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Army National Guard's new Med student program details.

Discussion in 'Military Medicine' started by EMH, 07.31.08.

  1. tscottturner

    tscottturner Member

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    I completed my MSO as an officer with 6 years on AD and 2 IRR in 2005. When I joined the ARNG approximately 2 years after completing my MSO, my paperwork stated that I would incur a minimum 2 year drilling obligation for accepting my commission in the ARNG. I think this is pretty standard for everyone that has already completed an MSO.
  2. notdeadyet

    notdeadyet Still in California Moderator

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    And keep in mind that with ASR, these two drilling years would be completed while in residency.

    I'd carefully read the fine print on this. ASR sounds too good to be true as it is. But $150K for the sake of two years of non-deployable drilling? I'd do a careful read. But what do I know?
  3. koojo

    koojo Don't Stop Believing

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    True. When signing the actual commissioning paperwork, this is when you see what your terms and obligations are. I'll let you all know what comes out of mine.
  4. rkaz

    rkaz

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    Unless I am mistaken, it seems like the main salary that is given through ASR is the first 3 years of med school. I've read that the 4th year through residency salary is only through time spent drilling. Can one actually make any decent income during this time through drilling?... Or would it only be a couple thousand a year? In residency, one is at least making a resident's income, but wouldn't you have to scramble your 4th year of med school without an income? Or is that when people just take out the full extent of their Stafford loans? I am confused about this.
  5. koojo

    koojo Don't Stop Believing

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    Have you looked at this thread and seen the programs you can take during your 4th year?
  6. iatrosB

    iatrosB trying not to kill anyone

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    Quick answer is you can make about 1900 from a stipend and around 300-400 from drilling per month...much more than any of your other colleagues and more than enough to not take out student loans.
  7. EMH

    EMH M4 - Army NG

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    Or you could do what most of your classmates do and take some loans that semester.
  8. notdeadyet

    notdeadyet Still in California Moderator

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    Though any other program you enter with the Guard that pays you something other than your normal drilling pay will increase the number of years obligation you will owe the Guard. You pay back those years after paying back ASR years, not concurrently (I realize you know this, iatrosB, this is for rkaz's benefit)
    Other than the loans you take out for tuition.
  9. tsbuqh

    tsbuqh "Great"

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    Here is the fine print "right out to the NGB form 62e instructions:

    f. Page #3, section IV (bottom section), all new appointments must include the following statement regarding MSO: “I the undersigned acknowledge that upon initial appointment as an officer in the Army National Guard I am required to remain in an active status in the ARNG for the remainder of my original statutory obligation or two years, whichever is later, beginning with the effective date of my state appointment orders.”

    If you are a prior officer who has completed your MSO like myself, you could get in, take the ASR for two years then get out if that is what you wanted. To good to be true, not really. If you are prior service you are probably playing with the idea of staying for retirement, and the guard knows this.
  10. ohio23

    ohio23

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    Of course! All my family and friends I've explained the program to are shocked and wonder out loud 'what is in it for the Army Guard?' I explain that the non-prior service folks are signing up for 8 years and by that time they may end up staying in if they like it. For those of us prior service folks who have completed our MSO (have been in for 8 years or more), the 2 year contractual obligation will put us at the half way point to retirement. At that point one is probably much less likely to walk away from the military. So yeah I could take 60K a year for 3 years and walk, but will I? Probably not. After 11 years of service I'll likely stay around for a bonus and a few more adventures.

    The Guard is Uncle Sam's best kept secret!
    Last edited: 04.08.09
  11. EMH

    EMH M4 - Army NG

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    I'd also speculate that someone who put in 8 years as a soldier and is willing to resign would think that the medical corps is a good place to be and would want to hang around.
  12. rkaz

    rkaz

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    Hi guys,

    Thanks for the info!

    The other thing I am pretty concerned about (which I think I read a bit about somewhere in the last 10+ pages) is residency and post-residency employment. I think someone mentioned that the VA is usually pretty flexible about Guard members taking time to participate in drilling during residency, as well as getting deployed afterwards as a full-time staff member. But I can't limit myself to just 1 option.

    My concern is that if I am part of the guard, then I may be turned away from many residency programs or from future employers (after I complete residency). Also, if I am fortunate to get hired, then I don't want to jeopardize my position by having to spend time away for drilling, or if I were to get deployed. I don't think most employers would have the patience to deal with me just randomly taking off, and dumping my work on them while I'm away. Obviously I can't imagine being able to do private practice as a guard member (that wouldn't work), so I assume I'd have to look for some employer post-residency to work for.

