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Hpsp Faq

Discussion in 'Military Medicine' started by Homunculus, 04.26.04.

  1. encourageable

    encourageable Junior Member

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    Your stipend would continue, its not really 10.5 months, its just they pay you it whenever you aren't on active duty.

    However, I was planning on doing this after MSI and the Navy automatically signed me up for school orders, so make sure that doesn't happen.
  2. psychbender

    psychbender Cynical Member

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    If you cannot attend OBLC, be sure to submit all the requisite paperwork requesting a delay and request school orders. You'll get your stipend for the year, and get your active duty pay for those 45 days that you aren't at OBLC. At least that's how it works in the Army.
  3. USNcorpsman

    USNcorpsman

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    Hello all! I have been reading a lot of the different threads about military medicine and they have been a very big help. I do have one question to throw out there:

    If you are pursuing HPSP with a current military contract how does it work?

    I spent 3 1/2 years in the Marine Corps reserves while doing my undergrad...fortunately, for my education's sake, I was not deployed. I then applied for and received an inter-service transfer to the Navy to become a green-side corpsman and continue my passion for the military in combination with my medically driven goals. Anyway, I had to sign a new contract with the naval reserves in order for it to work. I know that it will not interfere with my pursuit of HPSP or USUHS (not totally sure yet), but have not researched the details regarding that yet. Thanks!
  4. Gastrapathy

    Gastrapathy no longer apathetic

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    :eek:

    sigh.
  5. megadon

    megadon

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    So I haven't seen it approached from the enlisted side, so I can't tell you. I can tell you from the officer side it is a pain in the butt. A conditional letter or resignation is basically all the same crap you had to submit for entry to ROTC or the academy. Physical, proof of citizenship, etc, it is a massive pain in the butt. As far as the enlisted side, it is either going to be more difficult (cause its easier to make you jump through more hoops), or easier (cause its not fair making you jump through more hoops). Odds on the first. You don't already have a commission, so it makes them (BUPERS) much more likely to ask for all the paperwork as to why they should give you one.

    You also face a special set of circumstances I didn't. I was on commission, and past my five year date, so I was truly serving at the President's pleasure. As enlisted, you don't get that. Sign a four year contract, server four year, want some more time, sign another contract. You are obligated to Uncle Sam. Convincing him to forgo the say two years left on your contract for med school is their decision. We need doctors, so that is in your favor. We need officers, so that is in you favor. But other than that, I just don't know how it works. I would hope that you are working for a better deal (become an officer, they don't care that it's a doctor), and would work with you. I don't know if that's true. I thought that it was, but maybe I was delusional or optimistic.

    Best of luck to you, thanks for serving on the green side, and then supporting. If it doesn't work out, and you aren't completely disillusioned, wait out your contract and then go HPSP. Or do FAP, everyone on this thread says its less risk and screw-over potential. The debt truly is not that bad, 200k is nothing to a doctor. It sounds like a lot of money, but at least 90% of your classmates will be on that program, so apparantly it works. I don't know, I whored myself out in 1994 to go to the Naval Academy, so I'm kind of numb to it. But you should look into it. Whoring ain't for everyone, it does have it price.
  6. USNcorpsman

    USNcorpsman

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    Thanks for the reply, sorry I am very delayed in getting back to you. I am sure there will be some way to make it work. I already have some solid connections with some higher-ups in the field. But if worse comes to worse I can always stay on reserve status as a corpsman while attending medical school. It seems they would find it more beneficial to get me out of that situation so I can focus on my education and be prepared to serve as a medical officer come graduation. Either way, thanks for responding. I will keep everyone posted on what I find out.
  7. megadon

    megadon

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    uhh, don't do that. Once you get in med school, cut all ties with the reserve enlisted deal. If you do HPSP, that'll do it. Med school is a four year deal, you being a reservist corpsman with this Iraq thing could make it like a seven year deal, you don't want to do that.
  8. NavyFP

    NavyFP Senior Member

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    I agree. If you want to remain affiliated with the Navy go HPSP. Since you are currently in the service, it should be automatic even though it won't be instant.

    If you stay in the reserves and have an 84XX NEC you will be called to go to the Sandbox in those 4 years. That would stink.
  9. elderjack21

    elderjack21

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    Just wanted to get a clear response on this question.

