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Alright, time for a FAQ

Discussion in 'Military Medicine' started by Homunculus, Mar 30, 2004.

  1. Homunculus

    Homunculus SDN Caveman Administrator
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    i've noticed a trend of people asking similar questions, and i think it's high time we start a FAQ sticky like some of the other forums. I'm leaving for a week or so to try to find housing near DC for my upcoming residency, and i won't have access to post anything in depth until i get back. in the meantime, feel free to add FAQ type stuff to this thread and we can consolidate, rename, and sticky it for future use.

    thanks

    -- your friendly neighborhood caveman

    p.s. it doesn't have to be original material, sutting and pasting from other posts is fine, and may actually be more time efficient.
     
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  3. texdrake

    texdrake Stand-Up Philosopher
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    FAQ by Lt. Ellenbecker

    1. What are the benefits?

    Monthly Stipend currently $592.50 every 2 weeks for 23 pay periods + 1 45 day period of active duty pay at $3,390.60

    Total Yearly Pay while in school is roughly $17K

    All Books, Fees, and Tuition to the medical school of your choice paid.

    Adventure, Jazz, the occasional props from the public, and the sense of satisfaction that you gave back.

    Rank of 2Lt while in school and promotion to Cpt upon graduation. Almost all military physicians make Major before their commitment is up.

    2. What are the requirements?

    Pass Physical Fitness standards

    Enroll in an accredited US medical school

    apply and be selected

    One year of service per year on the scholarship and in most cases a military residency as well... No part of residency counts for payback -- civilian or otherwise.

    An extra year of commitment for any residencies years that extend beyond 1 year over your scholarship length. (if you are on a 3 year scholarship and do a 5 year residency you will incur a 4th year of commitment.

    3. What will I make as a physician in the military?

    This is what I figured for myself for a 3 year loan commitment. I have factored in the cost of medical school education, stipend amount, and interest to come up with what they will actually be paying me for the 3 year of service I do after residency (I am on a 3 year scholarship). Pay is pretty comparable if you don't specialize.

    Loan $ Saved x 3 years + interest: $115,500 + 25,000 = $140,500

    Total Stipend Pay x 3 years: $51,000

    Total Value (Pay+Loan+Interest) / commitment = $64K yearly

    Pay: 46K (Captain)
    BAH: 10k (housing allowance)
    BAS: 2K (food allowance)
    VSP: 5K (specialty pay based on years)
    BCP: 2.5K (board certification pay)
    MASP: 15K (flat pay given to all doctors)
    ISP: 13.5K (independent specialty pay based on specialty (FP or IM))

    TOTAL: 94K

    AVG Malpractice Saving for FP & IM = 12K

    Total Pay = $172K annually for 3 year commitment (66+94+12)

    Drops to around 105-110K if I stay in longer as loose loan advantage

    Average starting salary for IM - Malpractice = $155K
    Average Starting salary for FP - Malpractice = $135K - no OB

    Average salary in private sector after 3 years (when my commitment is up), minus malpractice (FP/IM) = ($151K/172K)

    4. What will I make as a resident?

    A lot more....the average civilian resident makes 30-40K

    1st year (Interns) make Base Pay + BAH + BAS + 100 monthly for VSP = 59K

    2nd year and beyond (residents) make Base Pay + BAH + BAS + full VSP = 63K

    5. Physical Standards

    You have to meet officer height and weight requirements for all 3 branches to get the scholarship and periodically while in the military. I believe the Air Force may have a PT test as well...not sure. Each service does height/weight different.

    The Army gives you two chances. First you do height/weight. If you don't meet requirements then they measure hip and neck circumference and use some quirky formula to come up with it.

    As best I can tell the height/weight requirements for an army officer is 15 lbs above ideal body weight for those under 27 years of age.

    Ideal Body Weight For Men is = 106 + (6 * the # of inches above 5 feet tall). So I am 5'10". My weight requirement is 106+60+15 = 181.

    For Women, Ideal Body Weight is = 105 + (5 * the # of inches above 5 feet tall).

