Army National Guard

Discussion in 'Military Medicine' started by jhrugger, Dec 7, 2005.

  1. jhrugger

    jhrugger Senior Member
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    I have spoken with several recruiters and have gotten conflicting information. Is there anyone on this board who has done Army (or Air) National Guard during medical training (medical school, residency, post residency...) who would be willing to help me with some questions? If you would rather PM that would be great too...

    1) to serve in the Guard during medical school, does one go through basic training and OCS or is there a direct commission for the "medical profession"
    2) what is the minimum contract time (perhaps this varies among states)
    3) is deployment a possibility during medical school or only after getting an MD?

    Thanks very much for your help, I'm wrestling with a lot of thoughts regarding the combination of military service and medical training/practice.

    jhrugger
     
  2. island doc

    island doc Senior Member
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    You are certainly contemplating a dangerous path here. There is no Guard HPSP program, therefore if you do join the active guard while in medical school you will be subject to deployment, which would derail your undergraduate medical education. There are however, guard programs during residency, similar to FAP.
     
  3. Tiger26

    Tiger26 Senior Member
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    While there is no HPSP, you will still be non-deployable if you do the med student to med corps program. You're non-deployable during med school and residency. If you go to a state school, the financial difference between active and guard is very minimal. The thing is that active pays upfront, guard at the end. Just get everything in writing.
     
  4. rob14599

    rob14599 Member
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    I think this will answer your questions:

    http://www.goang.com/faq/faq_medical.aspx

    According to the ANG site, by law you CANNOT be pulled out of medical school for military duty. Also, you do not have to undergo basic training (enlisted) before officer training, you would do a ~5-week Commissioned Officer's Training course or you have the option of doing an accelerated 2-week COT course.

    Also according to the FAQ, while you cannot be deployed while in medical school, you can be deployed after you graduate if the need arises.
     
  5. adventurer

    adventurer Member
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    Not trying to rain on your parade but be aware that there is an 8 year military committment NO MATTER WHAT SERVICE YOU JOIN. Even if you sign up for "3 years" you are really signing up for 8 total years, 3 active and 5 inactive.

    Also, be very careful with requirements-they are different for the different services-I believe for the Air National Guard you can't be deployed to medical school, but you definitely can for the Army National Guard. There may be special programs you can join or whatever, but this might be different in every state.

    Of course, Active Army is a different monster altogether. I believe i was "successful" going to school and being active duty because of my bosses and job, but it still took me 6 years to get my AA-in general studies. No hard science classes and only 1 lab class. So, I would not do the active military if what you want is $ to go to med school-it just takes up to much time. If you want some other things too....I enjoyed my time and got a lot out of it, including college money but it did set me back several years.
     
  6. adventurer

    adventurer Member
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    Also- since my last job was the "retention NCO" for the MD army national guard, I feel like I should tell you what I know...

    You have to go to basic training if you haven't done so, then you join an OCS program. There are options, including doing active duty OCS, but most often people have to do the guard OCS-which you do on the weekends and for your summer training. This is a very strenuous, time consuming school and it takes about 18 months. It is a huge committment-definitely more than 2 days per month. There is a huge attrition rate-I think 5 people out of 50 actually graduate, but it may be less. Then you have to go to Officer basic school, which is a minimum of 2 months long (straight through). If you drop out or fail out of the OCS program, you are still in the military-they can do whatever they want with you.

    There are programs, like HPSP, which allow for a much easier schedule-you do officer basic one summer, then do rotations the following summer, with no weekend drills, I would strongly advise against just straight up joining the guard, even OCS while in med school. I chose to get out of the guard to go to Pharmacy school, even though I love the military. There are only so many hours in the day.

    Deployment issues:
    The guard can't deploy you untillyou finish your military training. So...if you join up and do OCS, it could be 2-3 years before you are branch qualified, and therefore, deployable. But...like I said before, there are no deferments while in Med school (or during residency)-at least in the army national guard-unless you are still in a training status (military training-not civilian).

    This may be information overload, so if you have any questions, just ask-
     
  7. FliteSurgn

    FliteSurgn This space for rent.
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    I'd investigate this further with a health professions recruiter for the Guard before acting on this information. While I know that recruiters are often full of hot air, they really will be the ones that can tell you about the current financial "package" that the Guard offers as well as answer some of the logistical questions raised above.

    If you have a 4-year degree and are accepted to medical school, you will not have to go to basic training. As long as you sign on as a health professional student, it doesn't matter if you're Army or Air Guard. You will attend a 4 week indoctrination course for other professional students/graduates (docs, nurses, lawyers, etc). You will attend monthly drills. You will not be depolyable during your medical school years. You may be deployable after your internship, but it is very unlikely until you have finished your full residency. You may be eligible for student loan repayment, GI Bill, stipends, tuition assistance, and bonuses.

    Here's a couple of links from different states that give a little info.

    http://www.dma.state.mn.us/goldrush/Direct/Specialty/MD/default.htm

    http://www.oregonarmyguard.com/med_prof.htm
     
  8. jhrugger

    jhrugger Senior Member
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    Thanks for your info and thoughts, I appreciate it. I'm still thinking through the possibilities pretty thoroughly and am grateful for your responses.

    jhrugger
     
  9. rob14599

    rob14599 Member
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    Since you are doing the one weekend a month, two days a year thing while in medical school, does that count towards your 8-year Guard committment? Or does that commitment only begin after you graduate from medical school? Even if it does, the Guard's loan repayment program does look pretty good.

    I got in to MSUCOM, so the tuition is not too high because I am a Michigan resident, so that $50,000 in loan repayment from the Guard would pay for half of my medical school education. And unlike HPSP, there is no Active Duty requirement, just the possibility of Active Duty if we were to go to war 4 years from now.

    Do you guys think the Guard is a worthwhile gamble?
     

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