ARMY HPSP clarification/advice

patriots12

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Nov 14, 2017
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  1. Pre-Health (Field Undecided)
    I am currently weighing the pros and cons of accepting an ARMY HPSP scholarship

    1. Can I get some clarification on whether or not the ARMY has GMO tours?

    2. Is it true that the ARMY has a less competitive residency match than the other military branches + civilian medical school?

    For example, I am somewhat suspicious of 0.71 applicants per approved position for an Army Derm residency (2016). I am interested in pursuing
    competitive surgical specialties.

    Additionally, if there are any ARMY HPSP students or docs that would willing to talk with me over the phone I would really appreciate it.

    *Disclaimer: I spent hours combing through SDN + Reddit mil med forums before posting this*





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    Roberie

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    Sep 24, 2008
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    1. Resident [Any Field]
      GMOs definitely exist. If you don’t match to your desired specialty you’ll at least match to an internship, likely a transitional year. If you reapply as an intern and don’t match a second time (likely), you’ll head out as a GMO. After that tour you are more likely to match to your field of choice as a “field” applicant, barring any academic/professional red flags or weird mannerisms (e.g. don’t show a video of yourself wrangling horses instead of specialty specific info during your audition rotation presentation).
       
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      fishdoctor0225

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      May 15, 2019
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      1. Pre-Medical
        I am currently weighing the pros and cons of accepting an ARMY HPSP scholarship

        1. Can I get some clarification on whether or not the ARMY has GMO tours?

        2. Is it true that the ARMY has a less competitive residency match than the other military branches + civilian medical school?

        For example, I am somewhat suspicious of 0.71 applicants per approved position for an Army Derm residency (2016). I am interested in pursuing
        competitive surgical specialties.

        Additionally, if there are any ARMY HPSP students or docs that would willing to talk with me over the phone I would really appreciate it.

        *Disclaimer: I spent hours combing through SDN + Reddit mil med forums before posting this*





        .
        1. From my understanding the Army has GMO tours but they are less common than in the other branches. If you do not match into a residency, you can do an intern year and apply again, or you can do an intern year and GMO. Army GMO options include brigade surgeon (or battalion idk) and flight surgeon (can take this course at Ft Rucker in Alabama). A recruiter may tell you no one in the Army GMOs, but they definitely do.

        2. I haven't applied for residency yet so I can't speak much on competitiveness. The powerpoints will make it seem like some residencies are somewhat non-competitive. I do believe, however, that the Army offers the most residency programs - thus, you may have the greatest choice in terms of specialty. Ultimately, the number of residency slots for each specialty vary each year in accordance with the needs of the Army.

        Hopefully someone further along in the process can give you more insight, I'm just a newbie HPSP student.

        Sent from my SM-G930V using Tapatalk
         
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        Lambert Eaton

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        Feb 13, 2020
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          i wouldn't say it's that much less competitive. if you look at the scores for the competitive specialties in the army gme slides, they're pretty on par with scores from the civilian match. yeah there's random years where derm doesn't go filled like 2016 but it's impossible to predict that as an applicant. For example optho has .43 applicants per approved position in 2017 and 1.66 applicants per approved position in 2020 so you never really know
           
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          CABG patch

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            1. Yes the Army has GMO tours. The Navy interrupts residency more for them than the Army. But your chances increase if you apply for a competitive specialty. Everyone will match into an internship somewhere. Some get accepted into their choice and wont have to deal with a GMO tour. A not insignificant number will match into a transitional year and reapply to their desired specialty. Some get accepted and go on with life. Some don't and either realign their goals with what the Army has to offer, or go out and do a GMO tour. When you finish residency, you're not safe from them either. Attendings from nearly all specialties can get pulled to be a Battalion Surgeon for a few years. They usually go to FM, PEDs and IM but I have seen specialists get tagged. It's a GMO tour in everything but name, but after you have some skills that can atrophy.

            2. The Army match varies year to year with no rhyme or reason. We have more spots, but we also have more applicants. For example, Urology is an exceptionally competitive match in the civilian world but a few years ago the Army couldn't fill their spots on the first round. Prior years were very different. There are limited spots in each field and no way to know how many HPSP students are going to apply for them. Some years even Family Med had students defer into a transitional year because they were full. This is all assuming that by the time you go to match, they don't eliminate the specialty you want to go into and farm it out to civilians.
             
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            HighPriest

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              Agree with CABG.

              GMO less likely than Navy, but it still happens and you can be pulled out after residency for a desk job.

              Competitiveness varies highly. The year before I applied for ENT, the match rate was 1.75 applicants/spot. The year after the rate was 0.75 applicants/spot. Some specialties are fairly consistent of course. Others vary greatly. I think people see, say, derm had a 1:1 match rate last year, so a bunch more people apply the following year, which makes that cup overflow.
               

              patriots12

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              Nov 14, 2017
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              1. Pre-Health (Field Undecided)
                Thanks for all the thoughtful responses. I know this is asked a lot, but can anyone thats been through the ARMY HPSP process speak to whether they would accept the scholarship knowing what they know now?
                 

                armytrainingsir

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                  I was HPSP a looonng time ago, and it was among the best decisions I've ever made, all things considered.

                  That said, in 2020, I would not advise most to go HPSP. Too many uncertainties.

                  The only folks where HPSP or USUHS makes sense is for current .mil that want to go operational/command and possibly 'older' students (35-36) who are dead set on a short residency and a short career in a low paying specialty.

                  Reserves or NG if you must scratch the .mil itch.
                   

                  HighPriest

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                    I got the scholarship in 2004 (started med school). I wouldn’t have done it if I knew then what I know now. That’s not to say it was all bad, or that there aren’t certain aspects I would miss if I had my current knowledge and didn’t do it. But overall it wasn’t a positive experience, I don’t feel like I really contributed anything meaningful to the Army, I’m definitely behind financially, and due to the way my military career panned out it was far more stressful than anything I’ve encountered on the civilian side.

                    Btw, I don’t think it’s unreasonable to ask someone who has been through it what they think. That’s a big part of this forum. I would encourage you to ask people who have already been through it. I would caution you to be careful when taking advice from recruiters or HPSP students simply because they don’t know what they don’t know. I thought I knew what I was getting in to as a premed and as a med student. I definitely did not.
                     
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