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Military Graduate Medical Education Applications Open Until Aug. 31

Image of Military Graduate Medical Education Applications Open Until Aug. 31. Womack Army Medical Center celebrated the 2024 graduates during the Graduate Medical Education Commencement Ceremony, June 12, Iron Mike Conference Center, Fort Liberty, North Carolina. The Defense Health Agency GME program is open to applicants from now until Aug. 31, 2024. A new tool allows applicants to make better-informed decisions about their medical future and has all they need to learn about GME eligibility criteria and locations in one place. (Photo by Marcy Sanchez, William Beaumont Army Medical Center)

The Defense Health Agency Graduate Medical Education program has a new resource for applicants to link to its programs—It’s a public-facing website and convenient search tools to locate training sites and individual programs near you.

GME programs, commonly referred to as internships, residencies, and fellowships, are clinical programs that train physicians in a specialty, such as orthopedic surgery, family medicine, dermatology, or cardiovascular disease. Applicants who meet the eligibility requirements have until Aug. 31, 2024, to apply for this year's cycle.

Launched on July 1, the new DHA Graduate Medical Education website helps medical students, current residents, and fully trained physicians from the three armed services apply for the programs across the DHA. Previously, the services and military hospitals and clinics that hosted GME programs had widely varied information on their individual websites, which were sometimes difficult to find.

“The website enhances our recruitment efforts by allowing applicants to make better-informed and more efficient decisions about where they want to compete to train” because it contains the necessary information about all GME programs in one place, explained U.S. Army Col. (Dr.) Kent DeZee, the director of graduate medical education at DHA and a board-certified internist.

“With the new website, the potential applicants have access to much more detailed information about each program’s goals, available rotations, and local considerations,” such as the size of the nearby city, weather, and social, sports, and cultural activities in the area.

The DHA GME programs are open to:

  • Active duty medical school students at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences’ F. Edward Hébert School of Medicine, in Bethesda, Maryland
  • Medical students in the Health Professions Scholarship Program
  • Medical students in the Health Services Collegiate Program
  • Current active duty medical trainees already in GME training programs
  • Active duty physicians who have completed some form of GME training in the past and are either applying to fellowships or coming back from operational tours

Active duty physicians who have completed some form of GME training in the past and are either applying to fellowships or coming back from operational tours

The programs provide training to more than 3,000 U.S. military officers at 25 teaching hospitals that host 216 training programs. Two hundred programs are accredited by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education, the same organization that accredits civilian graduation medical education in the United States. The remaining programs are recognized by their associated specialty boards as qualified training programs.

The 25 hospitals training GME students offer unique and varied qualities. They include:

  • Two joint service sites
  • Nine U.S. Army institutions
  • Six U.S. Navy sites
  • Eight U.S. Air Force sites

Application Information

The DHA GME program oversees residency and fellowship programs from the three service branches, and applicants compete for positions via the Joint Graduate Medical Education Selection Board, more commonly known as the “military match.”

Documents describing the application process in detail are distributed by the armed services around July 1 of each year. Applicants receive these documents through military announcement channels; an additional copy may be obtained from the service member’s personnel office or their GME office.

A limited number of programs have civilian positions funded by the Department of Veterans Affairs, and applicants can compete for those positions through the nonprofit National Residency Match Program. If a DHA GME program is not listed in the NRMP directory, civilian applicants are not eligible to apply.

The eligibility requirements detail health status, age, citizenships status, prior service and military commitments, test requirements, and prior academic degrees and licensing as a doctor of medicine or doctor of osteopathy.

Military Status During Medical School

There are two main paths to GME: the Health Professions Scholarship Program and the Health Services Collegiate Program at the Uniformed Services University of Health Sciences located in Bethesda, Maryland.

HPSP students are commissioned as officers in the Individual Ready Reserve, a pool of trained service members who may be called back to active duty if needed. USU students are active duty officers and wear a military uniform to classes throughout four years of medical school. Under either program, medical students are expected to finish their training in the same amount of time as civilian students and will not be pulled away from medical training for deployments or similar military responsibilities.

Benefits

Physicians in the GME programs have access to the same TRICARE benefits available to any service member and are also paid stipends. Benefits include:

What You Will Gain from the Programs

“DHA GME programs are not simply physician training sites,” said DeZee. “They train medical corps officers to become experts in their clinical specialties, especially in the military scope of practice, and acculturated in the military. Further, these programs provide the academic infrastructure that supports training other members of the health care team, such as nurse anesthetists, physician assistants, and our many enlisted training programs.”

“Our graduates are ready to serve as medical corps officers for their chosen service. Our training is excellent, as evidenced by the 96% first-time board pass rate for exams taken in 2022,” the latest year of data.

Additional Resources

The DHA, armed services and GME partners offer numerous resources to help in your search for a GME slot. These include:

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Last Updated: July 11, 2024
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