    6. Where will I do residencies/rotations?

    http://www.mods.army.mil/MedicalEdu...on/GmeDelay.asp

    7. Where can I get more info about HPSP and applying?

    The Best Site for unbiased HPSP info is http://lukeballard.tripod.com/HPSP.html

    8. Why the Army?.or why not?

    Why did I select the Army? Several reasons actually. Basically I have family history in the Army which made me lean one way, but the Army has a lot more scholarships and residencies then the other branches. I applied later in the year so my best shot was in the Army. I have found the Air Force to be equally appealing if you can apply early enough although I really like the aspect that the Army has more residencies...I felt that if I did a civilian residency it would be harder to re-enter the military world and work off my commitment. The Navy has in my opinion some drawbacks, mainly in the form of the requried GMO tour and the extended deployments, but a few actually like this so I think branch of service is more a personal choice than anything else.

    9. Is the four year obligation really only four years, or can a "stop-loss" order or something like that keep you in much longer?

    A stop-loss order in a time of war could keep you in, however it is unlikely and they tend not to keep you in for to long under those circumstances.

    10. Assuming a four year obligation after residency, how many times can they make you move for this (not counting a deployment, of course).

    At most I would think 3 or 4. 1 move for residency, maybe a couple during your commitment time and possibly a differnt site for you internship year.

    11. If we are in the reserves during medical school, can we be called up (in the event of a conflict, for instance) even though we have not completed our medical education for regular reserve duty?

    Under no way can you be pulled out of school or your 1st year of residency (the internship), if we were at war and it was a big one, you could be pulled out after that and before you finish residency. This WAS NOT done during the war in Iraq.

    12. State School, private school, or daddy's pocket?

    You should not take the scholarship for just the money. You will regret it. You must have a desire to serve or a curiosity to serve in the military. The military is not for everyone. That being said, you will regret taking this scholarship if you are going to a state school (or any medical school costing under 15K a year). The money you will make early in your career would easily offset such a cheap education loan. You will feel like you are being ripped off royally.
     
  4. rotatores

    rotatores Senior Member
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    Please expand...and don't go the GMO route.
     
  5. r90t

    r90t Senior Member
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    The navy's biggest "drawback" in medical education is the GMO tour(s).

    The problems with this is...you do your internship, then an operational tour rather than continuing through residency. If you do a military residency after a GMO tour, you will be in longer than 4 years, i.e. the payback time for HPSP. Also, some people feel that you don't have enough knowledge to function independently post internship. We are credentialed to do a finite amount of procedures prior to going to sea by our operational commanders. Army and AF may be different, but navy doesn't have a bunch of cowboys trying to do a general surgery on board a destoyer.

    The good points for the GMO tour. You are operational and you see what the hardships are for your sailors. The stressors of 2 eight month back to back deployments are great. You will gain an understanding of problems people develop, both mental and physical. Your GME choices often change. The majority of my friends who did a GMO changed their prefererce for residency selection. Usually, they got married, had kids, or some other major event and did not want to spend the next 4 years of their life chained to a ward or OR. Family time overrode work time. It is also a good break from training to recharge.

    I will assume that AF, Army and USN all turn out the same quality of physicians from their teaching programs.

    The navy, IMO, has nicer places to be stationed than the other services. Most of our real estate is coastal.
     
  6. rotatores

    rotatores Senior Member
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    This is a matter of opinion. Most of the Navy students in my class chose Navy b/c of the GMO tour. Of course I?m sort of bias being from USUHS?I actually went the military route to be in the military?not just to pay for med school.
     
  7. texdrake

    texdrake Stand-Up Philosopher
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    That pretty much was most of it.

    The Navy has GMO's, fewer residencies, and in my opinion less nice hospital facilities. They also have longer deployments (which I don't care for but some might). On the other hand they have better locations by far...Its damn hot in El Paso (army) for instance. Truth be told, my best friend is a former Marine, but when I went to talk with the Navy the guys said there was no way to guarantee that I would be assigned to the marines and I really didn't have much interest in the Navy...

    I stongly considered the Air Force, nice locations, nice uniforms, I would have felt comfortable and had the air force recruiter been a little more cordial when I spoke with him I think I may have considered it more.

    I chose the army purely because It had more scholarships (I applied late), it has way more residencies (I was planning on doing a military residency), and I have several relatives that have served in the Army. Also helps that I am from Texas and there are a lot of medical opportunites in that state in the Army.
     
