Where do i start? That has always been a dilemma, even while scribbling in my diary!. Okay.. I don't want to bore anybody with my not so good 'story writing skills'. A few words on how I got into it.
It's a dream of a great number of youths to become a doctor. For that one needs to surpass a lot of hurdles starting from your 10th standard performance. Then comes the 11th and 12th and ''the mother of all exams, 'The Pre med Entrance'".
Honestly, i thought that Pre Med Entrance was the toughest, but just had to wait 5 years to prove it wrong! It's the MBBS final exam, which is the toughest of all exams in the country. Just like any other doctor, i passed all that, then was doing my internship, in the famed Govt Medical College, Trivandrum.
One fine morning, sipping a cup of fine tea, I was reading newspaper when my eyes just got hooked in strong bold heading "RECRUITMENT OF SHORT SERVICE COMMISSION OFFICERS IN ARMY MEDICAL CORPS". It was a call for doctors to join the largest voluntary army in the world. The decision came up in no time. Do it. In a day or two, the application was ready, sent by BLUEDART COURIERS. I specify this, because as usual it the last day of receipt of application and it should reach Delhi in 12 hours. By experience, i tell you, Bluedart is the only courier which does that, but at a very high price of Rs 250/- for two A4 size papers in a packet.
I completed my internship, then the great Convocation ceremony. Soon it was all over. The fun, the student life, everything. Now one fine morning, I am a DOCTOR. I was looking for something to do other than sit and study for another year for PG. General Practice was, by then, a boredom for me, unlike many others who just started doing it. I didn't have to think much, as the Compulsory Rural Service call letter was served to me in a few days. I actually was happy with it.In a month, I joined for compulsory rural service in a very difficult rural area. I was well settled there very soon with a good number of private patients, a mass of loving and caring people around me, infact i loved being the demi-God of that village. Life was going on and on. I thought "This is life, of a doctor".There came the greatest ever twist in my life.
The Interview call letter for Armed Forces Medical Services. I was to appear before the interview board by April end, on a specified date.
Okay.. Enough on my life. Let's get into business.
HOW TO APPLY
Every year or twice a year, Army Medical Corps invites application from doctors to join as Short Service Commissioned Medical Officers. Every year they need 100 - 250 doctors to fill the vacancies. An advertisement is floated in all leading newspapers and the official website of Indian Army. Those who are doing their internship also can apply provided they complete it in time, latest by two months after the interview date.
ELIGIBILITY in General
- Indian National
- MBBS Degree (House Surgeons can apply provided they complete their internship in time)
- Normal vision / Corrected vision of 6/6
- No physical disabilities
- Prescribed height and weight (see the advertisement)
- Chest Expansion min 05 cms
- Female candidates should not be pregnant while enrollment
Interview will be held at Research and Referral Hospital, Delhi. To and fro 'Sleeper class train tickets' can be claimed and will be reimbursed to your account whether you get through or not, whether you have traveled in any other means also.
TIPS FOR INTERVIEW - GENERAL
- Be in a neat and clean dress (No need of wearing a suit or a tie or anything unusual. But just be well dressed. Please don't come in your baggies and slippers and shorts! For God's sake. (Believe me..There was a guy in shorts!!)
- Have a neat haircut ( Not reqd to be in army cut, you are not yet selected)
- Be there a day or two earlier.
- Go to the R&R hospital a day or two before your interview. Candidates who come out of the interview hall will be sitting in another hall. You can sit with them. Ask for questions asked to them. You'll be accustomed to Instructions for candidates too. (I did this, so did many other guys who joined with me). It really helps with the interview. You may find one or two of your batchmates too there. (I found five!)
- Try staying close to the interview location. Delhi traffic is really not trustworthy. You may get into hours of traffic block and miss your slot. Army is very particular on that. Be there in time.
- There is a Western Air Command very close to R&R hospital, actually, the next compound. If you have any contact with somebody there, try getting a guest room there. (I'm grateful to my friend Dr Srikanth and his brother for arranging that for me. We all stayed together, roamed together, attended interview together , got recruited together and now we work together.)
