F-16 ANG lifestyle

Unread postPosted: 18 Sep 2011, 22:35
by moniker
Hello!

I'm looking to see if it's possible for someone to attend medical school while in the ANG. My details and background are below.

I'm an enlisted flyer in the AF, and I've been in for seven years as a (flying) Chinese linguist. I'm almost done with my undergrad in Biology, and am a straight A student.

I'm not worried about academic stress or juggling multiple things at one time. I've completed a significant number of classes while deployed or during language training, and it's never been an issue.

I'm just curious to know if anyone's ever heard of someone trying something as insane as attending medical school while in the ANG. Any suggestions are welcome.

Thanks!

RE: F-16 ANG lifestyle

Unread postPosted: 18 Sep 2011, 22:37
by moniker
Just to clarify, I intend to fly any kind of fighter I can in the ANG.

RE: F-16 ANG lifestyle

Unread postPosted: 19 Sep 2011, 04:30
by deadseal
how are you a "flyer" with no BA?

RE: F-16 ANG lifestyle

Unread postPosted: 19 Sep 2011, 04:31
by deadseal
or do you have a BA in biology?

RE: F-16 ANG lifestyle

Unread postPosted: 19 Sep 2011, 04:58
by tjodalv43
I know a guy who is part time Guard and an MD. IIRC he did his 4 years of medical school before going to UPT. Definitely possible to do both, but definitely not easy!

RE: F-16 ANG lifestyle

Unread postPosted: 19 Sep 2011, 23:29
by 03fomoco
You need to get your BA and then find someone who is willing to invest into you as a Flight Surgeon for a "X" numbers of years in return in service. I met a guy recently who was an Electrician in the Air Force for 6 and got his degree and then the Reserves picked him up and paid for his MD and he even became a Surgeon after that. The best part for him is he can focus on medicine and also get a ride pretty much whenever he wants.

You are not going to become an MD and a fighter pilot at the same time. One or the other has to happen first. It cannot be done. If your were an MD and met the pilot board and were selected that might happen. Or the inverse, if you had your BA and were selected by a pilot board you could learn to fly fighters and then then once traditional pursue your MD while also being a traditional guardsman.

There might be 1-2 people on this planet of billions that could be both a good MD and Fighter Pilot at the same time but I think most that are in this position would admit one discipline has to suffer to be good at the other.

I would said follow your passion, if it is driving something pointy then get your BA and try and meet a pilot board, I can tell you in my guard unit all selections I have seen are from within and from guys in there mid twenties with years of great service to our unit. Also the selections were always a guy that was a "best fit" over the guy with some me, me, me resume. All the other drivers coming into our unit came with AD time in the seat (and type).

If it is medicine, pursue that as a traditional guardsman and then I don't think you would have much issue being a flight surgeon. You said you were an enlisted flier, go talk to your your flight doc and see what he has for advice.

We previously had an outstanding commander (General) who was also a DVM. Want to talk about a "driven" individual.

RE: F-16 ANG lifestyle

Unread postPosted: 20 Sep 2011, 02:42
by lincoln78
Concur with 03fomoco. I collect stories of unusual career paths and I am not aware of any dual fighter pilot/doctors. I have run into several former pilots who went to med school and served as flight surgeons. Mid 80's at NAS Corpus one of the FSs completed the mulit-engine pilot program, but I think the Navy preferred him as a Doctor. Not sure if he did any operational flying.

Not sure if it is advisable to have a reserve career concurrent with Med school. Have you considered USUHS (joint Med school in Bethesda, MD, done as an active O-1) or a HPSP scholarship (military pays tuition/books/etc plus a $2000/month stipend and 45 days AD (reserve O-1) during break). All three services offer HPSP; I think all have 4/3/2 year programs. Doctors come in as O-3, prior service time counts for longevity.

Best wishes,

RE: F-16 ANG lifestyle

Unread postPosted: 20 Sep 2011, 04:28
by discofishing
http://haysfreepress.com/archives/22220

This dude is a Doctor/Fighter Pilot. I bet he flies drones now though :(

When he’s not practicing medicine, Dr. Louis “Andy” Davenport feels the need – the need for speed.