  8. Mirror Form

    Mirror Form Thyroid Storm
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    The Navy and AF's required GMO tours have a huge drawback in that they can significantly extend HPSP student's commitments (not so much for USUHS though). So, it's not at all uncommon for a student who sign's up thinking that they'll only have to pay back 4 years, to end up being required to pay back 6 years.

    Therefore, it's not just "a matter of opinion." It's a hard number that should be strongly considered.
     
  9. Mirror Form

    Mirror Form Thyroid Storm
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    Alright dude, no offense, but this is not the first time you've somewhat underestimated civilian physician salaries in your cost analyses.

    According to Allied Physicians' most recent salary survery:

    Internal Medicine:
    avg starting: $154,000
    avg >3 yrs: $176,000
    max: $238,000

    IM (Hospitalist)
    avg starting: $161,000
    avg >3 yrs : $172,000
    max: $245,000


    According to Physician Search's most recent salary survery:

    Internal Medicine:
    avg starting: $128,000
    avg in practice: $160,318

    These numbers are after all expenses INCLUDING malpractice.
     
  10. texdrake

    texdrake Stand-Up Philosopher
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    I got my numbers from somewhere else, a site I found through sdn. I think the figures may be a little old. I will update accordingly.

    Sorry about the confusion.

    I updated for both IM and FP, oddly I think they have a number problem with the FP as it shows a decrease in salary after 2 years, those numbers are obviously backwards as all the others go up

    I updated according to Allied Physicians, but I find it odd that those two have such widely different reporting numbers. Makes me think that allied physicians may not be counting "malpractice" under expenses, but I like to please the masses.
     
  11. rotatores

    rotatores Senior Member
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    This isn't the case (unless you're Air Force which usually has 90 day deployments). The Army usually deployes you for about a straight year, right?...which is longer than the usual Navy deployment.
     
  12. r90t

    r90t Senior Member
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    The navy schedules the length of their deployments to 6 months, however, more recently have been 8 months long. They are doing a paradigm shift in deployment schedules, with a "surge deployment" rather than deployment for a presence. That means, deployment tempo will be less, but if something is happening in the world, all the ships will "surge" to meet the crisis, then come home. This is attempt to reduce our time at sea.

    If you want to go with the marines, you will get it. The billets are about 50/50 right out of internship, ships vs marines. Lots of people would rather stay on the gray side, rather than the green side.

    I'm enjoying my GMO tour and it has been a great break from the stress of training. I also was able to deploy for Iraqi Freedom, rather than warm a chair stateside.
     
  13. texdrake

    texdrake Stand-Up Philosopher
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    After I took the Army scholarship I found out that it was actually fairly easy to go Marines...but it was to late. As for deployments...in the army if you are put out overseas it is for a year, but you can often take the family. Somehow I don't think the the navy is going to be to open to letting the wife sunbathe on the deck of a destroyer....
     
  14. r90t

    r90t Senior Member
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    No topless sunbathing on a destroyer?? what!

    With our liberty port schedule we did have some of the officer's spouses fly into Dubai to meet us for a week of liberty. Nice city. Safe, so far. It was difficult, but possible, to arrange to meet your spouse while on deployment at our liberty ports. Singapore was another good city for a little R&R.
     
  15. texdrake

    texdrake Stand-Up Philosopher
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    How about a little bump...dissapointed that this never got expanded. Lets leave some thing for the rest....
     
  16. bobbyseal

    bobbyseal Boat boy
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    Here are some links that may help people out there who are with the Navy.

    Link for applying to get orders (AT)
    https://nows.cnrf.navy.mil/nrows/

    Pay information
    http://www.dfas.mil/

    Medical Corps Detailer
    http://www.persnet.navy.mil/pers4415/medical_corps.htm

    Naval Medical Education and Training Command
    http://nshs.med.navy.mil/Professional%20Development%20Programs.htm

    Navy Pay Calculator and Retirement Calculator (No more sifting through pay tables!!!)
    http://www.staynavy.navy.mil/

    Naval Medical Center Portsmouth
    http://www-nmcp.med.navy.mil/

    Naval Medical Center San Diego
    http://www-nmcsd.med.navy.mil/

    National Naval Medical Center Bethesda
    http://www.bethesda.med.navy.mil/

    Navy Sports (Spanking Army on a yearly basis!)
    http://www.navysports.com/
     
  17. HooahDOc

    Physician 15+ Year Member

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    Since when did the AF require GMO tours?
     

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