By Capt. Phillip M. Sanchez, MSC, commanding officer, Navy Medicine Professional Development Center
Our military services have some of the brightest people on the planet. Why is that? I think it is partly due to the dedication our service men and women have to defend freedom. They want to be on a winning team that appreciates their performance and respects them as individuals. The military can provide that sense of belonging and purpose. But I also believe we have a highly skilled, capable workforce because of the outstanding education and training opportunities afforded to those who choose the Department of Defense as a career.
How many of you thought about pursuing a college degree? Have you considered a commission in the U. S. Navy but didn’t quite know how to go about it? What if you’re already a commissioned officer but would like to further your education? As a General Service employee, are you aware of the educational opportunities available to you?
Navy Medicine Professional Development Center (NMPDC) provides education and training programs to assist those interested in furthering their careers. The following is a snapshot of just a few of the education and training opportunities offered by NMPDC.
Medical Service Corps-In-Service Procurement Program (MSC-IPP) provides a pathway to an officer commission for career-motivated active duty enlisted personnel in pay grades E-5 through E-9. MSC-IPP offers a wide range of undergraduate and graduate training opportunities to include Health Care Administration, Physician Assistant, and Environmental Health, to name a few. Sailors remain on active duty, receive full pay and allowances at their current enlisted pay grade, and take advancement exams to advance in rank while in the program.
Medical Enlisted Commissioning Program (MECP) is a commissioning program offering qualified enlisted men and woman from all ratings a chance to earn an entry-level nursing degree followed by an appointment as an Ensign in the Nurse Corps. Those accepted into the program are responsible for their educational expenses but receive full pay and allowances of their pay grades while going to school in pursuit of a Bachelor’s Degree in Nursing. MECP students may use their Montgomery or Post 9-11 G.I. Bill as well as other outside financial assistance to pay for schooling.
Graduate Medical Education (GME)in theNavy Medical Department offers postgraduate training in a variety of medical specialties. Navy GME programs include: Full-Time In-Service internship, residency and fellowship programs, Full-Time Out-Service programs, Other Federal Institution programs, Navy Active Duty Delay for Specialists program, the 1-Year Delay program, and the Financial Assistance Program.
All eligible Naval Medical Corps officers are encouraged to apply to the annual GME Selection Board (GMESB) for specialty training. Applications are due in late-September, the GMESB is held the week after Thanksgiving, and the results are released in mid-December.
The Naval Postgraduate Dental School (NPDS) provides advanced dental programs such as fellowships in Maxillofacial Prosthetics and Orofacial Pain; residencies in Comprehensive Dentistry, Endodontics, Periodontics, Orofacial Pain, Prosthodontics, Oral and Maxillofacial Pathology, as well as a one-year program in Advanced Education in General Dentistry. NPDS is aligned academically with the Postgraduate Dental College (PDC) at Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences. The PDC confers the Master of Science Degree in Oral Biology to all graduating specialty dental residents.
Professional Education and Training is also available to General Service employees within Navy Medicine to broaden their skill sets as professionals. A few of those opportunities include the Clinic Management Course, Patient Administration Course and the Financial and Materials Management Training Course.
For a complete list of education and training programs we offer at NMPDC, please visit our website at: http://www.med.navy.mil/sites/nmpdc/pages/index.aspx
As you think about what goals you are going to set for yourself this year, think about continuing your education. But don’t wait too long or the opportunity will pass you by before you know it.