Davenport has an unusual side job for a physician in Kyle: He’s a fighter pilot, flying F-16 jet fighters for the Texas Air National Guard. To his surprise, he opened last week’s edition of the Hays Free Press and saw a story and photos about one of his old F-16s. The decommissioned jet is getting a paint job in a Buda shop.

“I immediately recognized it and said, ‘Oh my gosh, that’s my airplane,’” Davenport said.

It wasn’t just the type of airplane he used to fly. He piloted that exact F-16, blue and yellow color scheme and all.

“I was actually the last one to fly that particular airplane on its last official mission before it was retired,” he said. “I’ve flown that plane a lot, actually.”

The F-16’s final mission came during an April 2008 event with Gov. Rick Perry.

The plane’s unique paint job commemorates the 90th anniversary of Ellington Field in Houston. Ellington’s F-16 program was canceled in a base realignment soon thereafter, and Davenport left Ellington for the Air National Guard’s 149th Fighter Wing’s unit in San Antonio.

One of Ellington’s legacy F-16s – the one featured in the Aug. 3 edition of the Hays Free Press – was sent to Camp Mabry in Austin. The jet is being painted by Aguirrie Paint and Body in Buda, and on Sept. 10, it will debut as part of a new exhibit at Camp Mabry titled “9-11 and Beyond: The Texas National Guard in the War on Terror.”

Davenport, whose military rank is major, flies at least five missions each month. Not surprisingly, his call sign while in flight is “Doc.”

Though it might seem odd to combine medical and aeronautical pursuits, it made sense for Davenport. He specializes in internal and aerospace medicine and applied to become an astronaut.

Davenport was asked if he would try to participate in any future space expeditions as a NASA astronaut.

“I don’t think so,” he said. “I was really excited about (President George W.) Bush’s mission of going back to the moon and beyond, but these missions are no longer being considered in the immediate future.”

President Barack Obama canceled the previous administration’s plans to send astronauts on moon missions by 2020. Instead, he is offering incentives for the private sector to develop the next generation of spacecraft while calling for a mission to Mars.

As for Davenport, he moved to Kyle last December with his wife Meredith, who is an OB/GYN with Hays Women’s Health.

“Meredith and I have committed ourselves to Kyle and the local community, so I don’t see us picking up and moving again,” he said.

Read more at the Hays Free Press http://haysfreepress.com/archives/22220#ixzz1YSY2j0Wu


I think we've talked about this or something similar in another thread

http://www.f-16.net/f-16_forum_viewtopic-t-13463.html

RE: F-16 ANG lifestyle

Unread postPosted: 20 Sep 2011, 04:40
by tjodalv43
He's still flying part time with the 149th.

Unread postPosted: 20 Sep 2011, 05:09
by exfltsafety
Following bio from http://www.hpee.org/editorbd.html#McCarthy is of the first F-16 fighter pilot/doc:

Colonel Geoffrey W. McCarthy
United States Air Force (Retired)
Aviation Medicine
Recently retired from the US Air Force, Colonel Geoff McCarthy was one of few Pilot-Physicians who actively flew military aircraft and simultaneously held Flight Surgeon status. After graduating from the USAF Academy, he flew fighters for several years, including a combat tour in Viet Nam. Later while in medical school, he resumed flying the F-100 and later A-10 in the Massachusetts Air National Guard and continued flying while in private medical practice. A chance to be the first F-16 Pilot-Physician brought him back to active duty. He analyzed the problem of G-Induced Loss of Consciousness and minimized fatal accidents from this previously obscure phenomenon. Later while an exchange officer with the Royal Air Force at Farnborough, UK, he verified that previous negative G-force exposure exacerbates this problem. His other interests include spatial disorientation, motion sickness, human tolerances to impact, and fear of flying. He has flown over 4000 hours in single-seat jets, and is author of several papers, plus numerous articles in the Journal of Human Performance in Extreme Environments, Flying Safety, and other periodicals. A Fellow of both the Aerospace Medical Association and the American Academy of Family Practice, he is also a Diplomat in Aviation Medicine, Royal College of Physicians and an elected member of the Royal Aeronautical Society, and an Assistant Professor of Community Health, Wright State University.

Unread postPosted: 20 Sep 2011, 08:40
by discofishing
He's still flying part time with the 149th.


You mean controlling? All they have is drones now from what I've heard. I hope this isn't the case, though.

