Navy Consultant’s Report

Navy Consultant’s Report

Timothy Mott, MD
Naval Hospital Pensacola, FL

I am lending my “Consultant Report” space to CDR Cruz, the Family Medicine detailer for the Navy.
I hope everyone is having a safe and enjoyable summer! – Tim

Hello Navy Family Medicine Community!! Greetings from your happy and enthusiastic detailer, CDR Samya “Sam” Cruz. Having completed a full year in this position, I wanted to provide some insight into the challenges that we are facing at Navy Personnel Command. I have spoken to a lot of awesome friends and coworkers and am amazed by the things we are doing and want to continue to do in Navy Medicine as Family Physicians. Those who know me know I tend to be blunt and forward so this is my take on the current state of affairs.

A new era is upon us Family Physicians.  There are significant demands placed on shore commands with regards to supporting PCMH despite decreased inventory of FM Physicians. PCMH is very demanding to balance with other duties within clinics and hospitals. As a provider, time management is essential to successfully handle clinical, administrative and personal responsibilities. For detailing, an ever present challenge exists as CONUS facilities are last on the list in priorities when assigning billets. In addition to the shortfall in manning, Family Physicians trying to get promoted to Commander or Captain will also need to get involved in other collateral duties showing their willingness to take on greater responsibilities and roles in leadership. This can also place a larger strain on the member and the staff within PCMH.

Rough numbers from the CAPT and CDR selection results showed an increasing ability to get promoted from operational tours. Look at your work history and ensure there is enough diversity with the type of jobs you have had. Navy Personnel Command’s first priority is to the operational units. As the detailer, I look to ensure all operational and overseas units are appropriately manned. Some of these units need more senior physicians in austere environments. Consider looking to senior operational jobs like big deck amphibious ships or senior Marine positions. Consider being vetted for the milestone billets as OIC for a small clinic.

In order for more Family Physicians to get promoted, seek out mentors or find junior officers with whom you can mentor. We, as clinical experts, must band together and find a way to mentor and train ourselves in how to get credit for all the work we do and then make it reflect on the fitness report. The year of learning in this job has been an eye opening experience.

This PCS season has been very difficult with decreased financial resources available. I understand that this has been very frustrating for those of you caught in the changes. PERS recognizes how difficult last minute orders are to constituents. Please understand that it may take some time for the pace to settle and get orders back to a steady release with at least 3-5 months lead time to have orders in hand.

Folks, see about getting commands to support career development boards. It would be great to ensure all physicians are well developed not just from the clinical aspect but also from the military professional aspect. Look into courses such as BMDOC, AMDOC, JPME, clinic manager’s course, and MEDEXELLENCE. These courses do not require command funds. If you haven’t checked out CDR Joel Schoefer’s blog, please take the time to look at it.

I know there are a lot of us who still love just being clinical providers but Family Physicians have to be in the pilot house, taking the conn and driving the ship called Navy Medicine. It is not just for the sake of us, but for the sake of our future as providers and potentially patients. I look forward to seeing you all throughout the year and I will see more of you at the USAFP conference next year!!!

All the best!

I am your advocate!


CDR Samya V. Cruz, MC, USN
Family Medicine/Operational
Medicine Assignments