Army HPSP Medicine - Advice from a Woman's Point of View

Discussion in 'Military Medicine' started by veromar122, May 5, 2007.

  1. veromar122

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    Hi!

    I am currently considering the Army HPSP to pay for med school. I've read various threads about the pros/cons of taking the HPSP but I haven't read any opinions from a woman's point of view. I'm worried about starting a family during the time I'm in the program (during residency or after) and about how women are treated in the military. For the women out there that have been through it (have gone through residency and active duty or are going throgh it...), is the sacrifice worth it? My scholarship application goes to board May 15th and I'm still having doubts as I don't know much about the military life and women in the service.

    I would be greatful for any advice and/or experiences that you could give me.
     
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  3. kzjonez

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    PM me and I will give you the scoop !! From a Boricua that is in the system.
     
  4. The White Coat Investor

    The White Coat Investor AKA ActiveDutyMD
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    It isn't a scholarship. Rid your mind of that belief now and you will be much happier. It isn't competitive. Everyone gets it. In fact, they would like to give more away than they can. Ask your recruiter how many people get turned down at this board. I would venture to say the only people turned down are those who don't qualify from a medical perspective and those who didn't get into a US Med school. Surprise me if you can.
     
  5. USAFdoc

    USAFdoc exUSAFdoc
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    1) if you want HPSP, you will get it. The military is desperate. You are likely a good candidate and will have no problem getting in.

    2) if you want to do milmed/get the $$ during school NO MATTER WHAT, then do it. Realize that the "no matter what" will include alot that you will possibly/likely regret and will not be worth the $$.

    3) milmed primary care is pretty much "trashed" across the board. I would not take HPSP if that is your goal.

    4) women docs got treated the same as the male docs (badly from 75% of admin).

    5) mil med is tough on everybody and will be doubly tough if you are pregnant and raising a family.

    6) milmed needs you, but will treat you and your patients like crap. The question is how badly do you want to serve? (no matter what):idea:
     
  6. NavyFP

    NavyFP Senior Member
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    The Navy has said no to people who have gotten into US med schools.
     
  7. Ex-44E3A

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    This year? Are you sure about that? Unless they were 400bls, openly gay, had a felony conviction or substance abuse issues, I find it unlikely that they Navy would turn down almost any qualified HPSP candidate who could even partially fake a military bearing.

    Do you know what grounds the board used to deny the applicants?
     
  8. The White Coat Investor

    The White Coat Investor AKA ActiveDutyMD
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    I'm also curious as to the percent who apply, and qualify medically and sexually, who are not offered the "scholarship."
     
  9. orbitsurgMD

    orbitsurgMD Senior Member
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    Diabetes.
     
  10. Ex-44E3A

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    Ok. I'll buy that.
     
  11. NavyFP

    NavyFP Senior Member
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  12. Ex-44E3A

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    Sure... but do you know what they call the guy who graduates last in his class in medical school?

    "Doctor."

    This is a numbers game for the higher-ups. They want warm bodies, and I don't believe they're willing to make a stand on "grades and MCATs." In any event, the "higher ups" will never experience the care shortages that Airman Snuffy will endure... they'll just pull rank and have the doctor come to their home to care for them (don't scoff... I've seen that exact situation happen). I have no faith, based on my experience while on active duty, that they're willing to do what's necessary to attract quality applicants.

    Forgive my relentless cynicism about this, but I've seen the AF do far worse things than accept a questionable HPSP applicant, all to please the evil queen of numbers.

    Agreed. The next question is how you judge that in a first-year medical student with no clinical experience. Obvious sociopaths or idiots are probably easy to cull... but I'd guess anyone else with even a thin veneer of normalcy gets a shot at it. When I was HPSP (well before the current drop in applicants), we had some real bonafide freaks that were on scholarship.
     
  13. The White Coat Investor

    The White Coat Investor AKA ActiveDutyMD
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    Why would they have good enough grades and MCATs to get into a US med school but not good enough to be a military doc? I've been on civilian admissions committees and I've been faculty in a military residency program. If they are good enough academically to cut it in one place, they're usually good enough in the other.
     
