no prior service and guys who were shooters before switching to medicine.

5) Speaking of which, does "prior military experience" before SOF med include HPSP or does it have to be something like ROTC or actual enlistment service? In other words, will an HPSP or USUHS student be given preference or do you have to have real enlisted experience in order to be given
preference?
HPSP/ROTC is NOT military experience! As above, they wont care how you get into the military. Now, if you were a PJ prior to medical school and the team had a need for HALO, dive etc then I'm sure they would grab you over a military noob all other things being equal. But but, right now there is not a need for those skills (unless things have changed) and it still doesn't guarantee selection.

I look forward to hearing from anyone that has anything at all to contribute to this. Thank you in advance!

So let me summarize things. The cadre and your future team mates will care about somethings and will not care about others.

They wont care where you went to undergrad or medical school. Nor will they care about your GPA or class standing. They wont give a damn whether you were ROTC, HPSP, USHUS, Harvard or Medical School of the Caribbean.

They will care a great deal about other things. Do you look like a fat slob who can't hang with the people you support? Do you know the difference between SOF Med and being an Operator? That question often gets people, you have to know and be proud of your role.

Some things they really want to know: Are you the type of surgeon that doesn't jump in and help load/unload gear when you are moving around several times a week. Are you that guy who falls asleep on watch? Are you the dude that is going to bitch when it is the team's turn to clean the communal shitters-when the Operators might not even be on the rotation?

Are you the type of surgeon who can't work without all his favorite instruments and a full staff of support teams?

Most importantly: Are you the guy that can do a thoracotomy on a dead Ranger in flight, in the back of a helicopter, at night, and bring that young man back to life and back to his family? (True Story)

I get the curiosity and I love the enthusiasm, I really do, but becoming the best surgeon you can is all you really need to worry about for now. You do that and be the type of guy people want on a team, you will go far. Hope this helps.
 

aspiringmilisurgeon

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Thank you tons for such a detailed response. I’m no surgeon yet and I can’t speak for my physician skills yet either, but as far character goes: my answer to that question would be that a SF Med is the light at the end of the tunnel for the greatest warriors in the US, but also another brother with the same responsibilities as them when it comes to getting on your knees and getting dirty. I’m not one to have an ego and that’s what I despise most about some civilian surgeons—that head highness. I’m not sure if that’s the right answer or not, but that’s probably what I would repeat again even if you were to tell me that’s the wrong answer (aka genuine answer). Thank you so much for all the information. I will keep this all in mind.
 

aspiringmilisurgeon

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I will defer to @SOSTCRNA on the SOST questions. He’s the expert.

Regarding your medical education and training, where are you doing pre-med and why did you choose HPSP over USUHS? I am of the strong opinion that USUHS provides an outstanding education that is focused on military medicine. You will learn and do things at USUHS you will not in a civilian medical school. At various points—notably as an MS2 and -4–you will also be taught and evaluated by Pararescuemen, Special Forces Medical Sergeants, SOAR flight medics, SEAL Corpsmen, SWAT medics, and physicians who have enlisted SOF experience.

If military medicine is really what you’re looking for, you should really give USUHS a look. Feel free to PM if you need a POC in admissions.

I PM’d you, sir.
 

SOSTCRNA

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@SOSTCRNA Does the navy have any equivalent for SOST? I’m extremely interested in this as well and am considering crossing branches and even going through another selection.

Nothing near as developed or formal unless it is brand new. The army has the GHOST teams but they are not the same. SOST was always pretty good but the level of training and funding sine coming under Special Tactics is night and day. Only thing comparable is the JMAU over at Bragg.
 

Srna0118

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Nothing near as developed or formal unless it is brand new. The army has the GHOST teams but they are not the same. SOST was always pretty good but the level of training and funding sine coming under Special Tactics is night and day. Only thing comparable is the JMAU over at Bragg.

Hello,
I was looking for more info on SOST and this forum came up.

I am new to this website, but look forward to learning more about SOST. I was a med tech in the air force, became a nurse, and am now starting CRNA school this summer. Would you happen to know if I will be able to apply right after/during school, or am I required to get experience as a CRNA first?

Also, forgive me if I'm jumping the gun here, but what is your personal/family life like while on a team?

