Many questions about Doctors in the RAMC


I was hoping the combined collective of the RAMC here might be able to help me. Having made the rather surprising, both to myself and those that know me!, decision to try to actively pursue a 2nd degree (this one in medicine) I was hoping to garner some information from yourselves as I would like to still do regular service even if it's in a medical capacity.

Therefore I was curious about a great many things but the first is that of the Army Medical Cadetship, there isn't too much information online bar what you will get and 5 year old testimonials by then current medical cadets. So any info that could be provided about this route would be appreciated, the commitments/opportunities the Army provides for your development, would I be allowed to stay with my TA regiment etc.

The next question raised was that of the PRHO year. From some of the literature I assume this is done with the Army? Again any info would be appreciated.

Then, in more broader strokes I was hoping to know a little more about how an MO fits into the Army. Can they go near the 'front lines' as the, if you'll excuse the comparison, the far higher publisised US Army Doctors do? Can you do a tour as an RMO or do you need specialisations to get to that area?

Finally, career wise, if someone wasn't tempted to go to civvie street is there the option there to carry on to a full army career? Is the career progression reasonable or do you top out at a certain level and it becomes 'dead mans shoes'?

All help/guidance/information would be very gratefully recieved as, whilst I always secretly harboured a desire to go into medicine, I never thought the option would be open to me until now and I find myself having to move very quickly to try to make it a reality.

Oh and if you have any opinions on Peninsula or St Georges Medical School it would be fantastically helpful.
Drop me a PM. I'll be happy to help you out with this.

Out of interest, what's your first degree in, and what in Gods name possessed you having done one to go back to medical school!?
Well this is a two tier thing as its both of us so if you could copy any response to myself as well that would be greatly appreciated.
PM sent RAMC_Medic

If anyone else would like to help it would also be very much appreciated as I'm sure everyone has different experiances!
And what would sir care to know?

commitments/opportunities the Army provides for your development
During your degree, or afterwards? During includes support in finding an elective, countless opportunities to go on attachment and many more things (Sport, AT, etc),

would I be allowed to stay with my TA regiment etc.
Yes, providing permission is obtained from both sides of the line. Previous commissions must be resigned and you cannot claim two lots of pay!

the PRHO year
Read up a bit more, and you'll find that the system has recently changed to the Foundation Years plan- two years working as a Junior as opposed to the old one. AFAIK the corps are still flexible about where you serve these two years- whether its in MDHUs (MOD Hospital Units) or in civvy hospitals, both will get you your GMC registration

Peninsula or St Georges Medical School it would be fantastically helpful.
Have heard good reports of Peninsular (The four year PG course there, I think, is producing its first batch of juniors). I presume you're looking specifically at post-grad courses- these are just as tough to get into as UG- IIRC often admitting only graduates with a first or at a scrape 2/1.

Any of the other bits, give us a shout and I'll try to convert you to the dark side (where windows taste of fruity things).

Do both your foundation years count as time served in the army (even if you are just working in a regular NHS hospital) ? i.e. How many years do you serve after foundation years as part of a short service commission.

If you can answer that question then you have my respect.
If you hold the cadetship, then the two Foundation years are included. The deal was essentially six years return of service from full GMC reg, this used to be at the end of PRHO year. This still occurs after one year i.e. end of F1, however you need to complete F2 before attending PQO etc. Therefore, I believe (though not 100% certain) the ROS was increased to seven years. Same odds really.
Foundation can be done in NHS/Med Sch matching schemes or with the military, they don't mind. That said, they are looking to increase their capacity for F1/2 places so as to be able to offer one to all cadets, regardless of service.