  14. The White Coat Investor

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    Hey! I get airsick, but I'm in the Air Force. Think they'll let me out?
     
  15. Pemberley

    Pemberley Senior Member
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    I can't tell you about military medicine -- however, I can tell you about military life as a woman. I've posted this before at some point, but if I recall correctly there weren't many other military women around here to answer, so here's the recap:

    I was Air Force, not Army, but when I deployed to Baghdad some more-than-usually dopey personnel person decided to make me an augmentee for an Army unit. I was one of vanishingly few women in the unit, and the only Air Force person (read: 4-month deployment) among Army guys (read: 12-month deployment). I really wouldn't have blamed those guys for resenting and despising me.

    Instead, as soon as I'd demonstrated that I was good at my job, I was treated with far more respect than I'd ever gotten from a group of pilots. If you're prepared to work hard for the soldiers you're supposed to care for, your gender won't matter.
     
  16. delicatefade

    delicatefade ASA Member
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    Fixed. :D
     
  17. West Side

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    Playing fast and loose with the definition of "mistake", aren't we?

    Oh, delicatefade, ya beat me to it. :D
     
  18. West Side

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    I'll give you this, you can sure harbor a grudge. Kudos on staying bitter!:thumbup:

    I'm sorry to report that I'll be disappointing you. I'd purchased a wonderful flower apron and everything!

    Maybe when you grow up to be a big boy, you'll realize it doesn't always pay to do as your told. Didn't have to compromise ourselves morally/ethically. And I know this kills you, but we're still together. If, god forbid, things don't work out, it won't be because of the military.
     
  19. runningmom

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    Firstly, I couldn't wait to use this emotico........ :hijacked:

    Secondly, I think it is officially called the "Spouses Club". :laugh:

    And thirdly, Tired, I love your loyalty and pluck, but perhaps it is now better to say good riddance to dear Westside and his intact "morals/ethics". Does the military really need another bitter doc???
     
  20. West Side

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    I don't see where I'm dispensing ethical advice.

    In fact, given your last paragraph, you're not much for reading comprehension in general, huh? Switching connotes coming from something equivalently bad. Left to right, letters forming words, which in turn form sentences. You should look into it!

    Honestly, I can't keep up this feigned animus. We're just glad we've mitigated this whole military issue. And I'm feeling magnanimous towards even you, Tired: when your wife's sick and tired of getting dragged all over the world/never seeing you, send her my way, I'm sure I can find some au pair work for her. :D In all seriousness, this name calling is pretty childish, and has no value-add to this board. I'm done with it.

    This is an honest perspective for the original poster: assume your significant other (whether he exists yet or not) aspires to something more than following you around the world and working as an on base functionary. Assume such a job (re: not career) would not be fulfilling to someone with any level of professional achievement. The military really doesn't work if you want to have a normal family life. Estragement, professional dislocation, physical seperation: it's a reality, OP, and something you should give at least passing thought to (although who knows, maybe you have a husband and you've already discussed this with him, in which case, you're a step ahead of the game with a compliant significant other).

    Having gone through this, I find the sacrifice people make all the more admirable. AF deployments are 6 months. Army are 15(?). Maternity leave is 12 months, although I'm hazy on the exact number. How'd you like to leave your child at a year old, and not come back until he's 3? AND make your husband a Mr. Mom, without any without any help caring for your new baby (i.e., kiss a career goodbye). Bless the hearts of those who do it, I suppose someone has to. I just hope more and more of them are correctly intentioned, and know what they're getting into.
     
  21. West Side

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    Absolutely. What I've been saying all along.
     
  22. West Side

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    Your rationale makes no sense.

    By the same token, you'd call BS on a reporter because he or she wasn't part of the news.

    As another post on that thread very aptly stated, just because I don't have first hand experence of the truth doesn't change the fact that it's the truth.

    And I've done an admittedly poor job of keeping my "advice" to my first-hand experience, which is as a civilian and as one of the closest people to someone in this program. I don't know why you would take that perspective as a personal affront, but you clearly have. Oh hell, I'll even apologize, although I know not what for. But whatever ticked you off, you've hijacked the thread, and this poor person hasn't heard from a single female med student.
     
