skp

free to highest bidder
10+ Year Member
5+ Year Member
Nov 30, 2004
371
0
IOWA - YOUR GAIN IS OUR LOSS
Status
G'day y'l,

An older guy at my church who is a vet (no, not the animal one...!) was telling me about pharmacists working in the airforce. So, when I got home last night I starting searching the af website for more info. This is what I found:

When it comes to filling drug orders, there is no room for error. Air Force personnel depend on their Pharmacist to ensure that they are receiving exactly what the doctor ordered. In this specialty, you will be responsible for administering the pharmacy department. As part of your job, you will act as a consultant on drugs to the medical staff and act as supervisor for procuring, storing, manufacturing, distributing, controlling and evaluating drugs. But the in the Air Force, pharmacy is not all "lick, stick, and pour." There will be opportunities through continuing education to become involved in direct patient care in many different areas to include nueropharmacology. You will also train health personnel in pharmacy matters and perform a variety of research activities.

All Air Force career fields are based on qualifications and job availability.


Health Professions Scholarship Program
The Air Force offers scholarships for Healthcare professionals in three- or four-year periods. This scholarship covers all tuition and required fees, including textbooks, small equipment items and supplies needed for study. You’ll also receive a monthly allowance of approximately $1,235 for living expenses. While on scholarship you’ll spend 45 days on active duty in the Air Force and once you graduate you’ll serve active duty: four years for a four year scholarship and three years for a three year scholarship.


Comissioned Officer Training
Commissioned Officer Training lasts four weeks and is designed to help ease the transition of candidates in the Healthcare, Legal and Religious professions from the private sector into military life. You'll begin with a training regimen designed to educate you in the ways of the military. This is an important time during which you'll develop into an officer and a leader. You'll participate in physical conditioning three days a week, training, financial seminars and classroom studies.

Does anyone know more about this program, say, from first hand experience? It seems almost too good - if you know what I mean. I know the starting pay is real low :thumbdown: compared to the private sector, but do you think the benefits make up for it (the insurance benefits look top notch).

Aside from the AF, does anyone know any other programs of this nature that pay for school? Links??

Wow, I feel like a recruiter. I'm not trying to be. I just thought this was kinda interesting and wondered if anybody could share any info.

It seems like the deadline for this year is past though :thumbdown: so I don't know if I'll even be able to entertain this option - I e-mailed them for confirmation or clarification on this. I'll share that info if anyone is interested.

Any responses are sincerely appreciated.

All the best,
skp :D
 

emogrrrrl

I like my freedom
7+ Year Member
15+ Year Member
Mar 3, 2004
265
1
www.
Status
Fellow [Any Field]
Yes, the air force will pay for everything on top of giving you a monthly stipend- but the key is you need to serve X amount of years after you're done. My dad was airforce- I only know from experience as a dependent. But personally, if you were to choose any of the branches I would choose air force. Also, before you sign on the dotted line make sure you read what they are offering and it's what you think you're signing up for.
 

ultracet

1K Member
10+ Year Member
15+ Year Member
Mar 4, 2004
1,938
7
Visit site
Status
while all of you on this forum i'm sure have steller GPAs... there are those at my school who don't... the Air force will pay you through school however you have to have a certain GPA

that's all i know
 

Asor

SDN Donor
10+ Year Member
5+ Year Member
Jan 17, 2005
123
0
Las Vegas
Status
Pharmacy Student
Does anyone know more about this program, say, from first hand experience? It seems almost too good - if you know what I mean. I know the starting pay is real low :thumbdown: compared to the private sector, but do you think the benefits make up for it (the insurance benefits look top notch).

Aside from the AF, does anyone know any other programs of this nature that pay for school? Links??

Wow, I feel like a recruiter. I'm not trying to be. I just thought this was kinda interesting and wondered if anybody could share any info.

It seems like the deadline for this year is past though :thumbdown: so I don't know if I'll even be able to entertain this option - I e-mailed them for confirmation or clarification on this. I'll share that info if anyone is interested.

Any responses are sincerely appreciated.