Unread postPosted: 20 Sep 2011, 15:02
by exfltsafety
All they have is drones now from what I've heard. I hope this isn't the case, though.


You should visit their website. An article from mid-August (http://www.149fw.ang.af.mil/news/story.asp?id=123269633) shows an F-16 in a hangar and mentions their consideration for conversion from the F-16 to the F-35.

Unread postPosted: 20 Sep 2011, 22:00
by moniker
@deadseal, I'm an enlisted flyer. 1A871 and 1A872 are my AFSCs.

@03fomoco, this is all really great input, I appreciate your response! My question to your response is this line, "If it is medicine, pursue that as a traditional guardsman and then I don't think you would have much issue being a flight surgeon." This is essentially my plan, that I first become a driver and after 4 years (starting with UPT, IFF, etc), I try to attend med school. Understandably this would be 'extremely difficult' to attend a normal civilian school, and it would fall into the realm of 'easier' to have the military sponsor my schooling in exchange for making me a flight surgeon - I'm just trying to see what's possible and plan accordingly.

@lincoln78, I have not heard of these options before, thank you for mentioning these! I will do some research to see if these make sense for me.

@everyone else, thank you for the inspiring stories. It is inspiring to hear of other people's success.

Some more info - since I'm 24 right now, I won't be able to attend med school prior to applying for UPT, as I'll be over the 28.5 age limit. I know there's waivers, but I shouldn't count on that I think. I'm just looking to do the fighter thing for four years, then attend med school concurrently with guard/reserve service.

Thanks again for everyone's responses!

V

Unread postPosted: 20 Sep 2011, 22:05
by moniker
"After graduating from the USAF Academy, he flew fighters for several years, including a combat tour in Viet Nam. Later while in medical school, he resumed flying the F-100 and later A-10 in the Massachusetts Air National Guard and continued flying while in private medical practice. "

This is exactly what I want to do. I didn't consider dual status flight surgeon/fighter pilot, but I admit it is an ingenious idea. I'm so excited for it all!

Unread postPosted: 20 Sep 2011, 22:28
by twintwinsingle
I've flown with 2x Flight Docs who were also current and qualified an fighter/attack aircraft at the same time. One in the A-10 and one in the F-15C. probably more, but those are the only I've heard of.

Unread postPosted: 20 Sep 2011, 22:29
by twintwinsingle
Both current as PILOTS in those jets, that is.

Unread postPosted: 20 Sep 2011, 22:43
by tjodalv43
discofishing wrote:
He's still flying part time with the 149th.


You mean controlling? All they have is drones now from what I've heard. I hope this isn't the case, though.

The 149th is the Viper unit in San Antonio. It's Houston's 147th that converted to Preds.

Unread postPosted: 21 Sep 2011, 00:12
by 03fomoco
Responding to this:

@03fomoco, this is all really great input, I appreciate your response! My question to your response is this line, "If it is medicine, pursue that as a traditional guardsman and then I don't think you would have much issue being a flight surgeon." This is essentially my plan, that I first become a driver and after 4 years (starting with UPT, IFF, etc), I try to attend med school. Understandably this would be 'extremely difficult' to attend a normal civilian school, and it would fall into the realm of 'easier' to have the military sponsor my schooling in exchange for making me a flight surgeon - I'm just trying to see what's possible and plan accordingly.

Response / .02 cents...

There are five words in there that stick out "I first become a driver". That is not an easy feat these days. Getting a Fighter seat assigned to your **** is no easy thing these days. As I mentioned all of our recent selections have been guys with years of dedicated service to our unit or came to our unit with time in type. I think the path would be much easier in heavies but fighter slots are not a simple "Meet a recruiter, meet a board and off to UPT". You gotta look at all the good drivers with 500-thousands of hours whos units have lost their mission to a RPV or UAS or UAV or whatever they call that crap now to make is sound unmanned (140 people on the ground footprint is not unmanned). Anyways these guys are kicking down anyones door to drive a pointy thing again and do ya blame them. Had a good friend who is in UPT now and he got the call at home when he was selected an the commander asked him if he knew what he just won? He was all confused and the commander told him a lottery ticket from uncle sam worth 2 million dollars to send him to UPT. Training is not cheap and guard units in particular cannot afford anything anymore. I could actually see a board frowning upon someone who wanted to fly fighters and be a doctor. The goal is a "best fit" pilot for today and many years from now to train their replacement.

