ilovekitkat

Dr. Katherine Loi, DDS
10+ Year Member
Dec 27, 2006
79
58
CA
www.GetYourDentistOn.com
Status
Dentist
I did an HPSP Scholarship. I am currently serving my last year in Army dentistry. Please let me know if you have any questions about the HPSP Scholarship or Army dentistry.

If there is interest about Army Dentistry or Dentistry in general coming from the female perspective shoot them my way.

If you have questions about applying to dental school I am open ears.
 
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Incis0r

I LOVE Dental School
5+ Year Member
Aug 10, 2014
4,630
5,931
Alterac Valley
Thank you for doing this AMA, Captain (I'm assuming you're an O-3?)

1. Why did you choose the Army out of all three branches?

2. Did you ever serve overseas or deploy?

3. Why are you leaving the Army?

4. Would you choose Army again or would you choose a different branch?

5. What is your favorite part about Army dentistry?

6. What is your least favorite part about Army dentistry?

7. What advice would you give to someone considering the HPSP scholarship?
 
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ilovekitkat

ilovekitkat

Dr. Katherine Loi, DDS
10+ Year Member
Dec 27, 2006
79
58
CA
www.GetYourDentistOn.com
Status
Dentist
Have you relocated more than once? Did you do the AEGD?
I have not relocated. I graduated in USC Dental School in 2012. I entered the Army in 2013. I had a year "off" in between. Due to USC being very strong clinically I decided against an AEGD. I also figured that in 4 years of dentistry I would be able to "learn" get more comfortable with what they teach you in the AEGD.

I am stationed in Oklahoma. I have remained in Oklahoma this whole time. Due to the Army downsizing they are not moving soliders often. They will move your every three years. So, in my third year if I added more years to my commitment or went overseas I would relocated. It is voluntary... you have to ask. They will keep you where you are unless you want to move.

I ended up in the AEGD clinic for three years. The AEGD allows you to do third molar surgical extractions very well, some implant placement, perio surgery. That is the advantage of doing an AEGD over not.

If you don't do AEGD you have to take it upon yourself to improve your skills.
 
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ilovekitkat

ilovekitkat

Dr. Katherine Loi, DDS
10+ Year Member
Dec 27, 2006
79
58
CA
www.GetYourDentistOn.com
Status
Dentist
Thank you for doing this AMA, Captain (I'm assuming you're an O-3?)

1. Why did you choose the Army out of all three branches? We were in Iraq at the time and they were heavily recruiting dental students offering a 20K signing bonus. All the AF scholarship were taken. The Navy wasn't really wooing me, I am not sure if they had the signing bonus. The Army really had there stuff together trying to recruit me. They flew me out to San Antonio to do a "tour." Times were different then.

Army seemed to be the largest, so I figured they would be the least likely to run out of money. This is somewhat true. A friend was in the AF and because of budget cuts he was let go of his commitment early.

2. Did you ever serve overseas or deploy? No, I did not get an overseas assignment. I have not deployed. Deployment is on voluntary basis at this time.

3. Why are you leaving the Army? Army life is just not for me. The fiance is not in the Army. Army versus Family. I choose family. Several Male soldiers have Army wives that give up a lot to follow them.

4. Would you choose Army again or would you choose a different branch? I don't regret decisions. I am very happy with my Army experience. Life is what you make of it. I ended up in the AEGD clinic as a general dentist and made it my goal to learn as much as I could.

I think I would still do Army if I could choose again. My friends and I all said "we didn't want to be on a boat"... The marine patients that are treated by the Navy always said our dental clinic facilities are nicer and more modern.

5. What is your favorite part about Army dentistry? Being able to help soldiers that serve out country. It sounds corny, but really when it comes down to it you get to help these soldiers that are selfless that choose to fight for our country. As an Army Captain you get to have a pretty cush life compared to the enlisted. It is great to give back for free. The soldiers get the best treatment, money is very a factor. Time is always the issue. Today I just prepped four emax crowns #7-10. The solider will be leaving very soon but was unhappy with the appearance of his teeth. Being able to help soldiers have a confident smile makes my day and that is all the worth in this Army experience.

6. What is your least favorite part about Army dentistry? 0600 PT... and Army meetings, but even in the real world you have to do things for work that you don't want to do. At least you get to stay somewhat fit. Sometimes PT is a joke...

7. What advice would you give to someone considering the HPSP scholarship? Make a decision and just do it. I waited a few weeks to decide. I got a 3.5 year scholarship instead of 4. I delayed it by a bit. It cost me in the end.
 