All the best,
skp :D[/QUOTE]

Hello skp,
my husband is active duty Air Force and as a dependent, I've encountered many members of the healthcare profession through the years. I became pretty good friends with the pharmacist at our last base--great person. He did exactly what you described above. If my memory serves me right, he attended a pharmacy school in Arizona. He now owes the Air Force a one to one (meaning 1 year owed per every year of schooling). He entered the Air Force as a Captain and also receives "pro" pay (professional) ontop of his base salary. It does sounds like a good deal, but there are it's down sides as well. For instance, you don't know where you will be stationed and have to fulfill your obligation. If you don't mind going overseas for a few years to locations such as Japan, Germany, Italy, Korea etc then great. Also, if you are married with or without kids, you need to consider them as well. When I got married my husband had to report to Misawa Air Base, Japan 3 days later. Sort of a culture shock at first, but overall a wonderful experience. Also, once you sign on that dotted line, you enter a different world. Uncle Sam has you for a few years (which is good for some and not so good for others). While you are at work you will have to participate in "Exercises" this is when you run around training for various situations (ie war, threats, etc) And depending on what level of alert you are simulating, it's not uncommon that you spend some time in a gas mask while working.

When you receive the information that you requested, please pass it along. I'm very curious. Take care and good luck!
Asor
 

adventurer

Member
10+ Year Member
5+ Year Member
Dec 19, 2004
68
0
Status
I am an active duty vet and currently in the National Guard. I plan to apply for the HPSP for the air force, but when I last called the Health Proffesional (Air Force) recruiter, in Oct, the Air Force was only offering a two year scholarship for Pharmacy School, so you would apply durring your second year. They also offer the Health Professional Loan repayment program, which you get after you graduate, and pays something comparable (like $100 K).

Durring the time you are on HPSP, you are non deployable, and recieve your college expenses plus a stipend. You have to complete "45 days" training durring the summer (in Pharmacy-like a rotation), and then complete Officer Basic before going to your unit. There is a "one for one" committment, but everyone who joins the military has an initial obligation of 8 years (perhaps 3 on active duty, 5 in the inactive ready reserves or 4 x 4) After your initial contract is up (say 3 years) you are still able to be called up for the rest of the time, even though you are "out" of the military and pursuing your civilian job.

I love the military, and plan to pursue this, but my boyfriend is very supportive, and also an active duty vet. I love to travel, love knowing how to get promoted, love the opportunities available to military personel, love working with soldiers, and feel that I can deal with any deployments that may come up. It is a great option if you realize that it isn't "free money" you are paying for it in other ways. Like any job, it has good points, and bad points, but some things are unique to military service.

Incidentally, there are other programs, through Public Health Service and individual state health services, very similar, but instead of working for the military, you agree to serve in inner city or rural areas for X amount of years.

There are so many options out there, that you shouldn't choose one just because of the money.
 

ForgetMeNot

Senior Member
15+ Year Member
Jun 18, 2004
312
0
Status
Pharmacist
I just wanted to add that you might want to check into how many pharmacy students they take each year. A couple of people from my class were looking into the program to pay off loans, but they were told that the Air Force already met their quota for the year.
 

Tyrol

Member
10+ Year Member
5+ Year Member
Dec 5, 2004
39
0
Gainesville, FL
Status
Regarding the USAF, be careful with the math. As stated in previous posts, you will be obligated for up to 8 years. This will not be at a health professional's rate, but rather at the pay grade of a Captain. The vast differrential for this many years often will outpace the tuition benefit in the long run. Don't get me wrong, I love the military, but you must be OK with having US government property stamped on the back of your head.
Another option that a family member of mine has pursued is being a civilian pharmacist on an airforce base. In his case its MacDill in Tampa, FL the second largest dispensary in the air force, and famous for CENTCOM (running the Iraq war). My cousin has filled Donald Rumsfeld's scripts. Ethically he wouldn't tell me what for, nor should he (probably Cialis or Levitra jk, uh-oh, I think I hear the feds at my door...). On a serious note though, he has numerous military benefits, but with civilian pay rates, and much more freedom. Maybe ask a recruitor about such benefits including tuition reimbursement or loan forgiveness.
 