    I am applying to medical school, hopefully will start in August 2008. When should I start applying for the HPSP scholarship?

    I had heard that I should start right away, without an acceptance letter since it is a long process, but haven’t ever had a recruiter respond to any of my emails.

    (the fighting services are way short docs, but their recruiters don’t seem to care so much about recruiting docs, go figure :)
  10. NavyFP

    NavyFP Senior Member

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    Start now. You can complete the process and be ready to go to officer training by the summer.
  11. elderjack21

    elderjack21

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    Do I just go to the local recruiter to get the paperwork? I am not too interested in doing any more officer training at this point...am currently an active duty CPT in the Army. :laugh:

    Do I just go straight to school w/o additional training since I already have the basic training requirements?

    Thanks for the additional info!
  12. NavyFP

    NavyFP Senior Member

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    OK, I can understand not wanting more time in San Antonio in the summer. Since you are AD, you will want your RAD date/recomissioning to take place as close to the start of school as possible. This way you will maximize your commissioned time and pay prior to the start of med school. You will also need to coordinate with PERSCOM. You should not need any more officer training, so I recommend using your first 2 ATs to do something interesting (maybe EFMB if you don't already have it.)

    Sometimes it can be more difficult to go from AD to HPSP because of the increased number of desks your paperwork needs to hit. So, again, start now.
  13. elderjack21

    elderjack21

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    I am separating from AD in January. My branch was unwilling to let me transfer to the medical corps without going through some extra hoops, but they would let me separate and come back in...go figure.

    I have a paid research position lined up from January to June, so I will just have to take the hit with losing some time in service.

    What is EFMB?
  14. psychbender

    psychbender Cynical Member

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    Expert Field Medical Badge? Not sure how you go about earning that, but I'd be be really interested to hear.
  15. NavyFP

    NavyFP Senior Member

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    Do not resign your commission. Commissioned time in the IRR counts towards time in for pay and 1/2 time for promotion.

    Many of the infantry units will have EFMB courses throughout the year. When I was in Hawaii, 25th ID did it 3 times per year. I am sure other Infantry Divisions do it as well.
  16. 73BARMYPgsp

    73BARMYPgsp Post Doc

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    I don't think Infantry units usually put on EFMB courses. They do EIB. Usually, if some unit is putting on an EFMB, they are medical. Although, pretty much anyone can attend and try to earn it.
  17. elderjack21

    elderjack21

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    No worries. I guess I should have been more specific. I will be in the IRR upon completion of my AD time. They wont approve a separation packet without you requesting a commission in the IRR.

    That is good news though, I didn't know that you still get credit for pay and promotion while in IRR.
  18. elderjack21

    elderjack21

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    Just spoke with an AF recruiter. Here is what he says, let me know if it is accurate or not.

    1) The Air Force has doubled its HPSP scholarships for the coming year.

    2) Air Force Docs don’t have a problem getting residency out of school. During their 4th year of medical school they apply to both the civilian and military match. If they are a top pick for a military program, they go there, if not they get a deferment and end up going to a civilian program.

    I am most interested in any responses to #2 cause this is the exact opposite of what I have been hearing in the military forum. Anyone with recent experience on this topic?
  19. sethco

    sethco Senior Member

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    :laugh::laugh::laugh::laugh::laugh:

    How do you know when a recruiter is lying to you?

    (If you are unable to answer this, I am sure somebody else can :idea:)

    Seriously though, if you don't believe me just wait until December 15th, then check the match results. It is more like 20-25% will go into a GMO/FS slot out of medical school, whether by choice or not (BTW, The majority WILL NOT choose this)
  20. doctorjosh

    doctorjosh

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    Well elderjack21... Let me help you... I am a fourth year HPSP student at LECOM and am in the process of interviewing for both civilian and AF residencies in Emergency Medicine.

    In regard to your questions:



    "1) The Air Force has doubled its HPSP scholarships for the coming year."
    I can't say anything about that. I don't know the specific numbers. The recruiter probably won't lie about that.

