Medical Student : TA or OTC?

Discussion in 'OTC' started by nqemt-p, Jan 15, 2007.

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  1. Hi,

    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?

    I have posted a similar question on the 'Just TA' section for their opinion. Any advice will be genuinely appreciated, thank you. :numberone:
  2. Had a look in the 'Just TA' section and can't find your post there. So I'll answer here.

    If I'm understanding you correctly, then you're going to be a graduate-entry medical student? You've also worked as a paramedic, so I'm assuming you're at least early to mid 20's.

    My advice would be to join a local TA med unit, if that's what you fancy getting into. The OTC will be predominantly filled with fresh-faced 18 year olds and you may find that you would fit better into a unit with a more 'encompassing' age range. The same goes for your qualifications and previous work history. You'll probably gel better with a unit composed of other 'professionals'. Not to mention that a qualled-up paramedic would be of use to a TA med unit.

    The OTC is predominantly a 'look at life' unit in which students can gain some military experience either prior to entering the regular army or the TA or simply to carry on that understanding to their civvy careers. If you actually want to apply your skills and knowledge as a paramedic and medical student, then the TA AMS is the way to go.
  3. Would definitely advise a TA unit. As a med. student there you'll be able to take part in the hospital excercises, and you'll also get a comission (though can't remember at exactly what point!). It'll be of much more use if you are considering TA or REg. medical unit once you've qualified!

    Good luck!
  4. Conversely, if you want to go to parties, diddle undergraduates and generally big yourself up as a medic (always needed on overseas adventurous training....), join the OTC. :biggrin:
  5. Plenty of diddling opportunities as a med student anyway! (I should know)

    Could always do the TASO thing for a bit, keep your hand in the TA AMS for decent training and exercises whilst keeping other bits of you in the OTC!

    By means of an explaination nqemt-p, a TASO is a 'TA-Sponsored Officer'. Means you eventually go for TA sandhurst and commission, but can swan around the OTC. You remain on a parent TA unit's books as a PO (potential officer), but can do bits and bobs at the OTC. Not sure how this works nowadays, but people did it when I was in the OTC. Of course it means that you get buggered by two admin trains instead of one. Worth looking into though.
  6. If you are concerned about deployment as a student in either unit you will not deployed on operations.

    I would only go TASO if you have a lot of time to give, a med degree is not easy and you will be busy to getting the benefits of the TASO scheme would be difficult.

    I would advise you to go with a TA unit, they will give you far more relevant opportunities, unless of course you just want to get pissed a lot do, do some inf type stuff and go rock climbing skiing etc.
  7. There are several things to consider and both have several pros and cons.

    OTC - While this is a 'look at life' unit, it will allow you to study and complete the activities at the same time. All or most OTC units run their 2 week exercises and courses during the holiday periods. The OTC units are generally taylored to the acadenic year.

    TA - If you are joining a TA unit you need to go for a TA Med unit. If you are to join an inf or RLC unit you are likely to be put to one side (they don't normally understand the medic's role).

    The downside to the TA is that courses, exercises and camps usually fall outside of the holiday periods and tutors git a bit annoyed with you taking 2 weeks out here and there.

    You have also go all the other points that people have raised.

    Hope this helps.

  8. The main advantage a TA med unit will give you is experience. You will be better placed to make a decision about going regular or not. You will also progress up the ranks during four/five years of uni. Something that isn't possible in the OTC (apart from commissioning into it).
  9. Hey

    im a first yr medical student and was in the same dilemma as you in september. I went along to the TA med unit, as that is what seemed the right choice.

    They basically told me that I should go and train with OTC for the first years, and once those three years are up, and I have some actual clinical training, then come and join the London Walworth field hospital. They said that without any actual clinical training, I won't gain much from training with TA.

    Also, TA med units don't do the TASO scheme.

    Hope this helps.
  10. I'm in my second year of medicine and I had pretty much the same response from the local Field Hospital as ns0588. I was told that:
    1) They wanted me as an officer, not a CMT
    2) To that end, feck off to the OTC because they do the Officer Training better than the Fd Hosp could, its their bread and butter.
    3) Once I had a TA commission, then I could come and train with them (and once I'd managed that, I'd be into my clinicals anyway and therefore some use to them).

    However, with you being a paramedic, you're probably quite a bit of use to the TA. However, given the choice, I'd still do what I did and join the OTC. Its fun, you get to do something non-medical (trust me, you'll be grateful for the break) and you can get to the TA board in 2 years, get a pip then go back to your local TA unit with a commission and a bit more leverage.