- Delhi will be steaming hot in March, April, May and June. Really cold in October, November, December, January and February. So gear up accordingly. (I went in summer, and it was hot as hell. Had to drink 5 litres of water to survive)
- DO NOT TRY TO INFLUENCE THE INTERVIEW BOARD. it'll fire back. Armed Forces is not such a thing to mess up with. They really don't care much about politicians.
- On the Interview date, if you have done two days of "listening" to the post interview candidates, you'll be uber cool.
- Comprises of Army Doctors from many specialities, not all. It depends on the day and time.
- One thing for sure is you'll have a Medical Specialist, Surgical Specialist, Pediatrician and most importantly a Community Medicine specialist. Army is really bothered about your common sense and skills in Social and Preventive Medicine. Be ready for that.Don't worry I'll tell you how to tackle that.
- Usual tips- When you walk in, you'll find an officer sitting at the farthest end of the oval/rectangular table. He's the seniormost officer. Wish him the time of the day, no need to wish everybody. If there is a lady, wish her first and then the seniormost.
- Do not sit as soon as you enter, even if you may find your chair empty. They'll definitely offer you a seat. Say a Thank you.
- Sit with a straight spine, arms resting on your laps. avoid placing your elbows on the table.
- Avoid using hand signs while answering.
- Do not beat around the bush. Answer to the point. If you don't know the answer, say "Sorry, can i answer another question"?.
- Remember. They are not sitting there to assess your depth in Medical Sciences, but the way of answering and your presence of mind. An average knowledge of a student who passes out from a Govt Medical College is more than enough.
- Book your return ticket on a date one or two days after your interview. You'll have to stay back for Medical Fitness tests, once you are selected which might take a day or two.
( I deliberately said "Knowing" because you can't "STUDY" Medical Sciences for an interview. It's that vast. )
- Emergency Medicine including first aid and CPCR (latest)
- BLS and ACLS guideline (latest)
- Management of Burns, Electric Shock, Fracture, Trauma, Head Injury, Injury to Spine
- Few medical topics like Status Asthmaticus, Myocardial Infarction, Hepatitis, Infectious diseases- usual ones. No need to read about Brucellosis, Borreliosis, Q fever etc.
- Cardiac Murmurs and their causes. No need to go in depth
- All National Programmes including Immunisation, TB, Malaria, NVBDCP(very important), RCH, Health for all etc
- They'll ask you things pertaining to your state/region. They get transferred to all places. So don't bluff.They definitely have first hand knowledge on the epidemiology. So use common sense and read about diseases according to epidemiology of your area.
- Read on questions asked on previous days (That's another reason why i asked you to be there a day or two earlier)
- Results will be announced the same day, soon after your batch of ten comes back from interview hall.
- Those selected will have to stay back till you finish up with your forms, inspection of your documents and verification of credentials.
Army Medical Corps is common to all the three services. So you can be commissioned to any of these three services. Selection criteria differs. There are bogus reports on something called a "Rank List" whereby first few will get Air Force, then Navy , then Army in that order. Totally wrong. They'll try to give your first posting at your home station (for a few months). Just to make you comfortable until you learn about the service. So your commission does depends, upto an extend, the service hospital that's available near your hometown. (I had a Naval Hospital near my hometown, and I got Navy, so did some of my friends)
MEDICAL FITNESS TESTS
Unlike others who are recruited, doctors do not have to undergo Physical Tests, but have to undergo a battery of medical tests. Those candidates who pass the interview will be taken to Armed Forces Clinic, New Delhi. You're now in the place where The President of India gets his/her treatment. Following things are examined and if found abnormal will result in disqualification, either permanent or temporary.
- Permanent disqualification - Candidates who are permanently disqualified, can apply/appeal for re-inspection in the nearest service hospital after payment of a certain amount (Rs 200-400)
- Temporary disqualification- Candidates who are temporarily unfit are asked to review before another medical board in the nearest service hospital after 42 days (free of cost). If found to be fit, shall be commissioned, else made permanently unfit.