    "2) Air Force Docs don’t have a problem getting residency out of school. During their 4th year of medical school they apply to both the civilian and military match. If they are a top pick for a military program, they go there, if not they get a deferment and end up going to a civilian program."
    Let's just say that this depends on what you want to do. :(
    If you are after something that the military considers competitive for them, you may not get it (i.e. surgery, ortho, derm, radiology, emergency medicine). For some reason, Ophthalmology didn't fill this year! As in my case, EM is one of the most competitive for the AF. So, your choices are to apply military first, civilian second, and your third option would be a second choice (such as IM, FP, etc - something that isn't competitive). If you don't match as an MS-IV, then you do an internship and re-apply the next fall as an intern. What works against you in the military match is GMO's (docs that worked out in the field), re-applicants that didn't match the first time, and re-applicants from other residencies. Other co-interviewees included a few other students, but mostly GMO's (flight-docs in the AF), and applicants from FP and Surgery. Sadly, they will all have more points than you when the JSGME (Joint Service Graduate Medical Education) Selection Board convenes.

    Anyway, I already interviewed at both military sites for EM and am currently interviewing at civilian sites even though it may be futile. Even if you are given a letter from a program director stating that you would have a spot at their institution, if you didn't match military or civilian by the JSGME in December you may not be granted the residency by the military. Sorry it is a long answer, but the recruiter is not being absolutely truthful. I was told the same story four years ago.

    If you all need any further clarification, just let me know.

    doctorjosh
  21. NavyFP

    NavyFP Senior Member

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    1) Mostly true. Their recruiting goal has increased, but it is not double.

    2) Probably true, but with a caveat. Sure, they get picked up for residency, but is it the one they want? That would be the dicey question.
  22. sethco

    sethco Senior Member

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    I will further expand on this. You may get the residency you want. It just may be a matter of when. As alluded to previously, an operational tour is absolutely necessary for some specialties before allowing to enter in a training program. For example, it is impossible for an AF applicant to go into Derm directly after med school and internship without either doing a GMO tour or going into another residency first. Truth be told, most successful Derm applicants are O-4 and above
  23. a1qwerty55

    a1qwerty55 Attending

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    Incorrect. NO ONE GOES FROM MEDICAL SCHOOL TO A GMO/FS SLOT!

    You have to have a license which means you have to finish an internship before you can be a GMO.
  24. West Side

    West Side

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    C'mon. You're being disingenuous. You and everyone else familiar with the process knows FULL WELL that a significant portion of the class will be diverted into transitional years(re: an internship year) that lead inexorably to FS/GMO slots.

    What is your motivation to mislead HPSP candidates to this degree? Whether you want to be a cheerleader for the program or not, I don't see the benefit of waylaying unsuspecting rubes into a process that has a 25% chance of a 4 year delay in completion of their residency. Do not pass go, do not collect $200 (i.e., you don't get paid this week! :))
  25. NavyFP

    NavyFP Senior Member

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    He never said they wouldn't. He stated you do not go directly from med school into internship. That is true. All three services will send a portion of the graduating interns to an operational (GMO) assignment. Don't forget there are a significant number of members that actually choose to go operational.
  26. West Side

    West Side

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    No, it speaks directly to the wordsmithing of the recruiter in the original post. "Everyone gets into residency." While that is technically true (as is a1qwerty55's post), in practice, it doesn't correllate to everyone training straight through in the specialty of their choice, as recruiters are wont to imply.

    Technically correct? Yes. Does this change the THRUST of the argument that 25% of the class will get diverted into a crappy 2-4 year black hole in their career? No. You're obfuscating the issue by drawing attention to the technicalities. Many of those coming to this site have enough problems with recruiters doing that as well.
  27. sethco

    sethco Senior Member

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    Sorry for the error, but you know what I meant. 20-25% of AF applicants with go from medical school to internship to GMO/FS. Most will not want to do this though.

    Fact is, while we were in medical school we were spoon fed the line that 98% of applicants get either their first or second choice of residency and 95% of applicants get their first choice. I will guarantee that the majority of current GMO/FS pool wanted to go into residency right out of med school/internship. Out of the 7 non-residency trained Flight Doc (including myself) in my office, only 1 did not elect to go into residency.
  28. a1qwerty55

    a1qwerty55 Attending

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    Another overreaction by our nonmedical, nonmilitary friend on the board...Technically correct? How about factual, and accurate. I only pointed out a factually incorrect post, nothing more, nothing less.