    Is there any resource that lists Guard-friendly residencies, as well as post-residency employers (like state/local government, etc)? I most likely will matriculate at a DO school, so I also would need to take into consideration DO-friendly residency options. Thanks!
  13. notdeadyet

    notdeadyet Still in California Moderator

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    Some employers are going to be more sympathetic than others. I've heard the VA is good as are most prison systems and other governmental employers.

    All employers are required by law to keep your job for you when you get back, but nothing requires them to give you time off for optional training and other such things.

    You'll have a job when you get back. The big drawback to Guard duty is if you have any intentions of private practice. Small practices would be insane to hire you, as dealing with someone gone for four months at a time is a tough burden to shoulder amongst two or three other doctors. And for a solo practice, it could be a dealbreaker.
    You can not legally be discriminated against for being in the National Guard. That said, with something as subjective as resident selection or hiring, there's plenty of reasons to not choose you.

    For residency, you are non-deployable. I'd be very vocal about this, and bring proof-in-writing of this fact, at interviews. For employment, when you are deployable, you just have to roll the dice. I think most large employers, who probably have hired Guardsmen in the past, are not going to have too much of a problem with it. It's smaller private practices I'd worry about.
    Larger employers will be able to staff to cover you (touch wood). Smaller employers will be a problem.
    I wouldn't take that too seriously. Any list you get is going to be completely annecdotal. If you're shot down for a residency or employer, there's no way you'll be told it's because you're in the Guard.
  14. tsbuqh

    tsbuqh "Great"

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    OK, unless you have something in writing that I do not, you are deployable after PGY1. EMH has done a good job capturing this in his first post. They do not intend to deploy you during residency, but they can if the surgeon general authorizes it. I believe I linked or quoted this some time back, if you want the exact language.
  15. EMH

    EMH M4 - Army NG

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    If you're not a careful reader then the way the memo reads is that you won't be deployed during residency. This will probably be enough proof to a program you are applying to. However, if you read the whole thing carefully it says the policy can be changed.

    I'll attach the memo I got that from to this post. I'd suggest printing it and keeping it around for later.

    Attached Files:

  16. notdeadyet

    notdeadyet Still in California Moderator

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    No need, I'm referring to the memo that EMH has posted. That's enough for me to pass on to residencies that I will not be deployed during residency. That, combined with the fact that no one has been pulled out of a civilian residency program mid-stream for the National Guard that I know of (or even civ-deferred Army, that I've heard of), is enough for me in good conscience.
  17. notdeadyet

    notdeadyet Still in California Moderator

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    Agreed.

    This bears repeating: any assumptions you make when you sign for the ASR program can change with the sweep of a pen. 90 day boots-in-sand deployments? That could change to one year deployments when someone decides its a better strategy. This is true for all policies you sign up under.
  18. EMH

    EMH M4 - Army NG

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    I'm not sure I've mentioned this before or not so I'll say it now while we're on the topic. A few years back a FM resident in my state's guard Volunteered to deploy for 90 days with a combat unit from our state and that unit's medical team. I don't know the details but he got one of the docs in the unit to sign off on paperwork and he got residency training credit while deployed.

    I guess his residency missed him while he was gone but it didn't add time to his residency. Sounded pretty cool to me.:thumbup:
  19. koojo

    koojo Don't Stop Believing

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    That's the boat I'm in. I have 7 years in already, but my obligation doesn't end until 12/2013 (I reinlisted), so looks like I'll be starting residency when my obligation to the ARNG ends. I plan on staying past retirement anyway.
  20. Houser1121

    Houser1121

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    Officially a 2nd LT in the Army now, and exceptionally excited. Start ASR orders April 1, and am drilling with the MSC, for next two months to meet some of the people out there. Glad the waiting and waiting are finally over. Wanted to thank everyone on here for their answers and viewpoints.
  21. EMH

    EMH M4 - Army NG

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    Congrats.
  22. koojo

    koojo Don't Stop Believing

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    Great sounds good. When did you submit your primary packet and start the paperwork? Mine is at the final step, but it's been kicked back 3 times because the AMEDD and USAREC (final approval place) have their own guidelines and each one wants their own specific paperwork. I think it probably would have been easier for me to become commissioned if I was some Joe off the street because all the paperwork has primarily been about my time in the military...pain in the buttocks. You'd think the process would be a lot easier since they pretty much know everything about me that they need to know.
  23. notdeadyet

    notdeadyet Still in California Moderator

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    Congratulations, Houser. Well done...
  24. amindwalker

    amindwalker Forgetful omniscient

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    Look out, here it comes :soexcited::clap::claps::banana::biglove::thumbup::thumbup::thumbup::D

    Dammit, I just can't help it. Congrats Houser!!!
  25. lazyanteater

    lazyanteater whatcan brown do for you?