Thank you for your time.
 

Ooh-Rah

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I am new to this website, but look forward to learning more about SOST.
We’d like to learn more about you first, please go to the intro section and post a little something about you. That should be your very next post.
 

SOSTCRNA

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Congratulations on getting into a program, lots of hard work ahead of you. My understanding is that currently SOST is taking new grads. I have my own opinion on that but the Air Force didn’t ask for it. I, and others, have posted a bit on SOST here, look it over and see what questions are already answered then feel free to ask new ones.

Pet peeve, drives me crazy when people say they are super excited about SOST etc in one breath then ask how busy they are going to be in the next. Yes you will need to have some answers for your family at some point but expect to be busy and far away a lot. Mission calls, you gots to go. Besides, you and your family have no idea how busy and stressful the next three years are going to be. Your wife and kids will need to get used to doing family stuff without dad, you will be in the OR or in the library. (If you want to graduate that is)

Good luck and focus on your short-term goals but remember those long-term goals for those times when you are sick to death of getting treated like shit day after day.
 

Srna0118

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Congratulations on getting into a program, lots of hard work ahead of you. My understanding is that currently SOST is taking new grads. I have my own opinion on that but the Air Force didn’t ask for it. I, and others, have posted a bit on SOST here, look it over and see what questions are already answered then feel free to ask new ones.

Pet peeve, drives me crazy when people say they are super excited about SOST etc in one breath then ask how busy they are going to be in the next. Yes you will need to have some answers for your family at some point but expect to be busy and far away a lot. Mission calls, you gots to go. Besides, you and your family have no idea how busy and stressful the next three years are going to be. Your wife and kids will need to get used to doing family stuff without dad, you will be in the OR or in the library. (If you want to graduate that is)

Good luck and focus on your short-term goals but remember those long-term goals for those times when you are sick to death of getting treated like shit day after day.
Thanks for your insight! It's going to be a rough 3 years, but nevertheless I look forward to it.
I've took some time to look over some of the valuable info you have posted on here. there was one in particular that you posted an attachment of a presentation of the different teams and their capabilities, etc. On there it says that most of the time you administer IV anesthesia, and not the gas machine. Logidtically i guess that makes sense but In your experience has this been the case? Also, what kind of training/experience were you doing stateside while AD on a team? Reason I ask is because a lot of the AD CRNA's I have talked to said they dont really get a good variety of cases and usually moonlight to get an all around good experience/variety of cases.
 

SOSTCRNA

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Thanks for your insight! It's going to be a rough 3 years, but nevertheless I look forward to it.
I've took some time to look over some of the valuable info you have posted on here. there was one in particular that you posted an attachment of a presentation of the different teams and their capabilities, etc. On there it says that most of the time you administer IV anesthesia, and not the gas machine. Logidtically i guess that makes sense but In your experience has this been the case? Also, what kind of training/experience were you doing stateside while AD on a team? Reason I ask is because a lot of the AD CRNA's I have talked to said they dont really get a good variety of cases and usually moonlight to get an all around good experience/variety of cases.

Didn’t mean to paint too gloomy a picture. School is fun, just a lot of work but that is how it should be. It is a complete transformation in your thinking process from RN to provider (not an insult to RNs, just a different job) and you will get tired of never being right, even when you’re right. Which program will you be attending?

Gas vs TIVA (Total Intravenous Anesthesia) will depend on what’s available. I used Narkomeds in Balad in 2005 on my one conventional deployment and old draw over vaporizers in both my Philippine deployments with SOST. I don’t think anyone uses draw overs anymore. The vast majority of my deployment anesthetics were TIVA because you can’t keep an anesthesia machine in your front pocket. You can however, do an anesthetic with one 10ml syringe. 2 if you want paralysis.

Case variety is an issue for all military healthcare which is why SOST moved their teams to UAB and Miami et al. I think more and more military healthcare providers will end up in civilian facilities.
 

Srna0118

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Interesting stuff.
I've also heard that too about military healthcare providers. with the DHA transition and the lack of variety for providers, it looks like a lot will end up in civilian hospitals. Anyway it sounds like this will be a great experience all around.

I will be attending Barry University for my program by the way.
 
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