    If recruiters are telling people that any set percentage of HPSP or USUHS students are going to get their residency of choice we all recognize that is not only misleading but is a flat out lie, as the numbes will vary with applicant pool desires.

    One unintentional upside of the fall in HPSP scholarship offerings is that residencies are getting relatively easier to get. Right now (in the Army at least) I think if you want Gen Surg, FP, IM, Peds, you have about a 100% chance of going straight through. If you get picked up for one of the preselect (not the right term) for ENT, Rads, Ortho, Derm, Path, Ophth and several other more competative residencies you will go straight through.
  29. sethco

    sethco Senior Member

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    Recruiters saying this is one thing, but this was AFIT publishing these numbers on the AF HPSP website. Even the past 2 years, they have not updated this info.


    While Army and Navy recruitment numbers are down, haven't the AF numbers remained steady? I remember reading somewhere that they actually filled their quota. Am I wrong on this? Don't you think it might be misleading to say you have a "100% chance of going straight through"? After all, not only do the needs of the military change in every year regarding number needed for each specialty, but also interest among applicants seems to fluctuate widely too. As for the preselect residencies you listed, in the AF, it may be extremely difficult to be preselected for these as a 4th year medical student or an intern. Not impossible, but very difficult as these applicants may be competing against GMO/FS, prior residency trained docs, prior enlisted/Guard/Reserve, prior Academy grads. Invariably, these applicants will usually have more "points" when it comes to the JSGME Board.
  30. a1qwerty55

    a1qwerty55 Attending

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    I believe you are correct that AF numbers are steady. I think is shows how little applicants know about the military and mil med.

    As far as the 100% thing, primary care applications are way down.. I think the 15 month deployment thing probably plays a role plus graduating medical students seem to place less emphasis on patient care than they do income and quality of life. Truly, FP, Peds, IM, and GS are really almost a 100% chance of matching.

    As far as medical students competing with GMO's for categorical positions, I don't know how the USAF does it but Army GMO's are competing for R2 positions, while medical students compete for R1 positions. As with everything I'm sure there is an exception to the rule.
  31. sethco

    sethco Senior Member

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    I will give you an example. I Had been passed up for an Anesthesia residency and was sent to the School of Aerospace Med in July 2006 to train as a flight surgeon. During the course, we had the coordinators for the JSGME board come and talk to us. They basically stated that the minimum time required for a flight surgery tour was 2 years. Will that in mind, we could apply for preselect positions that summer for positions that would start in 2 years (which would be around the time that we had already completed our standard 2 year operational tour). A friend of mine applied for and received an Opthamology residency (preselect) with a start date of July 2008. That is just one example of how GMOs/FS can and do compete against medical students for preselect positions.
  32. elderjack21

    elderjack21

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    How long from HPSP scholarship offer (acceptence letter) do you have till you have to say yes or no to the recruiter?

    Once you say yes and are comissioned into the IRR, but have not started school yet and have not received any pay or benefits, can you still decide not to do it?

    I am about to finish my scholarship packets, and since I have a pulse and have been accepted to school, will be offered a scholarship, I am interested in finding out the details.

    I am not ready to commit to anything right now, but by the spring would be.

    I don't want to be forced to make a premature decision on my future.
  33. NavyFP

    NavyFP Senior Member

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    If you were going Navy or Army, I would say you could wait as long as you want. They have not filled in the last 3 years, so they would still have scholarships available in the spring. AF is a slightly different bird. The have been filling and if you wait until spring they may have given all their scholarships away. Temper that with the increase in goal and you may have more wiggle room. If you need more time, take it. Better to wait and be sure than to sign now and regret it.
  34. elderjack21

    elderjack21

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    Just for laughs. The AF recruiter told me last week that 97%+ of Air Force HPSP students got their first choice of residency/specialty.

    The answer to my last question is 10 days. If you complete your packet and they offer you a scholarship, you have 10 days to accept or decline it. If you accept it...I think there is still a way to get out of it so long as they havn't paid for school. The recruiter told me that he couldn't technically tell me that I could get out of the scholarship once I accepted it, he said that he would catch heat for someone skipping out of the obligation at the last minute.