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ilovekitkat

ilovekitkat

Dr. Katherine Loi, DDS
10+ Year Member
Dec 27, 2006
79
58
CA
www.GetYourDentistOn.com
Status
Dentist
1. Why did you choose the Army out of all three branches? We were in Iraq at the time and they were heavily recruiting dental students offering a 20K signing bonus. All the AF scholarship were taken. The Navy wasn't really wooing me, I am not sure if they had the signing bonus. The Army really had there stuff together trying to recruit me. They flew me out to San Antonio to do a "tour." Times were different then.

Army seemed to be the largest, so I figured they would be the least likely to run out of money. This is somewhat true. A friend was in the AF and because of budget cuts he was let go of his commitment early.

2. Did you ever serve overseas or deploy? No, I did not get an overseas assignment. I have not deployed. Deployment is on voluntary basis at this time.

3. Why are you leaving the Army? Army life is just not for me. The fiance is not in the Army. Army versus Family. I choose family. Several Male soldiers have Army wives that give up a lot to follow them.

4. Would you choose Army again or would you choose a different branch? I don't regret decisions. I am very happy with my Army experience. Life is what you make of it. I ended up in the AEGD clinic as a general dentist and made it my goal to learn as much as I could.

I think I would still do Army if I could choose again. My friends and I all said "we didn't want to be on a boat"... The marine patients that are treated by the Navy always said our dental clinic facilities are nicer and more modern.

5. What is your favorite part about Army dentistry? Being able to help soldiers that serve out country. It sounds corny, but really when it comes down to it you get to help these soldiers that are selfless that choose to fight for our country. As an Army Captain you get to have a pretty cush life compared to the enlisted. It is great to give back for free. The soldiers get the best treatment, money is very a factor. Time is always the issue. Today I just prepped four emax crowns #7-10. The solider will be leaving very soon but was unhappy with the appearance of his teeth. Being able to help soldiers have a confident smile makes my day and that is all the worth in this Army experience.

6. What is your least favorite part about Army dentistry? 0600 PT... and Army meetings, but even in the real world you have to do things for work that you don't want to do. At least you get to stay somewhat fit. Sometimes PT is a joke...

7. What advice would you give to someone considering the HPSP scholarship? Make a decision and just do it. I waited a few weeks to decide. I got a 3.5 year scholarship instead of 4. I delayed it by a bit. It cost me in the end.
 

DuckDS

2+ Year Member
Nov 12, 2015
27
5
Status
Dental Student
What was/is the living situation like? Are you on-base or living off base?
 
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ilovekitkat

ilovekitkat

Dr. Katherine Loi, DDS
10+ Year Member
Dec 27, 2006
79
58
CA
www.GetYourDentistOn.com
Status
Dentist
What was/is the living situation like? Are you on-base or living off base?
IF you
What was/is the living situation like? Are you on-base or living off base?
If you are married you can live on-post, on the base. If you are single you have to live off post, off base. The military gives you a housing allowance, BAH every month. The amount you get depends on your rank and location. You will get CPTS pay if you are in the Army O-3. If you live on the base, the Army base will take all of your BAH. Sometimes the base will give you some money back because they are trying to recruit officers to live on the base... empty houses that they need to fill...
 

Polkadotfan

5+ Year Member
Jul 9, 2014
256
228
Status
Pre-Dental
Do you have to do PT everyday? Waking up that early :rofl:

Do you have to go to SHARP meetings and safety briefings all the time?
 

MahiMahi

Optimism
7+ Year Member
Mar 13, 2011
201
101
Up in the air
Status
Pre-Dental
- Do you feel like you're limited in your practice, because you didn't do the AEGD?

- To clarify - it's possible to stay in the same place for all 4 years?

- What were some of the big things that stood out to you, when you first entered army life from the civilian world?

- Do you keep in touch with your peers from your dental school? How are they doing at this point in their careers?

- How is social life in the military, for married/engaged folks?

- Aside from PT, what other non-dentistry obligations are you required to do during the year?
 

Mason91

5+ Year Member
Aug 19, 2014
233
138
Status
Dental Student
I did an HPSP Scholarship. I am currently serving my last year in Army dentistry. Please let me know if you have any questions about the HPSP Scholarship or Army dentistry.

If there is interest about Army Dentistry or Dentistry in general coming from the female perspective shoot them my way.