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    You can add 2LT. lazyanteater as well haha. 2 FRIGGIN years in the making. As far as I know the NV guard has me as the only med student currently and 7 dental students with two more signing up. This program is really taking off.
  26. rkaz

    rkaz

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    Hi guys,

    Is there a way to find out about our medical records? Is there some kind of national database etc, in which we can pull up our own records to find out if anything has been listed for us? I am looking at the AMEDD application which has a million health questions....
  27. koojo

    koojo Don't Stop Believing

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    Your hospital usually holds all your medical records. You need to call them up.
  28. rkaz

    rkaz

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    Is this something that ANY hospital would have?... or only hospitals that we may have been seen at in the past? When our backgrounds are being researched by AMEDD how do they know which medical conditions we might have? Obviously they can't call up all the hospitals in the cities we've lived in to find out where we might have been seen... thus I was wondering how to find out if any medical information was listed by our social security number etc. I am pretty healthy, but I want to know what information is out there about me so I don't leave out anything off my application that needs to be included. I wouldn't want to be penalized later. So it would be nice to see my records.
  29. koojo

    koojo Don't Stop Believing

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    Usually the last hospital you've been to. The military doesn't usually check your civilian medical records, but they do require that you disclose all your past history, and if you lie, you can be prosecuted, so it's up to you.

    If you enlist you usually have to go to MEPS (Military Enterance Processing Station), and that's where you do your initial physical/shots to get into the military. I'm not sure if new officers have to do this or not.
  30. Houser1121

    Houser1121

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    Thanks for the congrats.. I was in the pipeline since August 15 I believe. A very long and drawn out process to say the least but it looks as if it will be worth it for all of us. I think my packet was thrown back twice for clerical errors, and I ended up missing two boards, one due to weather and another due to one of the board members having an emergency. But the state board was totally painless.
  31. koojo

    koojo Don't Stop Believing

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    Just wondering what you wore to the state boards? I have to wear my Class A since I'm currently in the military, but just wondering what non-service members wear.

    I've been in the works since about October or November, so it's only been a few months for me. It's currently at the final board of approval, so hopefully I can go to the state board in early february. I will miss my Staff Sergeant rank though....I worked really hard to get that in 6 years :(
  32. lazyanteater

    lazyanteater whatcan brown do for you?

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    I wore a suit as did the two dental students who appeared before the board. There were also two former officers a Marine aviator and an army captain who both came in civvy suits. They did have to salute and follow military protocol etc though, and were in there for a lot longer. (our board was easy as cake :D )
  33. notdeadyet

    notdeadyet Still in California Moderator

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    Congrats, lazyanteater. Nicely done....

    I have my USAREC for Feb 19th finally, so hopefully I'll be able to make the announcement. For those starting out, it can be a loooooong process...
  34. notdeadyet

    notdeadyet Still in California Moderator

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    Hospitals keep records of their own patients. They are required by law to keep records for 7 years. After that, some archive them and some destroy them.

    There is not a national database, though they are pushing it. It'd be handy as a physician but a nightmare for privacy advocates.
    Dangerous thinking. Fess up and be honest. Lie and you could be in a world of hurt. If something ended up happening and they suspected you lied, they wouldn't even hesitate to have USIS or their own folks call up every hospital in every place you've lived to see if you lied. Getting caught in a lie on your app for medical can get you booted out the military, fined and up to 5 years in prison.

    Bad idea to start out your military career lying. I fessed up to an old health problem that took me months to get waived, but I'm glad I did as now I have no worries.
    Don't lie and you don't need to worry. You can also call up every hospital you've ever been to and request your medical records. It takes a few weeks and some charge, but you can find out exactly what every doctor recorded about you.
  35. notdeadyet

    notdeadyet Still in California Moderator

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    Same with officers.

    First you fill out your packet (this is oldhat to you, koojo, but thought I'd throw it in for folks not far along). When they look over your packet, they might see medical stuff they don't like. Unless it's a permanent disqualification (one arm, etc.), they'll put through a waiver to go to MEPS. This takes a few weeks, but is pretty rubber stamp.

    After you get the waiver, you go to MEPS. You do exactly the same MEPS as all the enlisted (with the exception of the ASVAB, which you do not take). So you can look online about what to expect at your day at MEPS. About.com had a very good guide.