    I am thinking FAP sounds better and better. Why rush a decision like this right?
  35. LauraDO

    LauraDO

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    I agree with NavyFP my airforce recruiter said that he has a deadline to submit all of his apps by March 29th. The only way he can squeeze on in after that is

    a) luck
    b) getting a pass by having a 3.5 and 29 or higher on mcat which gives you an automatic scholarship even without a med school acceptance letter
  36. sethco

    sethco Senior Member

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    I can't believe they are still giving that line. Wait a second, they are recruiters. What was I thinking?

    Every year, we prove the contrary on December 15th when the JSGME results are made official. At this time, we see 20-25% of applicants don't get their residency of choice and are pushed into the GMO/FS route. This percentage may actually be understated though. If you are applying during your internship year or as a GMO and don't get the residency, your name won't even be listed under the results section. Therefore, it is impossible to know the exact percentage that are unsuccessful in the JSGME "match".

    Once again (for anybody that may be listening), if you want to join the military to be a physician (especially a specialist or unsure about which specialty you want to do) do not take the HPSP scholarship. Instead, wait till you have decided on a specialty, obtained the residency, and then if you still want to be an officer, join the FAP program.
  37. BomberDoc

    BomberDoc ex-BomberDoc

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    I hope you called him on it. These professional liars need to know that people aren't buying it anymore. They may not even know that it is untrue. If I ran into my recruiter today, I'd wrap my hands around his neck and squeeze until I couldn't squeeze anymore.
  38. elderjack21

    elderjack21

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    I did call him on it. But, I really think that he is given the numbers from one of his higher ups. I really don't think he knows exactly how all of the stuff works, just his part of the puzzle.
  39. 73BARMYPgsp

    73BARMYPgsp Post Doc

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    I concur- It is not really "lying" in these cases. The health care recruiters have no idea how your specific situation works. Remember, they are recruiting MDs', Nurses, Psychologists, Dentists, and everybody else. For the Army, that's Medical Corps, MS, MSC, Nursing, Dental Corps, and Vet Corps. Each of these has very specific ways for how one becomes a licensed provider. What is a Dentist supposed to be doing in their 4th year of graduate school versus a 4th year medical student, versus a 4th year PhD in clinical psychology? No way they know all the ins and outs of all those.

    To be clear though--I am not defending it--The same problem is currently causing me a bunch match related stress (PhD) and I complain about it every time I call to talk to them. It is as if the Army has NEVER directly commissioned a medical officer and this year they decided to give it a whirl. Remember, MOST of the recruiters are enlisted, so once you get commissioned, (as HPSP, we are all 2LT's) you can yell at them and make them do their job.
  40. elderjack21

    elderjack21

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    That is the way it works for the Army recruiters...thus they don't know what they are talking about. However, the Air Force does it different. My recruiter only puts in MDs and DOs. Nothing else. He is responsible for a huge area and 4 medical schools. But he knows the ins and outs.

    Ironoically, I am an active duty Captain in the Army and that really hasn't helped in them getting their job done. :) But, good luck in getting your stuff squared away! The army moves people around quite a bit, even in recruiting jobs. So, once anyone becomes an expert at something, they get moved to another job. It is quite possible that the person you are working with really doesn't know exactly what they are doing.
  41. AeroNat13

    AeroNat13

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    Is that 3.5 GPA for automatic acceptance your Cumulative GPA from your AMCAS application?? Does anybody know, I would appreciate it.
  42. elderjack21

    elderjack21

    Joined:
    01.04.06
    Messages:
    1,023
    Status:
    Resident [Any Field]
    Army SDN 7+ Year Member
    From the recruiter today in my email " I also need to inform you that effective 04 JAN 2008, all individuals that accept and enroll in the 4 year Medical and or Dental HPSP program are eligible to receive a 1 time Lump Sum payment of $20,000 to be paid no later than 30 days after receiving your first
    Monthly Stipend payment. You must agree to serve 4 years on active duty
    and 4 years in the Reserves which is the same obligation that you would
    agree to for just accepting the scholarship initially. You
    acknowledgement of acceptance of this will be indicated when you sign
    you enrollment documents for the HPSP after being selected and
    commissioned. "

    still not sure it is enough to make me sign up...
  43. fitnesspremed

    fitnesspremed

    Joined:
    12.04.06
    Messages:
    84
    Status:
    Medical Student
    SDN 2+ Year Member
    Is this for real? It would definitely not make or break, but would make my life easier for a little while...
  44. NavyFP

