Joined: February 22, 2008
Hey everyone, I need some help... I am applying to the Army/Baylor DPT program and I believe that I will probably be accepted. I know all the details and I know that it is a great program. I was actually at Fort Sam for the past couple of days and met a bunch of people and saw a bunch of things that are really impressive. My issue though is that I am married and I expect that I will have young children by the time that I would graduate from the program. I am not against going to Europe or Asia or where ever .... so long as my wife (and probable children) could come with me. So I wanted to ask anyone out there who may have been in the program recently how the process works after you graduate? Do you have much of a choice where you end up? Is it expected that Army PTs will be deployed for months of time to hostile zones? Of course some of this is speculation as by the time I would graduate in 3 years we might be mostly out of Iraq and Afghanistan anyway. Army PTs seem to be awesome and do a worthwhile service to people who need it the most and I would like to be a part of this, but at the same time I don't want to intentionally set my marriage up for problems.
I would appreciate any advice that you can give on the matter. Thanks Bryan
Joined: February 23, 2008
Hi - if you are not willing to be away from your family for extended periods of time, I would select another school - army deployments are pretty long, up to 18 months I think (may be differnt though for some PTs) - you can not take your family when you are deployed (iraq, afghanistan) - however, your family can come with you if you are stationed at "traditional" army bases in europe or asia.
18 months away from your family is a big price to pay for some - this has to be balanced against the fact that while at the army-baylor program you get lieutenant's pay, there is no tuition, and it is one of the best educations in the country - if your wife is not 100% on board with this, I would think very seriously about this - good luck with your decision.
Thanks to all the military PTs out there for doing what you do - it can't be easy.
Joined: August 8, 2007
I have to agree that being away from my family is what prompted me not to go back to the Army, in addition is the service that places less emphasis on quality of life and family. I spent 8 + yrs in the service enlisted, got out went to P.T school, and after attending my last clinical rotation at BAMC Fort Sam Houston, I realized what a poor job my program had done in preparing me. To make a long story short..I was hooked w the military medicine model, and inquired about going back "in" however Army said NO (only Baylor grads) Air Force had no more entries and I refused to even consider being out at sea for 2/3 time in the Navy. My instructor suggested I try an unknown service (at least to me.) The U.S Public Health Service one of the 7 uniformed services. As such, youre eligible to attend Baylor and receive the top-notch training as well as the O-1 pay your looking for. This will offset any financial debt, since the school is free. The only catch is you WONT be working w military servicemembers, you will be working w federal prisoners and, or native americans in rural America. You wear your uniform M-F, SAME benefits and rank structure, you MAY be able to work in direct access (most assignments dont offer this). I must say that this did not sound well w me at first, but Ive been doing it for 3 yrs now, and the experiences and training have been a blessing to my family and I. You get great training as a PHS PT as Im entitled to receive the same post-graduate CME's available to only military PT's, and certainly NO deployments. If your desire is to receive a top-notch education and are worrying about being away from family, the USPHS may be an option for you. But if youre like me that my heart still longs to serve in the military, Id consider doing it through the Air Force. In my 15 + yrs of federal and military experience, I can honestly say this service is the ONLY one that places big emphasis on family and quality of life. Deployments are approx 4-6 mos, BIG contrast from that of the Army, and also Top -notch therapists come out of those ranks:Childs, Whitman, Wainner to name a few. Ultimately, you must weigh in all factors, but at the end of the day, theres a scale sitting with one side being your family and on the other the adventure/career side. If you tip that scale towards the career side, your family better be ready to be tested and hope youre marriage has something solid to stand on, b/c what I saw when I was in the Army was not PRETTY, tons of broken marriages...believe me, not worth it! Look into the Air Force, or USPHS