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Armed Forces Scholarships

Discussion in 'Medical Students - MD' started by NYNOLE2, Jun 12, 2002.

  1. NYNOLE2

    NYNOLE2 Member

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    I am starting school in the fall and wanted to get some fo your opnions on this scholarship as an option to pay for school, either if you have chosen this route or have classmates that have. Any opinions are appreciated, thanks
     
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  3. CaptainAmerica

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    Check out <a href="http://www.studentdoctor.net/links/financial_aid.html." target="_blank">http://www.studentdoctor.net/links/financial_aid.html.</a> There's a section on military scholarships which should give you information on the Health Professionals Scholarship Program. I am currently an active duty army officer (starting school this fall at USUHS). I recommend the Army, but then I'm kind of biased. Let me know if you have specific questions about army medicine--I've been in the field for seven years.
     
  4. edmadison

    edmadison 1K Member

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    I'm a big fan of HPSP. We've had many a conversation here I wish they would set up a military medicine forum -- oh well.

    First, apply ASAP, it may not be too late for you to get a four year scholarship. The value of the scholarship is highest for four years because of the way payback is calculated. If you are accepted you can always turn them down, so act fast.

    Second, only do it if you want to be in the military. This sounds dumb, but many people have gone into the program thinking they were just going to be a doctor. You are a soldier (sailor/airman) first, then an officer, then a doctor, don't forget that.

    Third, do your homework. There are lots of little "secrets" about HPSP and military medicine. Talk to people to find these out -- you can look in some of the past HPSP threads, or ask us questions. Remember, recruiters have a job to do. They will not lie to you, but they may stress some strengths and may leave out some weaknesses. They will answer any direct question you have, so ask them. You are comitting yourself to a long obligation (12 years+) so make sure you get the right info.

    Good luck and let us know if you have any questions.

    Ed
     
  5. NYNOLE2

    NYNOLE2 Member

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    What little secrets are you talking about, what weaknesses do you see, are you in this program? What type of quesitons should I be asking?
     
  6. edmadison

    edmadison 1K Member

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    </font><blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">quote:</font><hr /><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Originally posted by NYNOLE2:
    <strong>What little secrets are you talking about, what weaknesses do you see, are you in this program? What type of quesitons should I be asking?</strong></font><hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">I only have a few minutes so I'll give one of the big ones....

    When you do HPSP, they tell you that your payback duration is the length of your scholarship. However, what they may not tell you is that you incur an additional payback obligation for any training that the military gives you. Residency counts as training. You must serve 1 year for each year of residency, not counting your internship. Now here's where it gets confusing: You can serve the obligations concurrently, but they are tracked separately. Some examples may help illustrate this:

    Let's take me for example. I'm doing a three year Army HPSP scholarship (Hoo-ah). My scholarship obligation is three years. If god grants my wish, I'll be doing an ortho residency - internship plus four years. My training obligation would then be four years. Thus, after residency I serve three years active duty as an attending and have fulfilled my scholarship obligation, but still have a year left on my training obligation. If you do a four year scholarship, this shouldn't present too much of a problem unless you want to do neurosurgery.

    But let's say I decided to join the Navy instead of the Army following in my paternal grandfather's footsteps instead of my maternal grandfather's. I still do a three year scholarship and ortho. After my internship, the Navy decides to send me out on a GMO tour (very common). At that point I owe three years on my scholarship obligation and have not incurred a training obligation. The Navy sends me out on an aircraft carrier for two years. I now owe only one year in scholarship obligation. I get sent to San Diego for ortho residency and four years later I become an attending. I now have incurred a four year training obligation. After one year as an attending, I have completed my scholarship obligation, but still have three years left on my training obligation. Once I've completed everything, I will have served AD for five years of residency and other years six years only having had a three year scholarship. A total of eleven years. Without the GMO tour its only nine

    The Navy's GMO policy, in my opinion, is responsible for a great deal of the disatisfaction in their medical coprs. After doing a GMO tour, you are faced with the tough choice of incurring significant new obligation, or doing another year or two and leaving the Navy. Of course if you leave, you have to find a PGY-2 position, which is pretty tough for competitive specialties. Fortunately, the Army and Air Force have virtually eliminated the GMO tour, at least on a non-voluntary basis.

    I'll add more later when I have some time.

    Ed
     
  7. Marinedoc2

    Marinedoc2 Junior Member

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    Keep in mind that people will have a variety of experiences- both good and bad, when it comes to HPSP. I did a 4 year Navy scholarship and paid back 5 years (internship + 2 Flight tours w/Marines). Overall, VERY good experience. Had my choice of several military residency spots but opted for civilian radiology. I was much more competitive coming out of the military than I thought I would be. No debt, money in the bank and the GI bill during residency sure makes a difference!! Good luck.
     
  8. lilycat

    Moderator Emeritus

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    In following all the debates on this, the biggest question I still have is military residency vs. civilian residency -- how exactly is that determined? For example, say you want to do dermatology, but the air force/army/navy (whatever branch you're in) doesn't *need* any more dermatology residents at that time/you don't match in the military match for it. If that's the case, can you definitely try to match for a civilian position, or do you have to settle for another medical specialty within the military system?
     
  9. edmadison

    edmadison 1K Member

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    A few of us are having a debate on this very issue, I can tell you first what is not in debate:

    The ARMY match form has five slots. You must put down five program choices. If your chosen specialty has five or more programs and you match in the army, you must go. Deferments are very uncommon in the army if you match. If you don't match, it is current army policy that you are granted an automatic deferrment to enter the civilian match.

    Here's where the debate comes in. One of my Army/Student Doctor Net colleagues and I have been told different information by Army bigwigs. I hope that I characterize this correctly, he was told that under no circumstances will you be forced into a specialty you do not want to do. In other words, if you are selected for a program in your second choice specialty you can get a deferment. I was told that if you get one of your five choices, you must go, even if it is in your specialty of second choice.

    I kind of hope that I am wrong, but even if I'm not there are ways to hack the system. I'll leave those up to you to figure out.

    Of course, for USUHS folks, they must do their residency in the military, so they can definately get matched in a specailty that is not their first choice.

    It is also my understanding that the Air Force permits those who promise to apply in specialties that they are short in or don't have residencies for to get a deferral for the civilian match

    Ed
     

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