    NavyFP Senior Member

    Joined:
    05.18.06
    Messages:
    2,706
    Location:
    Manning a Cubicle
    Status:
    Attending Physician
    SDN 7+ Year Member
    Yes, Army is now also offering the signing bonus. AF is still not offering it yet.
  45. TX_NFS

    TX_NFS Steel melanoleuca

    Joined:
    11.27.06
    Messages:
    241
    Location:
    State of Sleepiness
    Status:
    Medical Student
    SDN 5+ Year Member

    Could the AF have now (within the last week) followed suit with the bonus? I only ask because last week, when AF medical recruiters came by, no mention was made of a $20,000 bonus. Interestingly though, I also just got an email from one of them a few hours ago that mentions the bonus.
  46. NavyFP

    NavyFP Senior Member

    Joined:
    05.18.06
    Messages:
    2,706
    Location:
    Manning a Cubicle
    Status:
    Attending Physician
    SDN 7+ Year Member
    AF has not even asked for it. So, no. Nothing in the last week.
  47. LauraDO

    LauraDO

    Joined:
    08.05.07
    Messages:
    1,205
    Status:
    Medical Student
    SDN 2+ Year Member
    my af recruiter told me that they were trying and that even if it wasnt official until the follow we would recieve it
  48. Navy94

    Navy94

    Joined:
    04.14.07
    Messages:
    35
    Status:
    Pre-Medical
    SDN 2+ Year Member
    I enlisted in the Navy in 1994 as a Hospital Corpsman. After boot camp I attended a 3 month long Corpsman training in Great Lakes. IL. I graduated at the top of my class and elected to attend one year of Advance Laboratory School in San Antonio, TX. My first actual duty location was Navy Medical Center, San Diego. I spent the first 6 months working as a phlebotomist and then spent my final 1.5 years there working in Clinical Microbiology Department (my favorite job to date). I was then transferred to Naval Hospital, Lemoore were I finished my 5 year obligation working as both a Laboratory Technician and a Hospital Corpsman. I was discharged in July 1999, where I told myself I would never again volunteer myself.

    However, after spending 5 years on active duty and then separating from the military lifestyle, I was like many people, who after discharge, found themselves missing many aspects of the military. Approximately a year after separation, I was raising my right hand for the Air National Guard. Furthermore, after a year in the Guard, my wife had graduated from college and was working as a social worker. We had bought a home, and to make very long story short, circumstances led me to for go my dream of becoming a physician and I switch to the Civil Engineering Program at California State University, Fresno. Again, I came face to face with a Navy recruiter. This time it was for a Civil Engineer Corps Scholarship, which placed me on active duty. My only job was to attend school, and the pay back was only four years….what a deal!

    I am currently a Lieutenant, finishing up the last three months of that commitment and will resign my commission in May 2008. I will then take a couple of months off before heading to VCOM in July.

    Now that I have given some of my history I would like to share my opinions about the Navy to those who are trying to determine whether or not Navy HPSP is for them. I believe there is more aspects of the Navy, or any other branch of service, that must be taken into consider before taking the oath.

    The first thing I think must be addressed is, you will be in the military and you loose some control over your life. You will be an doctor and a military officer, but that doesn’t mean you are exempt from military rules or customs. In a post I recently read, a person was upset that in the military they were considered and officer first and then a doctor. The person whom posted strongly disagreed with this quote because he/she thought the 7 years of training received as a doctor far out weighed the 6 weeks of OIS. I could see the logic, but this is the military and they really believe in their slogans and they don’t really care what you think about it. I see this everyday as a Civil Engineer Corps Officer. We are required to stand Command Duty Officer (CDO), which is a 24 hour watch where you are in charge of the base while the Commanding Officer (CO) is away sleeping. This watch (I could debate whether it is truly needed) severely impacts our abilities to manage our construction contracts efficiently. We address this issue often, and are told our Navy duties come before our actually engineering duties. We also have Wardroom events (which we call mandatory fun) and Physical Training, which also impact our daily jobs, but again it doesn’t matter. I could go on and on with examples, but I am already getting wordy.