    You will see a doctor who will look over what you were wiavered for and if possible will analyze you for it. I had an old broken bone that I needed waivered. He examined it and said it was fine. I also had an old history of heartburn, which he couldn't examine and wouldn't say was fine, so I was disqualified. This is normal for folks who had conditions they needed waivered.

    Then, depending on the condition, you will either disqualified and referred to a specialist (like for allergies and whatnot) or are just disqualified. If you go to a specialist, they either okay you, or disqualify you. In the event you are disqualified, your recruiter will put through for another waiver (the first was to get you to MEPS, the second was to get a final "okay"). If you get denied again, you can appeal, but it's an uphill battle that may not end well. If you get the waiver, you are done with the process, do not have to return to MEPS and go to the state and fed rec boards.

    Hope this helps someone...
  36. Houser1121

    Houser1121

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    I wore a suit and tie to the State boards, I was told to treat it just like my medical school interviews. There was a PA there interviewing with me who wore a tie and a sweater though, it was a really laid back situation, with all the recruiters telling jokes in the hallway before I went into the actual room for the board process. Don't sweat it. It was much easier than med school interviews.
  37. Mr. Freeze

    Mr. Freeze Not right. (in the head)

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    I see mentioned above a concern I have as well. Not being deployable as a resident is one thing. Having to go monthly drill is a completely different one. I know flex-training is out there, but not every state surgeon is amenable to this. I am like mere days from completing all of my packet, and the more I think about it, the more I feel like I am hanging a big sign around my neck that says "Don't rank me! Danger! Danger!"

    Have you lived in the U.S. very long?!?! I can't get medical records on pts. from the same ****ing hospital, much less log on to a national database and see what SSRI they were on 15 years ago in Pocatello, Idaho. All they know is what you tell them.
    Last edited: 01.30.09
  38. koojo

    koojo Don't Stop Believing

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    Trust me, you can do this. I went through all of college having to do drills. Sometimes I had a huge exam Monday morning, and the weekend prior I spent training in the field and sleeping there. You get used to it and it's really not that bad. I'm sure med school will be a lot more demanding, but it's definitely doable. You will regret it if you don't go through with this.
  39. EMH

    EMH M4 - Army NG

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    Something to think about when it comes to records. Your medical records are scattered all over the place. Probably the most centralized medical history would be in the hands of insurance companies. They make it their business to know what was wrong with you in the past so they don't have to cover you for 'pre-existing conditions'. I'm not sure this is relevant but I have always thought it interesting.
  40. EMH

    EMH M4 - Army NG

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    @Mr Freeze:

    If you haven't already, go up to the base and visit the unit you'll be assigned to. Talk to the docs and the full time NCO's and find out the environment is like. My unit is great and I know if I can get someone to come to the base on drill weekend, there's a good chance they'll join.
    Last edited: 01.30.09
  41. Mr. Freeze

    Mr. Freeze Not right. (in the head)

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    The time requirement in medical school is a joke compared to residency, where you may tactfully be encouraged to fudge the 80 hr rule. Of course you can do it in medical school. That's not my question. However, no one in here is a resident currently in the Guard, so prolly not the best forum in which to ask.
  42. Mr. Freeze

    Mr. Freeze Not right. (in the head)

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    Yeah, this is a good idea; I'm gonna call my recruiter and see exactly where I'd be assigned if I did residency at my home school. It wouldn't be a huge deal if I would finish my 2 year contract prior to residency, but I have 6 months or so that would overlap. Prolly not a big deal, but residency programs can be picky, especially if you want to learn to operate on people.

    It's just that our state surgeon has a reputation for not being amenable to flex-training AT ALL. No CME conferences, no MTF stuff; it's all as scheduled or else. Doesn't make for happy co-residents.
  43. darkosbunny

    darkosbunny

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    I'm a pre-med that has a ways to go...hell I'm not even out of the Marine Corps yet and I only have 39 credit hours of school done...

    But is there confidence that this program will be around in about 3 years? Because I would love to sign up for this. What a friggin deal! I calculated about $65K a year salary in Ft Lauderdale (based on going to Nova Southeastern for DO school). Insane. And then add another $4500 from TA...I'd be completely debt free out of medical school. How could I pass it up??? I just worry that the program may not make it to 2012! It must be costing Uncle Sam a fortune, and it remains to be seen if people are just taking advantage of the deal or if people will actually stick with the Guard once their initial commitment is up.
  44. Mr. Freeze

    Mr. Freeze Not right. (in the head)

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    I was told the funding was for 3 years worth of 200 ASR's per year. The original 200 spots filled so fast they opened next FY09's spots already. So it will be 400-200, for 2 years. I would bet good money ASR is no more by the time you start school. And yes, it is costing Uncle some coin (which means us), but I was also told that if only 50% of ASR people stay in, then the program will break even. How I dunno, because I don't see where they are going to get/save money by having more physicians. But that's over my head anyway.

