Jun 11, 2019
Hey everyone!
I'm new to this area of SDN so I apologize if this question has already been posted.
I've recently been considering applying for the Army HPSP and I've been trying to research it as thoroughly as possible before working through that 51 page application. Yesterday I came across some articles saying that the DoD wants to reduce the number of medical personnel by a 15,000 or more in 2020 (see here). I was just curious how this would affect me as an HPSP recipient? I imagine they'll probably reduce the number of residency spots, right? I don't really want to go through with this if it will be meaningless by the time I graduate. I'm planning on asking my recruiter about this next time we talk, but I figured it might be more helpful to hear from some people on here as well.


Something witty goes here.
7+ Year Member
Apr 29, 2011
Yuma, AZ
Attending Physician
You have asked the million dollar question (probably literally). Unfortunately no one knows the answer. Despite what the DoD wants, Congress has said they can’t do it without a study on how it will, or will not, disrupt care. But it is a major point of uncertainty.

Also, I wouldn’t even bother asking the recruiter about it. They will have no clue either.
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Ortho Staff
Lifetime Donor
10+ Year Member
Jun 8, 2007
Attending Physician
As @Cooperd0g said, nobody can guarantee anything at this point.

If they are keeping the flood gates opened (still accepting same number of HPSP and USUHS spots) then we should expect those students to have a pathway for training in medicine. The specifics of what that means nobody knows. Will there only be residencies for Operational specialties by the time you start residency? Will there be no active duty residencies at all and everyone is deferred to the civilian world? Will you get trained as an intern and be a GMO for the remainder of your time in the military? Nobody knows.

As with most changes in the military, those who are "grandfathered" in to the original system which they signed up for will be OK. You'll become a doctor, but specialty training is anyone's guess right now. At this time DHA is claiming to continue to value and prioritize active duty GME training. But with the uncertainty of the policies and changes they are implementing, sustainability of active duty GME programs is in question. Again...none of us laypeople can guarantee anything right now.


15+ Year Member
Jan 21, 2002
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Attending Physician
I cannot in a good conscience recommend anyone join Army right now. I refused to give a talk to HPSP students. Lower pay and deployment are acceptable as part of military life. Doubt regarding training opportunities? I don’t know about this. You worked hard to get into medical school. I cannot understand why anyone would take chance in the military right now?!
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