  23. Galo

    Galo Senior Member
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    I'm sorry to contribute to the offshoot this thread has taken, but I am very curious. West Side, did you significant other get out of the HPSP contract?? If you can't say how, I'd love a PM.

    To the OP, being a woman and a hispanic, I can tell you you are open to both sexism and racism. I can tell you stories, that I've witneseed, but having myself been the but of both, (yeah a big ugly nurse descriminated against me), I can tell you the military is no save haven. Not to say that civilian can be much worse. Also, you really need to read this forum closely. At this point in time military medicine is in such crap, that its really not a good road for a physician. Get trained well, at a civilian medschool, civilian residency, and then see what the climate is like.

    good luck hermanita
     
  24. megadon

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    Maybe it is, but I can tell you from the submarine line officer side (all male granted) that is still called the wive's club. And there can be more politics there than on the boat. My wife was a Marine, so I got an invite to join her wive's club when she was on deployment. Passed that one up quick, I wouldn't have belonged with that group and would have wasted their time/ been a pain in the neck.

    As far as sexism and racism are concerned to address Galo's concern (not the first time I'm up against him), yeah, you're probably right, there is still a fair amount of sexism in the military. As far as racism, I would argue that point to my grave. On the line (combat arms for you Army, AF types) I think its less. You are absolutely forced into working with different ethnicities, or else the job doesn't get done, and that doesn't cut it. At least for me, and maybe this is not the norm, I couldn't give two [email protected]#s about what race someone was as long as they got the job done well. We had hispanics, asians, blacks, and everything else under the sun male on the sub. Granted, less than the population percentages, but each could do their job. Every single mast case I went to was a white male, so I think the race card was not in play for submarines.

    I will also argue the point, and my wife will back me up, there are reasons that women are excluded from certain fields. Tour a fast attack submarine, better yet ride one for two days, and you will see that there is not enough privacy to include women. If they are integrated, give them their own boat. SEALS, if you can pass all the physical tests, including cocking two pistols at once, fair game. Just don't see it happening on a large enough scale to justify incorporating women. They are not excluded from spec ops, only SEALS (ie can be EOD). As far as infantry, artillary, armor, the argument is that women have needs every month that can not be cared for. This one is arguable, and is further heightened by the emotional argument of women taken as POWs. That is arguable and less clean cut.

    Anway, to get off that rant, there is no reason women shouldn't be incorporated into everything else. There are probably quite a few women out there who will be better docs than me. There is nothing limiting their potential to be doctors based solely on their sex, that is ludacrious. However, the military is still predominately male, and if you can deal with the testosterone in the air and know the safety valves, women do just fine. Not to say it couldn't be better, there is plenty of room for improvement, but know your audience. Grunts are stereotypically macho/chauvenist. To wrap it all up, a freaking nurse is the Army surgeon general, but that pisses me off not cause she is a she, causes its a nurse.
     
  25. Ex-44E3A

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    The Spouses Club can be a major factor in boosting or undermining an active-duty spouse's career. Don't underestimate the political power that can be wielded by regularly dining/socializing with the wing commander or general's wife (could also be husband... I don't want to be sexist).

    While spending time growing up as an military brat, and in my own time on active duty, I watched it happen again and again; socially-involved and politically-shrewd spouses making the difference in promotions, decorations, and assignments.

    On the flip side, I've also seen problem spouses torpedo more careers than I can remember.
     
  26. alpha62

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    my wife totally derailed my career.

    I was pissed at her for about 6 months, but now I realize she probably saved my life.

    The guy that replaced me was killed by an IED.
     
  27. West Side

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    Good christ.

    To all the kids looking at HPSP, let this stand as the sobering and stark difference between the military and the civilian world: that career "success" can arbitrarily lead to a very real chance of cessation of life.
     
  28. megadon

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    Jesus, well that's a reality check.
     
  29. Ex-44E3A

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    Quite a coincidence... and a sobering one.

    My condolences to the man's family.
     

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