OP
skp

skp

free to highest bidder
10+ Year Member
5+ Year Member
Nov 30, 2004
371
0
IOWA - YOUR GAIN IS OUR LOSS
Status
Tyrol said:
Regarding the USAF, be careful with the math. As stated in previous posts, you will be obligated for up to 8 years. This will not be at a health professional's rate, but rather at the pay grade of a Captain. The vast differrential for this many years often will outpace the tuition benefit in the long run. Don't get me wrong, I love the military, but you must be OK with having US government property stamped on the back of your head.
Another option that a family member of mine has pursued is being a civilian pharmacist on an airforce base. In his case its MacDill in Tampa, FL the second largest dispensary in the air force, and famous for CENTCOM (running the Iraq war). My cousin has filled Donald Rumsfeld's scripts. Ethically he wouldn't tell me what for, nor should he (probably Cialis or Levitra jk, uh-oh, I think I hear the feds at my door...). On a serious note though, he has numerous military benefits, but with civilian pay rates, and much more freedom. Maybe ask a recruitor about such benefits including tuition reimbursement or loan forgiveness.
oh goodie, math! Let me see how this might work out: (for my own sake and maybe someone elses :thumbup: )

O3-captain=3124.50/month
x12=37,494/yr
x4 years=149,976

loan repayment =15,000 to 28,000 per year
(for 4 years)= worth between 60000 to 112000
with interest=80000 to 130000 (?)

health benefits/insurance/retirement=est. 10,000/yr (?) = 40000
housing (mortgage value + expenses)= 750/month = 9,000/yr (x4) = 36000
allowance in school = 1235/month (x12)= 14820 (x4) = 59280
health professionals bonus??? = ????
minus opp. cost of not working 45 days a year in school = 3000/yr x4 = 12000
minus tax=8000/yr x 4 = 32000

grand estimate of worth per 4 year stint: approx $321,000-371,000 (w/ 4 year commitment + extended inactive commitment?)


the flip side:
pharmacist in retail position: salary w/ benefits 105,000/yr x4 = 420000
minus tax = 20,000 x 4 = 80,000
plus work of the 45 days = 3000/yr x4 = 12000

approx $352,000
(w/ loan payments for next 6-? years)

ouch...my head hurts...i'm looking over this and trying to see if it makes any sense at all - help - math majors anybody?? anyone care to fix my #'s. i know this is a big guess, but i thought i'd give it a shot.
-skp
 
OP
skp

skp

free to highest bidder
10+ Year Member
5+ Year Member
Nov 30, 2004
371
0
IOWA - YOUR GAIN IS OUR LOSS
Status
one more thing -
i'm not out for cash
i just am trying to quantify the salary discrepency (sp?)
thank you all so much for your responses and links!!
 
OP
skp

skp

free to highest bidder
10+ Year Member
5+ Year Member
Nov 30, 2004
371
0
IOWA - YOUR GAIN IS OUR LOSS
Status
ok...i got some info...i guess it's making me even more confused than i was before though - it doesn't really jive with what I initially posted (off airforce.com)

Hello,

My name is skp and I am interested in pharmacy positions available in the Air Force. I have a number of questions concerning this, and I will list them below:

1-As a pharmacist in the Air Force, is one confined to practicing traditional hospital pharmacy, or are there clinical positions (with specialities?) available? I am more interested in drug management, psychotropic medications, disease, etc. i.e. Do you take pharmacists who have completed 1-2 year residencies in certain specific fields?

2-I am only an applicant for pharmacy school as I hope this fall and graduate Spring 2008 or 2009. Do you have loan repayment programs? Can you provide me any (and all!) information you have available in this area?

3-I was looking at your pay scale and it seems rather low - am I looking at the wrong chart? Are there other benefits I am not aware of? I don't mean to be pretentious, I'm just a little confused.

4-I am a citizen of Canada with permanent residency in the U.S. Would I need to obtain U.S. citizenship to be eligible for a pharmacist position in the Air Force?

5-Are there any Air Force pharmacists you could put me in contact with?

Thank you very much for your time and have a great week,

Sincerely,
skp, CPhT


Response (Jim) 02/22/2005 09:34 AM
1. We actively recruit qualified, licensed pharmacisits for many different settings. These include, traditional inpatient hospital, outpatient, clinical, and specilties. Your position will depend on your educational background, your experience, residencies you have completed, and needs of the Air Force. We operate hospitals and clinics world-wide.

2. We do not offer loan repayment for pharmacists but we do offer cash bonuses and a scholarship program for the last two years of pharmacy school.

3. As you may or may not know, retail pharmacists are the highest paid in the civilian sector. I don'w know what chart you were looking at. However, you cannot compare civilian pay, to military pay alone.