If you have questions about applying to dental school I am open ears.
I don't know much about HPSP scholarship but how much of your dental education did it cover? Do you mind telling us how much you made in the army (including every bonus/allowance and extra stuff)?
 

californiway21

2+ Year Member
Jul 11, 2016
486
580
Status
Dental Student
Do you have any advice on how I should go about my motivational statement?. My essay goes in this order; why I am interested in dentistry, why I am interested in the Navy (talking about family members in the service and the HPSP programs, and how the Navy will help me achieve my future goals, and what I will bring to the Navy. Any other thoughts? Thanks!
 

schmoob

Moderator
2+ Year Member
Mar 26, 2015
2,466
3,528
Social life in the military is just fine. Especially if you don't go anywhere. If you're in one spot and don't deploy, it's basically a 9-5ish. More like a 0600-1600 with PT, but you go home every day.
Personally, I lived on base and I liked it. It was quiet and convenient. No need to waste time in gate traffic and definitely saved gas money. Plus all utilities were paid for. The AC was ALWAYS on. Also the bases do lots of events. They did Oktoberfest which was cool. Also on Halloween they organize trick or treating, and security was on every corner so it felt safe. Some folks turned their garages into awesome haunted houses.
As far as extra duties, in the military regardless of what you do, you're always a Soldier, Sailor, Airman, etc... so there are briefings, trainings, and plenty of paperwork.
 
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ilovekitkat

ilovekitkat

Dr. Katherine Loi, DDS
10+ Year Member
Dec 27, 2006
79
58
CA
www.GetYourDentistOn.com
Status
Dentist
Do you have to do PT everyday? Waking up that early :rofl:

Do you have to go to SHARP meetings and safety briefings all the time?
I have PT MWF. It depend on who your commander is, just like in civilian world. Basically if your boss/commander really cares about PT expect to be working out hard! If he doesn't care and doesn't show up, expect to show up and do some light stretching...

Military hours are early. 0600 PT

My current clinic starts at 0630 treating basic trainees.

In the beginning when I became active duty there was A LOT of SHARPs training. Expect a lot during basic officer leadership course. You have to do one annually... and it depends on if your Post/Base General wants it done more often....

Lots of meetings. Lots of training. It is a part of the job, but you get used to it... HOpe that helps!
 
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ilovekitkat

ilovekitkat

Dr. Katherine Loi, DDS
10+ Year Member
Dec 27, 2006
79
58
CA
www.GetYourDentistOn.com
Status
Dentist
Thank you for answering my questions.

How hard is it for a newly minted Captain to get a spot in a Comprehensive Dentistry residency? Do you have any info here?
All military residency programs are very difficult to get into. I think it is more difficult to get into military residency then civilian. There are only a number of stops in the military and some specialties like Pediatric, Ortho etc are joint.

As far as the COMPREHENSIVE army dentistry residency it is competitive. I have friends that applied and did not get it. It is just like applying on the outside. Army stuff can help, but they look at everything. Just because you do extra solider duties doesn't mean it is a shoe in.
 
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ilovekitkat

ilovekitkat

Dr. Katherine Loi, DDS
10+ Year Member
Dec 27, 2006
79
58
CA
www.GetYourDentistOn.com
Status
Dentist
- Do you feel like you're limited in your practice, because you didn't do the AEGD?

I feel limited in the Army. I don't feel limited in my practice. I plan on leaving the Army. Once I leave I can take CE that I pay out of pocket for on placing implants and perio surgery. Those are two things that I want to do more of. If you do not do AEGD do not expect to do perio surgery, place or restore implants. You can basically do everything else that you are comfortable and credentialed to do. You have to show your OIC (Officer in CHarge) aka boss that you can do procedures before you are okayed to do them on your own without supervision. There is no time to really learn or get good at perio surgery if you don't do an AEGD. The prosthodontist keeps taking all the implant cases that I worked up, but I get it. Basically you have to pay your dues... AEGD kind of does that. When you are finished at AEGD you might not be able to do those cool procedures sometimes though because of the population of soldiers you are treating.

Things AEGD is good for:
1. Perio Surgery
2. Surgical Third Molar Extractions - Speed + Practice
3. Implant restorations
4. Comprehensive Full Mouth Rehab - treatment plans... instead of referring out you get to do all procedures on your patient or assist.

- To clarify - it's possible to stay in the same place for all 4 years? Yes

- What were some of the big things that stood out to you, when you first entered army life from the civilian world? Having to constantly check in. Someone always knowing where you are. Accountability. It is like living with mom and dad again, but now it is the ARMY.

