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TheBoneDoctah

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Mar 12, 2013
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Hello,

I’m right now in the process of applying to medical schools and I’ve been talking to recruiters for the HPSP scholarship. I have one concern. Are your options to go to competitive specialties limited? For example I want to do the Navy HPSP but I may be interested in neurosurgery in the future. Would it be feasible to do both?
A few things I have learned since I know multiple people who went HPSP.

1. Only go HPSP if you WANT to be in the military.

2. Do not do HPSP because you think you are going to come out ahead financially. The only time it’s worth it financially is if you go into a super low paying field and even then most of the time it’s not financially worth it. Hence, refer back to #1.

3. Yes, you can get into competitive specialties. I have two friends who matched ortho in the military. However, sometimes you are also limited. Our #1 in the class wanted ortho and didn’t match and is now doing military general surgery. So, again refer to #1.
 

MusicDOc124

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Oct 27, 2013
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Reiterating the above. Only do HPSP if you want to be in the military.

As for competitive specialties - the opportunity is there. However there is more fluctuation as to the competitiveness from year to year and a few additional factors thrown in that affect your ability to go into them. 1) spots are limited more so than in civilian match. For instance an old roommate wanted PMR but was HPSP. While not a competitive field, there is only 1-2 seat in total for all branches in the military match. 2) some of the more competitive fields may look at someone who has prior service and/or just completed a GMO tour over someone applying fresh out of school. Doing a GMO tour for instance pays back the time requirement, but if you go to a residency after the GMO, you're actually adding years back to payback in addition to the years spent in residency unless you go the civilian route at that point.

Due to these amongst other things, it is not recommended for someone to go through HPSP for either financial reasons or thoughts of getting a more competitive specialty "easier."
 
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