Medical Student : TA or OTC?



I am hopefully starting medical school in September, just waiting for the results of my interview. I am interested in joining either the regular army or TA MS after uni, it depends on the specialty I choose and it's availability in the regulars. I am already an Arts graduate and a certified paramedic, if that has any bearing on the following question.

In the highly-esteemed opinions of those present, which would be more beneficial to me: TA Fd Hosp or the OTC?

Also, if I choose the TA, what are the chances of being called up during my degree? It's not that I don't want to go, far from it, it's just that I will be in my early 30's when I graduate and so can't really afford to repeat a year.

I will post a similar question on the OTC section for their opinion. Any advice will be genuinely appreciated, thank you. :numberone:
Personally I would recommend the TA.
A fair proportion of mobilisations are "intelligent" ie the individual has already agreed to be called out. As a student though you could put in a case not to be mobilised should it happen.
You can not get mobilised until you have completed all your training - that is initial and trade, and depending on the unit you join that will not happen overnight.
TA, intelligent mobilisation your choice
OTC, kids playing and wasting the shrinking defence budget on adventure training


Thanks lads,

You sure were quick with the responses, is recruitment of docs really that slack?! :biggrin:

Darthspud said:
TA, intelligent mobilisation your choice
OTC, kids playing and wasting the shrinking defence budget on adventure training

That was kind of the impression I got from looking at the various OTC websites. It seems to suggest that it is all quite sugar-coated, with an artificial "fun and light" atmosphere. I am looking for something that will show me what it is really like, warts and all. That way I can be sure I am making the right decision about joining up after uni.

With regards mobilisation, that sounds like a fair policy. As I said, I would have no problem going if it wasnt for being a few years older than I would like to be!

Thanks for the advice guys.

BTW, I never got your PM, Sandy_Boots.


Much depends on where you live and how close you are to a medical TA unit or an UOTC. I agree somewat with the previous posters comments on the UOTC, however you already have a degree and will be a "mature" student so I would doubt that you will be too welcome amongst the bright young things that are "immature" students! The main thing that the UOTC could help you with is with a cadetship - well worth it for the money!

If you are a trained paramedic already, you could step into any job in one of the Divisional Medical Support Regiments, or in fact any TA unit who would be delighted to see you. But as you are training to be a doctor, I imagine that you would find your time with a Field Hospital more interesting?

As for mobilisation, all mobilisation is "voluntary" and even if we need another compulsory callout (such as for TELIC 1) as a student you have a good case for it to be overturned.


we had student's volunteer, but even on compulsary call ups they were exempt. Although you can state that you want to be mobilised. My mate Jimmy did and endud up ******* away four years of uni because of it. Oh well shit happens.


Thanks fellas,

You've given me plenty of food for thought. Will probably go for selection with the OTC anyway, just to see what they are like, but the TA sounds like it would suit me better alright.
As a (mature) medical student I joined upto my local medical TA unit. I found it very beneficial training wise, I learnt a lot that helped on my degree.
During my third year at medical school I started training along side the OTC as a TASO (there is debate that we exist). I found the training provided by OTC beneficial and they are far more experienced at helping you through your commissioning board - my TA unit totally lacked any knowledge of what to do with me!
The one issue I would watch out for is that I joined as a private and as I moved towards officer it really put peoples noses out of joint. I was appointed potential officer, this in itself can be very confusing. You still take orders from EVERYONE but are accountable as an officer. I felt like I was in no mans land!
Anyway enough of my rambling! As a final year medical student you are entitled to your 'pip in the post'. I however resigned before this occurred (am final year med currently) and plan to rejoin at a totally different medical unit as an officer as soon as I qualify.
If you want to know more about training along side both units feel free to ask!

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