- Height and weight as per chart given below Age Period15-16 Yrs16-17 Yrs17-18 Yrs18-20 Yrs20-22 Yrs22-24 Yrs24-26 yrs26-28 Yrs28-30 YrsHeight(Cm)Weight(kg)Weight(kg)Weight(kg)Weight(kg)Weight(kg)Weight(kg)Weight(kg)Weight(kg)Weight(kg)157.043.545.047.049.049.550.551.551.552.0160.045.046.048.050.051.051.552.053.054.0162.046.048.050.051.552.553.554.055.055.5165.048.050.052.053.054.054.555.056.056.5167.049.051.053.055.056.057.058.058.559.0170.051.052.555.057.058.059.059.560.561.0173.052.554.557.059.060.062.062.563.564.0175.054.556.059.061.062.063.064.064.565.0178.056.058.061.062.563.564.566.066.567.5180.058.560.063.065.065.567.067.568.569.0183.060.062.565.067.067.570.070.571.072.0
- In case candidates belonging to the North East and hilly area like Gorkhas, Nepalese, Assamese and Garhwalis, the height will be relaxed by 5 cms and weight commensurate with reduced heights.
- This is the IDEAL WEIGHT. 10% relaxation is given from the above. Those who are between 10%-20% will be temporarily unfit and will be asked to reduce weight and re-appear for medicals after 42 days(6 weeks)
- Wax in ear will be temporarily unfit. So better get it examined and cleaned before interview. Perforation of TM will be permanent unfit.
- Minimum dental points reqd- 14
- Skin diseases - Pmt Unfit
- Corrected vision 6/6 is a must. Worst eye uncorrected 6/60. Lasik done one year back is acceptable. Colour blindness is permanent uunfit
- Hernia/abdominal surgery in the past one year - temporarily unfit
- Hydrocele/varicocele - Pmt Unfit
- Chest expansion min 05 cms
- Cardiac murmurs
- Hepatomegaly/splenomegaly- Temp Unfit
- Knock knees, Kyphosis, Scoliosis, Pigeon chest, barrel chest, flat foot - Permanently unfit
- Phymosis and Paraphymosis - Permanently unfit
- USG ,Chest Xray, X ray of long bones will be done
- Pregnancy - Pmt Unfit
- Blood Tests : Hb, TLC, DLC, ESR, Platelet Count, LFT, RFT, Serum Cholesterol, FBS
- All specialist examination including Gynecology examination for ladies
Those candidates who pass the Interview and Medical test, will be given a verification form to be filled and sent to Armed forces HQ in a month. They will receive a letter in their address for appearing before the Commanding Officer of the hospital where they'll be posted initially. Commission ceremony will be held at the respective hospital, and there you are. An Army Captain(AMC), A Surgeon Lieutenant in Navy, A Flight Lieutenant in Air Force. Welcome to Indian Armed Forces, the largest voluntary army in the world.
LIFE IN ARMED FORCES
If you are looking for a govt service, if you are looking for something different from a regular general practitioner, if you are ready to work anywhere in the country, if you are jubilant enough, if you have a service mentality, then My friend, Armed Forces is the right place for you.
SHORT SERVICE TO PERMANENT COMMISSION
After 02 years of service, you'll be provided three opportunities for appearing for Permanent Commission Interview. Eligibility :Minimum 02 years of service, Maximum 08 years of service, Age less than 30 for MBBS, 31 for Diploma holders, 35 for Post Graduates, Maximum three attempts.
- Salary - All inclusive emoluments 54,000/ month, take home 48000/-
- Unlimited Medical Benefits - Free for you and your dependents
- Free Ration - Every month you take home lots of quality food products for you and your family (for married officers). For single officers, you're provided great food in the mess for a small amount.
- Accommodation in good facilities
- Free quality education for your kids- Kendriya Vidyalayas
- Pension : No pension for Short Service Officers. Armed forces is the only service in India with Pension Benefits (all others are contributory pension)
- Post Graduation: For permanent commission officers, after 4 years of reckonable service can appear for PG entrance, relatively very less competition, and secure a PG seat. For SSC, it's after 8 years with a bond to work for total 14 years. SSC officers will be given DNB seats after 4 years with a bond of 14 years service. You'll be considered as Ex-service officer and will get quota in seats in Army institutions if you select to got out of service after 05 years.
- Adventurous and Out of the way life
For any queries, post as comments or mail me : email@example.com