Jul 2, 2019
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I am considering applying for the HPSP for either the Airforce or Army. My wife is finishing up her time in the Air Force and has loved her time. My Father-in-law is former army and many other members of my family have served. I have always been interesting in serving and being able to treat our warriors.

My main worry is about the military match. I am super confused and keep seeing people posting about being GMOs for years before residency. Is that common or do most people match into a military residency? I am wary of just taking the recruiters word for it that 85% match into their specialty of choice. There are a few specialties that interest me but in the end I don't want to end up not matching into something that I am passionate about. My interests right now are Anesthesia, EM, and PMR. I know that that is a wide variety but I'm just getting started and I'm sure that I'll narrow it down over time.


Anyway, can someone just please give me an overview of how the match works, whether most people get their desired match or not, and what happens if you go GMO. Thanks.
 
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akuko2

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Speaking from the AF side of things. They publish the Health Professional Education Requirement Board (HPERB) yearly which shows you how many training spots are available. You apply for the military match around the same time as the civilian match but you hear the results around mid December while the civilian match results are out mid March. This matters for the AF because there are 3 training routes:

Active Duty: You do your residency at a military treatment facility and are payed as an officer + benefits.

Civilian Sponsored: You do your residency at a civilian hospital but are payed as an officer + benefits although this leads to a longer post residency service commitment.

Civilian Differed: You do your residency and receive pay from a civilian institution. You are essentially divorced from the military while in residency and this does not add additional service commitment.

If you are applying to spots that have a lot of civilian differed or sponsored spots you should also apply to the civilian match via ERAS so that you can secure a civ spot if the military assigns you that.

The AF isn't in the habit of assigning people to GMO spots unless people go completely unmatched in the military or get assigned a civilian training slot and go unmatched in the civilian match. You can re-apply to the military match after your GMO tour.

From my understanding the Army side offers more Active Duty training spots than the Air Force and therefore have little to no civilian training routes in residency and are also not generally in the habit of assigning GMO tours. This has just been what I have gathered from colleagues though.
 
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Jul 2, 2019
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So just to see if I understand, if I wanted to do EM which is really competitive in the military but didn't match into a military residency, I can match into another civilian residency go through that and then return to the military? I would have to do the sponsored one most likely though right? The differed one is pretty rare isn't it? Anyway thank you for your help.
 
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SirGecko

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So just to see if I understand, if I wanted to do EM which is really competitive in the military but didn't match into a military residency, I can match into another civilian residency go through that and then return to the military? I would have to do the sponsored one most likely though right? The differed one is pretty rare isn't it? Anyway thank you for your help.
Only if the military says you are allowed to apply to the civilian residency. So you would match civilian deferred through the military and then need to match in the civilian match.
 

akuko2

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So just to see if I understand, if I wanted to do EM which is really competitive in the military but didn't match into a military residency, I can match into another civilian residency go through that and then return to the military? I would have to do the sponsored one most likely though right? The differed one is pretty rare isn't it? Anyway thank you for your help.

No. Lets say you apply EM in the military, you would rank all the active duty military spots (EM base #1, EM base #2, EM Base #3...) in addition to the option EM civ deffered and EM civ sponsored. If you match at a MTF you go there, if you match 'EM civ def' or 'EM civ sponsored' you are allowed to apply in the civilian match. The military still has to limit the supply of EM docs so those civilian positions still count as a 'spot' in the military but when you 'match' into that position it just means the mil is allowing you to apply to the civ match. In reality the civ and mil match timelines overlap so you would apply EM via ERAS (the civilian portal) and via the military and if you match an AD spot just withdraw your civ app.
 
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akuko2

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Does this work the same way for fellowship? I am air National guard and want to apply critical care

I'm not familiar with how it works on the Army side of things but for Air Force the HPERB lists fellowship positions as well. They have a different impact on service commitment that you'd have to look up.
 

deuist

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Often times, when family members mention the good times they had in the military, they weren't in medicine. The military match is one of the biggest gambles you would make whenever you sign the contract. And a lot of people lose. Imagine this conversation going down on the line side:

Fresh Lieutenant: I'm ready to train as a fighter pilot.
Big Air Force: No, you're going to be a finance manager.
Fresh Lieutenant: I spent the last four years majoring in aerospace engineering so that I can become a pilot.
Big Air Force: finance manager.
Fresh Lieutenant: I don't like spreadsheets and giving presentations.
Big Air Force: finance manager.

That is the military match.
 
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Vandalia

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Often times, when family members mention the good times they had in the military, they weren't in medicine. The military match is one of the biggest gambles you would make whenever you sign the contract. And a lot of people lose. Imagine this conversation going down on the line side:

Fresh Lieutenant: I'm ready to train as a fighter pilot.
Big Air Force: No, you're going to be a finance manager.
Fresh Lieutenant: I spent the last four years majoring in aerospace engineering so that I can become a pilot.
Big Air Force: finance manager.
Fresh Lieutenant: I don't like spreadsheets and giving presentations.
Big Air Force: finance manager.

That is the military match.

I don't know if that is a great example because that is true for the vast majority of lieutenants. They have the Academy/ROTC service obligation way before they find their career field in their senior year.

I know a fair number of guys who studied aerospace engineering and thought (hoped) they would get pilot slots who ended up doing personnel.
 

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