    I would not change a thing about my past 12 years in the Navy. The Navy, from day one (boot camp) and still today continues to provide the tools necessary to grow as a person, both professionally and personally. The Navy has taught me most of the things I know about medicine and engineering, but most of all it has taught me how to be a leader. At the age of 19, I had responsibilities that I never dreamed of. Every week in the microbiology department I was placed in charge of a microbiology bench (respiratory, urinalysis, ext). Here I was responsible for not only every report generated at the bench, but responsible for teaching new laboratory students all about clinical microbiology. It does not stop there. After graduating from college and OCS, I was immediately place in charge of 20 personnel and a $30 million Base Operating Support Contract. Then after only 2 years of experience I was placed in charge of a four man team and over $110 million dollars in construction contracts. As I finish up my time and reflect on the leadership experiences which have been presented to me, I realize that no where in the civilian sector would I have been given this amount of responsibility so quickly. The Navy does not dink around with you. They do not only give you immediate responsibility, they have a steep learning curve for almost any job, and you are expected to adapt to the curve, learn quickly and perform immediately.

    The most enjoyable aspect of military life is not the job or places you live, it is the comradeship that you encounter. In my opinion, there is no other profession in which you can encounter such camaraderie the instant you check into a command and begin working. I met my best friend in 1997 when I was transferred to Lemoore, he now lives in Indiana and I am in Bremerton, WA. We don’t get to see each other as offend as we would like, but our families are very close and we talk to each other several times a month. I have continued to make great friend every where I go and now I have friends all over the United States…what a great feeling!

    With all this said, am I signing up for HPSP and staying in the Navy? NO. The reason are simple for me. I am not making this decision based on the direction of Navy Medicine or the amount of money I will make. In fact, if I was concerned about money the smart thing for me to do is stay in the Navy. If I were to do a military residency, I will be making O-3E pay with 12 years of active duty with 18 years for pay purposes. That is approximately $100K and possibly more depending on duty location and BAH. In fact, I even get criticism for not completing my 20 years of service. However, with a wife and two kids I am unable to make another 13 year commitment to the Navy , plus with the added possibility of 6-15 month deployments. Yes, 13 years, not 4, and yes, 15 month deployments. Here is where some of my best advice comes in. When making the decision whether or not to join the military you may want to do all your research and determine all of the worst case scenario‘s and then count on those being part of your duties. If you do not take this advice, you will be like many others who have signed on the dotted line, and only listened to what they wanted to here from the recruiter, and now complain of how they got screwed by their recruiter. I have taken my own advice and applied it in order to make this very difficult decision.

    In my worst case scenario I calculated a 13 year commitment; 4 years medical school, 1 year internship (doesn’t count for pay back) 2 years GMO tour, 2 -3 years residency (at least) and 3-4 year pay back. Also, you have to, no matter if there is a war going on or not, be ready to deploy for as long as the government asks. When I signed up for the Civil Engineer Corps, I was told that a one time 6 month deployment to the Seabees would be it. However, we soon learned that there was this little hidden thing called Individual Augmentations (IA) which had many Civil Engineer Corps officers heading to Iraq or Afghanistan. At first it was 6 months volunteer deployments, but soon became anywhere from 6-15 month non-volunteer deployments. Timing prevented me from going, but most of my colleagues have spent at least a year in Iraq or Afghanistan. There is one thing that is certain in the military, they have control and they can pretty much make you do anything they want. I have been willing in the past to serve the Navy and their needs, but now that I have the opportunity to make that choice once more, my family and I have decided that moving every 2-3 years, pulling my children out of school, along with possible deployments, no longer fits our lifestyle. If you have researched the military and the sacrifices you will be making, then I think HPSP is right for you.