- Do you keep in touch with your peers from your dental school? How are they doing at this point in their careers? Yes. Peers are now opening up there own practices or opened them up. Some are associates. Friends are making lost of $, but also paying back student loans. When I see some people on the outside they look very tired. Military dentistry is chill.... no patient.... get paid.

- How is social life in the military, for married/engaged folks? Depends on how social you want to me, but there is a big community if you are to participate. Lots of events on post and people are always throwing parties and bbqs. There is always food in the DENTAC, at least in my clinics. The assistants are always cooking up a storm and feeding me.

- Aside from PT, what other non-dentistry obligations are you required to do during the year? LOTS... just like a regular job. Be prepared to do stuff other then dentistry.... meeting, putting presentations together. You are a soldier first, dentist second they always say. It makes sense bc the Soliders Run the Army, civilians work... at least that is how DENTAC/ MEDDAC works
 
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ilovekitkat

ilovekitkat

Dr. Katherine Loi, DDS
10+ Year Member
Dec 27, 2006
79
58
CA
www.GetYourDentistOn.com
Status
Dentist
- Do you feel like you're limited in your practice, because you didn't do the AEGD?

- To clarify - it's possible to stay in the same place for all 4 years?

- What were some of the big things that stood out to you, when you first entered army life from the civilian world?

- Do you keep in touch with your peers from your dental school? How are they doing at this point in their careers?

- How is social life in the military, for married/engaged folks?

- Aside from PT, what other non-dentistry obligations are you required to do during the year?
- Do you feel like you're limited in your practice, because you didn't do the AEGD?

I feel limited in the Army. I don't feel limited in my practice. I plan on leaving the Army. Once I leave I can take CE that I pay out of pocket for on placing implants and perio surgery. Those are two things that I want to do more of. If you do not do AEGD do not expect to do perio surgery, place or restore implants. You can basically do everything else that you are comfortable and credentialed to do. You have to show your OIC (Officer in CHarge) aka boss that you can do procedures before you are okayed to do them on your own without supervision. There is no time to really learn or get good at perio surgery if you don't do an AEGD. The prosthodontist keeps taking all the implant cases that I worked up, but I get it. Basically you have to pay your dues... AEGD kind of does that. When you are finished at AEGD you might not be able to do those cool procedures sometimes though because of the population of soldiers you are treating.

Things AEGD is good for:
1. Perio Surgery
2. Surgical Third Molar Extractions - Speed + Practice
3. Implant restorations
4. Comprehensive Full Mouth Rehab - treatment plans... instead of referring out you get to do all procedures on your patient or assist.

- To clarify - it's possible to stay in the same place for all 4 years? Yes

- What were some of the big things that stood out to you, when you first entered army life from the civilian world? Having to constantly check in. Someone always knowing where you are. Accountability. It is like living with mom and dad again, but now it is the ARMY.

- Do you keep in touch with your peers from your dental school? How are they doing at this point in their careers? Yes. Peers are now opening up there own practices or opened them up. Some are associates. Friends are making lost of $, but also paying back student loans. When I see some people on the outside they look very tired. Military dentistry is chill.... no patient.... get paid.

- How is social life in the military, for married/engaged folks? Depends on how social you want to me, but there is a big community if you are to participate. Lots of events on post and people are always throwing parties and bbqs. There is always food in the DENTAC, at least in my clinics. The assistants are always cooking up a storm and feeding me.

- Aside from PT, what other non-dentistry obligations are you required to do during the year? LOTS... just like a regular job. Be prepared to do stuff other then dentistry.... meeting, putting presentations together. You are a soldier first, dentist second they always say. It makes sense bc the Soliders Run the Army, civilians work... at least that is how DENTAC/ MEDDAC works
 
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ilovekitkat

ilovekitkat

Dr. Katherine Loi, DDS
10+ Year Member
Dec 27, 2006
79
58
CA
www.GetYourDentistOn.com
Status
Dentist
Social life in the military is just fine. Especially if you don't go anywhere. If you're in one spot and don't deploy, it's basically a 9-5ish. More like a 0600-1600 with PT, but you go home every day.
Personally, I lived on base and I liked it. It was quiet and convenient. No need to waste time in gate traffic and definitely saved gas money. Plus all utilities were paid for. The AC was ALWAYS on. Also the bases do lots of events. They did Oktoberfest which was cool. Also on Halloween they organize trick or treating, and security was on every corner so it felt safe. Some folks turned their garages into awesome haunted houses.
As far as extra duties, in the military regardless of what you do, you're always a Soldier, Sailor, Airman, etc... so there are briefings, trainings, and plenty of paperwork.
I agree with you. It is what you make of it. If you want to make friends there are many people to meet. Although the whole rank thing is weird.. so I just keep with the officers... especially being a female captain
 