Unread postPosted: 21 Sep 2011, 02:04
by twintwinsingle
Units, in my experience, don't want to hear anything about your future plans that is anything other than "be a full-timer, go to Weapons School, fly fighters for the next 20+ years". They're betting a ton of cash and a pilot training slot that they get once a year on you. If you've got follow-on plans it's that much more likely that your follow-on (and likely higher-paying) plan will someday soon take priority over flying fighters.

Realistically, ANG commanders know that not every guy they hire will be a full-timer forever. Some guys will end-up having outside jobs. Airlines, Lawyers, Doctors, School Teachers, Small Business Owners, etc.. They just want to ensure that the guy they are hiring is 1000% committed to flying fighters. If you haven't even started pilot training yet, and you know what you're going to do when you stop being full-time, it tends to scare some commanders. They'd rather give you the opportunity to chase your follow-on plan now (i.e. not hire you) and go after the guy that only wants to be a fighter pilot.

Unread postPosted: 21 Sep 2011, 06:31
by chris1091
I might be able to offer you some perspective about this plan. I spent two years in medical school before deciding to pursue an ANG pilot slot. This was less than a year ago.

If you are already 24, you will not be able to complete med school before attending UPT. Medical school admissions typically run from Aug-Dec for the next years Aug class. Have you taken the MCAT? Keep in mind many schools will only accept MCAT scores from within a few recent years. The MCAT knowledge base is vastly overwhelming when all the information is fresh, I couldn't imagine trying to relearn everything after "4 years of doing the fighter thing."

The only way I could see this plan working would be applying to med school after you are done playing fighter pilot. These are both full time jobs. Like you I was a bio undergrad, getting through the coursework without much difficulty. However, I will PROMISE you that medical school will not be this way. We had some incredibly intelligent kids get bounced out quick. One weekend of not studying and you may never catch up. Expect to put in 80-100 hours a week between classes, labs, and studying. Now that you're a seasoned, mission-ready fighter pilot, how do you plan on staying current? How would you handle deployments/TDY? Even after four years of medical school, don't forget about 3-5 more for your residency, where you will probably be even busier than in med school.

It may be time for you to do a gut-check and decide which way you want to go. Not trying to discourage you, but in my med school class of 112 students we only had 1 over the age of 30. The AAMC is predicting a severe shortage of physicians within the next 10-20 years, and medical schools have adjusted, selecting younger students that they anticipate will provide many years of service.

If you are only planning on putting in four years to a unit (including two away for training), I would just skip the pleasantries and head straight for medical school. There are a lot of UPT applicants out here (myself included) competing for slots, that plan on sticking around a unit for the 10+ years that we are committing to. I realize some of this may not be what you want to hear, but hopefully you can take something away from it. I never found a way to make the two careers work.

Unread postPosted: 21 Sep 2011, 22:38
by moniker
Thanks again for the input!

That's the beauty of making plans and researching - I'm just planning ahead, figuring out what I want to do most, then dialing back the dream to fit the reality.

I've always dreamed of flying fighters, and won't wax philosophical about it here - but to put it simply I just can't imagine myself being happier than flying fighters. That's the goal I want to pursue first - if it makes sense to add some schooling later on, then that's gravy. There's no such thing in my mind as 'just' being a fighter pilot.

Unread postPosted: 07 Dec 2011, 19:45
by southernphantom
discofishing wrote:
He's still flying part time with the 149th.


You mean controlling? All they have is drones now from what I've heard. I hope this isn't the case, though.


TX has two ANG fighter units. One (Ellington) is flying snowmobiles now. The other (San Antonio) is flying Vipers. Don't remember which block, but they're one of the major ANG Viper school house units, or so I've heard.

Unread postPosted: 08 Dec 2011, 21:38
by discofishing
southernphantom wrote:
discofishing wrote:
He's still flying part time with the 149th.


You mean controlling? All they have is drones now from what I've heard. I hope this isn't the case, though.


TX has two ANG fighter units. One (Ellington) is flying snowmobiles now. The other (San Antonio) is flying Vipers. Don't remember which block, but they're one of the major ANG Viper school house units, or so I've heard.


You're right. I got the 149th confused with an Apache unit (1-149th ARB) that is out at Ellington.