By Lt.j.g. Karen Maldarelli
You are probably thinking about the milestones ahead and how being a physician in the United States Navy is different from that of your civilian counterparts. After all, you joined the Navy to seek opportunities that do not exist anywhere else. You are considering internships, residencies, fellowships, and specialized operational training like flight surgery or undersea medicine. These opportunities while expansive have one major thing in common: a highly competitive selection process through Navy Graduate Medical Education (GME).
I am Lt. j.g. Karen Maldarelli, and I work within Navy GME to train doctors to be doctors. What does that mean, really? Navy GME is a physician’s “one stop shop” to attain all of the information they need to know to apply for postgraduate medical training opportunities. I am fortunate enough to work on this dedicated team aimed at developing the next generation of medical officers ready to meet the ever changing operational demands of the world’s greatest Navy.
The program provides a multitude of pathways for medical officers to obtain postgraduate training opportunities. These pathways include in-service, out-service, other federal institutions, flight surgeons, and undersea medical officers. With so many opportunities across highly specialized areas, selection is extremely competitive, as it is in the civilian world, if not more!
As a part of the GME team, I work one on one with graduating medical students to answer their questions, guiding them as they transition to active duty and begin their Navy careers. I serve as guide, leader, and mentor to these individuals, a position I value and treat with the utmost regard and commitment.
The selection process is rigorous, and kicks off with the release of the BUMED note in June, outlining the application process that opens July 15 each year and concludes with the Joint Service GME Selection Board that convenes in December. While the entire year is action packed and demanding, these months in particular raise the op-tempo as the Army, Navy, and Air Force come together presenting their best candidates for highly coveted training opportunities.
I am just one member of a highly skilled team whose mission it is to provide the next generation of highly trained operationally ready physicians to meet the demands of a changing global environment. I cannot imagine having a greater impact on the face Navy Medicine any other way.
Where can you go to get more information and reach the whole Navy GME team? Visit us on Facebook: Navy GME, on Twitter @NavyGME, or email us at: email@example.com. And remember, the application window opens July 15 and can be accessed at: https://education.mods.army.mil.