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ilovekitkat

ilovekitkat

Dr. Katherine Loi, DDS
10+ Year Member
Dec 27, 2006
79
58
CA
www.GetYourDentistOn.com
Status
Dentist
Do you have any advice on how I should go about my motivational statement?. My essay goes in this order; why I am interested in dentistry, why I am interested in the Navy (talking about family members in the service and the HPSP programs, and how the Navy will help me achieve my future goals, and what I will bring to the Navy. Any other thoughts? Thanks!
Sorry. I just used my statement from dental school. At that time they were giving out Army HPSP scholarships like Halloween Candy. It was not very competitive to get, or maybe I was just a hot candidate to get. UCLA undergrad, USC Dental School. I would say just talk about yourself, leadership, why you want to be in teh NAVY, what you can contribute. Good luck!
 
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californiway21

2+ Year Member
Jul 11, 2016
486
580
Status
Dental Student
Sorry. I just used my statement from dental school. At that time they were giving out Army HPSP scholarships like Halloween Candy. It was not very competitive to get, or maybe I was just a hot candidate to get. UCLA undergrad, USC Dental School. I would say just talk about yourself, leadership, why you want to be in teh NAVY, what you can contribute. Good luck!
Thank you for the reply and your service!
 
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ilovekitkat

ilovekitkat

Dr. Katherine Loi, DDS
10+ Year Member
Dec 27, 2006
79
58
CA
www.GetYourDentistOn.com
Status
Dentist
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ilovekitkat

ilovekitkat

Dr. Katherine Loi, DDS
10+ Year Member
Dec 27, 2006
79
58
CA
www.GetYourDentistOn.com
Status
Dentist
UPDATE: For anyone graduating dental school and going to serve in the armed forces I highly recommend getting your patches sewn on.. I know it sounds trivial... but you can save yourself a lot of headache by missing patches from doing laundry and when the patches get old because the velcro gets worn they tend to fall off. This will leave you frantically looking around for a small piece of your uniform... and a small piece missing makes a BIG difference.

I just spent the last 15 minutes looking for my Last name... and found it underneath a recyclable shopping bag. The patch was velcro-ed onto the bag... I was cleaning up today and I was frantic that I threw it away. I was about to climb into a dumpster.

I am only a few weeks from getting out of the Army.. so It does not make sense for me to buy sewn on patches... but this is something I wish I did from the beginning... there have been many occasions where I "misplaced" a very important part of my uniform and spent many minutes looking for it.
 

itsJazz

5+ Year Member
Jul 8, 2014
21
16
Texas
Status
Pre-Dental
Hi Dr. Loi, I was wondering if you ever ran into any situation where you were treated unequally compared to your male counterparts (based solely on your sex and not rank/experience). Would you say sexism in the military is equal to the amount you were exposed to in civilian life?

What have you done to prepare for transition into civilian life? What do you anticipate to be the most difficult part of the transition? How much has the army helped you to prepare for transition/how much will the army help you transition?
 
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May 5, 2017
72
8
Status
Pre-Dental
Hi Dr. Loi! I'm applying to HPSP Army scholarship right now and I have posted my question on the forum, but I'll paste them here too. I wuld appreciate it a lot if you could help me decide whether the scholarshi is a perfect fit for me

1. I honestly want to get into this prorgram because they pay for my tuition (main reason). But don't get me wrong, I also want to serve the country and help out soldiers as well since this country has given me so many good opportunities. However, there's a 9 wks training I have to attend every year and I don't know if I will be able to handle that. I used to be in martial art team and I notice that I get tired super quick and run out of breath really fast (I already did physical with them but they didn't notice anything about this), and I hate pushups lol This is the part i'm very concerned. If I get into the program but can't handle this, will they kick me out really fast? Basically I just wanna know what type of training will I be doing

2. I know i have to work for the army however many years they pay for my tuition. I'm wondering how much is their pay compared to regular dentist? I guess it'll be lower but I don't want it to be ridiculously lower. And where do army dentists normally get placed to work? I dont mind being place into underserved areas because I intend to work with underserved populations anyways, but I'm scared that they may send me to Iraq or the war zone

thank you in advance!