Saturday, November 07, 2009

Field Grade

(fm the BC thread "Physician heal thyself")

(who professed shock that Hasan was a Major)
Remember that physicians start as Captains (O-3) so making Major means one promotion after receiving his medical license. If as I believe he went through the Uniformed College of the Health Sciences to get his degree then his time at the O-1 and O-2 ranks of 2LT and 1LT were spent as a student. Bad as he was it is hard to miss those promotions.

At one time almost all doctors in America spent time as Residents in the military or VA systems and most had some prior contact with the military. That is no longer true and the armed services have to compete with other sources of scholarship funding for potential doctors. It is very hard for the DoD to get doctors, compare the income of a civilian Cardiologist with 10 years experience and an active duty LT Colonel (O-5), even with bonuses it is a hard sell. For the lower paid specialty of Psychiatrist it might be easier to recruit. The DoD wants more minority doctors, for legitimate or at least defensible reasons, and given the outside opportunities they find it very hard to recruit them. We should stop paying people to stay out of the military.

It is easy to understand how eager the system was to recruit Hasan and how hard it as to give up on him. My biggest surprise is that his record does not include more classes, junkets and ego stroking rewards for showing up. Still I would haul the person who signed his last promotion before a green table and ask some awkward questions.

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