    The last thing I would like to address, which I see all over these post, is that I agree 110% with the people who say, “DO NOT DO IT FOR THE MONEY”. I have seen this first hand with a current colleague of mine. He literally joined the Civil Engineer Corps Scholarship program so he could have more money while in college. He never thought about the sacrifices and what the job actually entailed. He had no clue of what he was getting into, he just saw $$$. Now he is miserable. Everyday he is severely depressed and complains about his job and the military more than he actually performs. He not only makes himself miserable, but he brings down moral for the entire command. So be CAREFULL don’t fall into this trap….I almost did this time!

    Overall, I believe the military and Navy are a great thing. We are serving our country, and because of our service and our armed forces of the past and present, the citizens of the United States enjoys the freedoms of today. I have also seen the extraordinary things our military forces are doing in Iraq and Afghanistan, and the majority of people in those two countries are grateful for our presence. I will miss being on active duty, but I am not leaving the military completely. I will be attending medical school op the Army National Guard STRAP program. The Guard scholarship allows my family and I to settle down and establish some stability, while also allowing me to continue to serve my country and build on my 12 years of service.

    I hope this has provide insight for a least one person and if any one has any questions, please send me a message.
  49. Mylanthias

    Mylanthias

    Joined:
    02.07.08
    Messages:
    8
    Status:
    Medical Student
    Thanks to everyone for their insight on the various scholarships and military life. I have just received my acceptance letter from LMU-DCOM and will be attending Fall 2008. It all started with visiting my mother, civilian employee at her work on base, and since I was younger I again heard of the need for physicians. Family has a long history of active service in every war. At 38, I have reached the point I did not get earlier in life. Sure, I was an Alaskan crabber, etc...but today I have some major decisions to make. I have undergraduate loans, and am seeing someone I will marry who has three children.

    HPSP is what I have mostly been going after for the past year. I interviewed at VCOM late on the day of the shootings in fact. This year, I am way ahead and have accepted this 1st year osteopathic school out of 9 schools (allopathic and osteopathic) that I was accepted for.....anyways reading these threads is bringing new info and insight.

    Flat out, I got to be a surgeon. I would like to go all the way to cardio-thoracic but will aim for general surgeon. I'm alright with the Army life, I have no problem with that. However, between the HPSP, FAP I really need some help. My original health recruiter was promoted and moved, I am working with her replacement. He called today to say yes, 20K on top of the HPSP scholarship. I am mostly concerned about getting into a 5 yr general surgery residency. What is it going to take? Luck, or perfection at med school (pass/fail)?

    Sure, take out student loans and owe a ton and then make a ton in the outside world. Or get onto HPSP and have it paid for and return service to my United States and have it all add up to about 17, 18 years towards retirement....at 58 I can get out and work somewhere I have no doubt. But what is the thing?

    If I go HPSP, I've been told I will not get activated until I am done learning. I never thought that was true.

    So, I go to four years med school, then the one year Army rotation and then
    Either get the general surgery residency or get put into a GMO spot for two years? I am not too interested in the USHS avenue, sounds like its for a group of people that are not into being part of something bigger from what I have seen on this website. I need to know what are the real chances of getting into a general surgery residency, and being allowed to complete it. I am all for Army Strong. Still, I am going to heal. Is it better to just go all student loans? Is it better to go student loans then go FAP upon graduation. Is it better to just go HPSP all the way. Recruiter is new to his post and I actually saw last years files on residency matching. How tough is it to say Hey Army, thanks but now I have to go to civilian residency, if I can not match general surgery. Surgery is it, the best. I am into rural practice, but only if I can bring that as well. Sorry, I just need to make the right decision. Hope to hear a lot of responses on this. While I have had the liberty to be solo, within two years I will make permanent decisions for my family. They are accepting my Army goal along with medicine. I just worked 40 hours a week, took out student loans for undergrad in Hawaii, and just want stuff paid for....if all is true from each posting, then we should all just take out loans to be doctors, cause of the money coming in to pay it back.
  50. Beam Tenfold

    Beam Tenfold

    Joined:
    02.16.08
    Messages:
    1
    Status:
    Non-Student
    I will be getting out of the Navy with 10 years active enlisted service. Will this prevent me from getting an air force scholarship? I know that they are very stingy with OSVET's.
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