What’s Up, Doc?:

While the Air Force is doing well overall in recruitment, it is currently meeting just 15 to 20 percent of its requirements for doctors and dentists, the four-star general in charge of attracting and training new airmen said last week. Speaking Feb. 22 at AFA’s Air Warfare Symposium in Orlando, Gen. William Looney, commander of Air Education and Training Command, said the issue is exacerbated by the high cost of medical and dental school and competition for those graduates from the private sector. As a result, USAF must currently contract out for medical and dental services in many instances, which is proving to be very costly, Looney said. To counter this trend, AETC has launched a new medical and dental recruiting initiative, to attract qualified candidates who agree to put on a blue suit in exchange for the Air Force footing the cost of their medical or dental degree, he said. The response so far has been good, he noted, adding that he hopes that the effort will pay dividends over the next few years. Looney also highlighted the new Associate-to-Baccalaureate Cooperative program that effectively guarantees that any graduate of the Community College of the Air Force can bring a majority of their credits into a four-year college. With the click of a mouse, an airman can enter college as a junior whereas before far fewer credits would have carried over, he said.