    This was from someone kinda at the ground level of this when it was being put together, but who knows really. I just bet it goes away real soon, until the next big wave of retirees...
  45. iatrosB

    iatrosB trying not to kill anyone

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    My big concern period is how long ASR is going to be around period...I don't see it around for 3 more years honestly. My orders read specifically "these ADSW orders are contingent on congress approving continued funds for the program...". My concern is that the funds will magically disappear before long. Just my concern, not official.
  46. Mr. Freeze

    Mr. Freeze Not right. (in the head)

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    You might check your contract, but I was told by same source that if funds disappear, so does your commitment and you just walk away, as contracts are two-sided. I don't why she would've mentioned that unless it were a possibility.
  47. notdeadyet

    notdeadyet Still in California Moderator

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    Ditto. It's not a major concern of mine, but it's in the back of my head.

    I actually think that it's more likely that funding will stop for new entries into the program, rather than cut funding to those already in. Once they figure out their adjust for attrition rate and figure they have enough NG doctors, they could cut the program for new additions. I think it would have less political backlash than cutting payment to those already in.
    I've heard that too. But I've yet to be able to get actual contract language that indicates that. I'll believe it once I see it.

    Don't mean to sound overly skeptical. I've just heard too many stories of folks who thought they could just up and leave from a military commitment if things didn't work out for them. I've yet to see anyone walk.
    Last edited: 01.31.09
  48. EMH

    EMH M4 - Army NG

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    Isn't the MSO a different commitment than the one we signed with the ASR contract? I can see our obligations per the ASR contract going away but I think the MSO would still be there.

    I know that the $ to pay us comes in a bulk payment to the state for a year at a time. So once you start a new year the money will be there to pay you. I think cutting military spending is coming but I don't see it happening for several years down the road. The global politics will require we keep a big military until things change.
  49. notdeadyet

    notdeadyet Still in California Moderator

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    Agreed. And Obama has been very conscious about being careful with the military and taking their advice. He got hammered in the election for lack of military experience/exposure. He has some smart folks in defense and seems to be deferring to them. He's bound to cut military spending at some point (we can't keep spending at the rate we have been indefinitely), but not until we're fairly extricated from Iraq and Afghanistan reaches a plateau. I don't see that happening in the next 2-3 years.

    Beyond that, it's anybody's game....
  50. EraserXIV

    EraserXIV

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    Alright, I spent about an hour and a half reading through the 11 pages of information and I would say I have learned a great deal about this new program. I was considering FAP and HPSP before, but this program seems a LOT more practical (If I seem to be getting this correctly, you get ALL the benefits of being in the NG, but the added bonus that you are safe from being deployed while you are in medical school and in residency; correct me if I am wrong). I have become extremely interested in it and I was wondering if anyone could answer a few questions or help me get on track.

    This is all assuming the the program is still around when I get to med school.

    In order to understand my situation better, I will first tell you little about myself. I am a freshman undergrad and I am part of a 7 year accelerated medical program. For those of you unfamiliar with these types of programs, I was preliminarily accepted to medical school out of high school. I have to go to an accelerated 3 years of undergrad, which is then followed up by the normal enrollment of 4 years in medical school.

    As of right now, I plan on taking notdeadyet's advice and will try to get as far as I can on only ASR, and play by year after that. My biggest concern is the timeline and process I must undergo to apply for this program. When would you guys suggest I begin the application process? Should I start as soon as I finish my last undergraduate year? If I can do that, maybe it'll possible to take the OBC in the summer between my last undergraduate year and M1? (that would save me a lot of hassle and would also allow me to get O-2 pay during the ADSW period)

    Also, what are the requirements for the Federial Tuition Assistance? Do I also need to be prior service? Is that the same for GI Bill and also State Tuition Assistance? And do any of these Tuition services incur more obligation?

    I did some reading on the Tuition services and it seems like they only apply to state universities? Am I right? Because if that's the case, it may be an issue because I was accepted into a private medical school.

    Again, thanks for all this information, I am getting really excited being able to both serve my country and pursue my dreams at the same time!
    Last edited: 01.31.09

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