I don't understand the general sentiments on these threads (i.e. militarymd, island doc). Joining the military HPSP is certainly a big commitment, but if made for the right reasons, or perhaps if one is taking a risk, how is it THAT bad? There are certainly pros and cons to military and civilian life, but they seem to even out. For example: terrible paperwork in military is similar to the HMO bureacracies today. You all also seem upset that you were forced to move, but what if someone enjoys a more transient lifestyle? seeing new places and new bases? And most of all, I fail to see how a 200K debt can be laughed at. That is a serious commitment just like joining the military is, and it will be on your shoulders for the upwards of 10-20 years. It is possible that 1. there is no other way to finance medical school other than HPSP or a National Health Corps Scholarship (which also restricts residency choice and location) 2. the financial stress and burden during medical school could be serious distractions from doing well in studies. To end, I'd like to say that I'm honestly just confused. I've been accepted to medical school for next year and seriously considering Navy HPSP. I'm seriously interested in orthopedics, but working as a DMO or flight surgeon for 4 years before residency seems like not such a bad idea. I also think the military lifestyle would push me to the max of my ability (PT is not something valued in the civilian world, and all too many docs are overweight, smoking, and depressed). Any thoughts on seriously comparing the pros and cons of military v. civilian?