4. You must be a U.S. citizen to be eligible.
Auto-Response 02/20/2005 03:54 PM
Title: I am a non-US citizen can I join?
Link: http://airforce.custhelp.com/cgi-bin/airforce.cfg/php/enduser/popup_adp.php?p_faqid=111&p_created=1038335883

Title: Can I play sports while serving in the Air Force?
Link: http://airforce.custhelp.com/cgi-bin/airforce.cfg/php/enduser/popup_adp.php?p_faqid=85&p_created=1038329211

Title: I am prior service other than Air Force
Link: http://airforce.custhelp.com/cgi-bin/airforce.cfg/php/enduser/popup_adp.php?p_faqid=198&p_created=1072285163

Title: Will the Air Force pay for my medical school?
Link: http://airforce.custhelp.com/cgi-bin/airforce.cfg/php/enduser/popup_adp.php?p_faqid=58&p_created=1038320760

Title: Where can I find information about Nursing programs in the Air Force?
Link: http://airforce.custhelp.com/cgi-bin/airforce.cfg/php/enduser/popup_adp.php?p_faqid=146&p_created=1051207714
 

Dr.bird

Junior Member
10+ Year Member
5+ Year Member
Jan 25, 2005
21
0
Status
I'm active duty in the navy right now and while that isn't the air force there are some similarities. first off the air force is suppose to be the mast family friendly of the services but don't confuse that with actually being fam.friendly all teh time if you don't have a family plan ahead, you may want one later.
also you can deploy to such exotic locations as Japan, Germany, or the bahamas but the sad truth is that you'll probobly end up in Falluja, Iraq. that becomes even more likely if you don't have a family. there is rarely much of a turnaround cycle between deployments. when you come back from one you start work ups (war games)for the next deployment. pay is about the same as the civilian sector andI have noticed that officers live much beter than enlisted. you do have a lot more liberty than some might think but on the flip side I've worked for 36 hours without pity and have many friends who have done the same. the worst being alittle shy of 90 hrs.of continuous duty. that may sound impossible but in war it they can make it happen. also never under any circumstance listen to a recuter they are nobeter than used car salesmen when it comes to reliable info. they are very aloud to lie cheat and mislead you it's there job but that dosen't make the military a bad place either just do al lot of research before you join. also get every perk in contract before you do join. you are entitled to a great deal more bonuses than you are offered to begin with so get them all if you can. look in to sign on bonus, garentied duty station,ect... and be prepaired to fight long and hard if you aren't given thas perks. even though they are the government they can't renigg on a contract any more than you can.
 

adventurer

Member
10+ Year Member
5+ Year Member
Dec 19, 2004
68
0
Status
I agree with most of the info on these posts, but would like to add more about prior service and foreign citizens. In my experience (active army) there were many people going through the process of becomming a US citizen. One major reason some people enlisted was to shorten the time it takes to go through the process. I was enlisted, however, and that might make a difference. Also, I specifically told the recruiter my situation, prior active duty, etc and all of the benefits I have recieved. There is a lot more paperwork involved-they want a copy of every evaluation report, etc, but they were definitely taking prior service. I also specifically asked about loan repayment, which they were doing at the time. Things change all the time, however, and they seem to fill their quotas faster than the other services.

On the money side, its very hard to quantify the dollar amount you get while on active duty. There are many bonuses and allowances that health care professionals earn, and many of them are tax free. I did not realize what a huge benefit this was while I was on active duty, but it really adds up. Something like 30% of your income is tax free, which would translate into having to earn 20-30 K more per year.
 
OP
skp

skp

free to highest bidder
10+ Year Member
5+ Year Member
Nov 30, 2004
371
0
IOWA - YOUR GAIN IS OUR LOSS
Status
adventurer said:
I agree with most of the info on these posts, but would like to add more about prior service and foreign citizens. In my experience (active army) there were many people going through the process of becomming a US citizen. One major reason some people enlisted was to shorten the time it takes to go through the process. I was enlisted, however, and that might make a difference. Also, I specifically told the recruiter my situation, prior active duty, etc and all of the benefits I have recieved. There is a lot more paperwork involved-they want a copy of every evaluation report, etc, but they were definitely taking prior service. I also specifically asked about loan repayment, which they were doing at the time. Things change all the time, however, and they seem to fill their quotas faster than the other services.

On the money side, its very hard to quantify the dollar amount you get while on active duty. There are many bonuses and allowances that health care professionals earn, and many of them are tax free. I did not realize what a huge benefit this was while I was on active duty, but it really adds up. Something like 30% of your income is tax free, which would translate into having to earn 20-30 K more per year.
Adventurer-
can i send you a pm?