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Navy Consultant Update

CAPT Sean Conley, DO

Greetings Navy EM,

As I write this, we are in the midst of scoring all this year’s internship, residency and fellowship applications. In just the last couple months, Navy Medicine has begun converting dozens of MTF-based, BSO-18 billets from Naval Medical Readiness Training Centers to various Expeditionary Medicine (ExMed) platforms. These new billets include the Expeditionary Medical Unit (EMU) and Expeditionary Resuscitative Surgical System (ERSS), platforms built to address both the CNO’s North Star initiative, and the Navy Surgeon General’s Campaign Order “prioritizing support of distributed maritime operations, expeditionary advanced basing operations, and logistics operations in a contested environment”. But while there are increasingly more operational units for EM physicians to be assigned to, our relative manning (82%) has remained stagnant, even decreasing given our USMC/BSO-27 requirements (>50% of all our billets) and considering the fact EM traditionally fills more than our “fair share” of non-specialty specific billets, currently 32 with a stated goal of just 18. To this end, given the fixed number of in-service training spots we have, I’ll be working with the Corps Chief’s Office later in November to maximize the number of civilian training slots Navy EM has approved.

Additionally, this year the community was approved to select one trainee each for toxicology and emergency medical services (EMS). In addition to the EMU and ERSS, the Navy is creating En Route Care System (ERCS) groups, with the intent of building out the US Navy’s first-ever, dedicated medevac capability, for which discussions are occurring regarding the utility of EMS fellows providing oversight and direction. If this is of interest to you, keep an eye out for future opportunities here. CAPT Joe Kotora, Navy SL for EMS, can answer any questions you may have about Navy EMS.

As the community expands, and given my geographical distance from both major programs, I asked CAPT Lawrence Decker (Lawrence.C.Decker.mil@health.mil) & CDR Levi Kitchen (Levi.K.Kitchen.mil@health.mil) to serve as Assistant Specialty Leaders with me. Lawrence just completed a tour as the Chair of NMC San Diego’s ED, while serving with the 1st Med Battalion. He will serve as a point person and SME for West Coast & USMC/BSO-27 topics. Hailing from NMC Portsmouth, Levi should be returning from Erbil, Iraq where he served as OIC for Roto 14. His background includes time as a DMO/UMO and familiarity with special operations, and will serve as an East Coast and operational assignment SME.

With the Executive Medicine Slate and Non-Specialty Specific lists due out any day now, I’d like to highlight the importance of Career Development Boards. The Corps Chief’s Office recommend these be done within 6 months of arriving at a new duty station or job, with the goal of reviewing your record, discussing what you want to do next, and long term (10 years and/or post-Naval service). If you have questions, feel free to email me (Sean.P.Conley.mil@health.mil). In the meantime, find a mentor, someone you feel comfortable asking questions of and whom can point you in the right direction. Look for ways to meld your expertise, interests and goals, with opportunities and Naval needs. Consider trying new jobs and challenging yourself. And lastly, don’t hesitate to reach out to one of the ASL’s or myself; if we don’t know the answer we can certainly help you find the person that does. 

It goes without saying, my job as specialty leader is to help balance the needs of the Navy with that of our individual members. If you aren’t happy, you’re unlikely to stay, which doesn’t serve any of us. So please, let me know what we can do to help – it may not be quick, but I promise we’ll do everything we can!

CAPT Sean Conley, Navy EM Specialty Leader


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