Apr 2, 2010
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hi everyone. i'm currently a LT in the air force. i applied to med school in the current cycle (starting school fall 2010) and i'll be doing the air force hpsp (hopefully...will be notified soon if i got the scholarship). i've been accepted to a few MD programs that i like and i'm waiting to hear back from a few more. by the time i start med school, i will have completed just over 2 years active duty.

my question is regarding air force residency programs. will my brief time on active duty before med school help me in the military match? furthermore, does it make a difference which med school i go to? like everyone else, i don't want to get stuck in a GMO tour...not saying i'll have a hissy fit if i do, i'd just like to avoid it if possible.

also, what about civilian deferment? my guess is that in general, those who are most qualified (as determined by the air force, of course...seems like the jury is still out on whether or not the air force uses the best metrics to make this call) will get civilian deferments. With that being the case, i would assume that whatever would help me in the military match would also help me get a civilian deferment. so, if my brief time on active duty and med school choice would help with the military match, would they help with civilian deferment? i just want to make sure i'm doing everything i can to keep all my options open.
 
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backrow

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i just want to make sure i'm doing everything i can to keep all my options open.
The best way to do this is to NOT take HPSP. Other than that it's really up to the whims/needs of the service at the time you graduate. I would plan on doing an in-service internship followed by GMO. If you get something else then that's awesome, but if you end up with the "usual" route you won't be as disappointed when you end up there.
 
Apr 2, 2010
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well like i said, i'm currently active duty. and since i still have a lot of time left in my active duty service commitment, my only options are to do the HPSP or not go to medical school. I understand what you're saying when you say not to take the HPSP (that seems to be quite a popular response), but again, that's not really an option for me.

so, given that i WILL be doing the HPSP, i just want to make sure i'm aware of everything that could improve my situation.
 

a1qwerty55

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The prior ad time probably won't help. The main variables are your performance on rotations, board scores, and how competitive the speciality you are pursuing is (essentially the number of applicants for it). Med school won't matter much either.
 

backrow

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so, given that i WILL be doing the HPSP, i just want to make sure i'm aware of everything that could improve my situation.
I figured you were stuck in that predicament. In that case....do well in your studies and cross your fingers, because in reality there are too many variables to predict at this point what will be the lucky combination for you in 4 years.

Remember the AF wants the best for their own residency programs, the worst won't get picked up by civilian programs....so maybe mediocracy is the best path :)
 
Apr 2, 2010
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Remember the AF wants the best for their own residency programs, the worst won't get picked up by civilian programs....so maybe mediocracy is the best path :)
haha yeah i was afraid of this. maybe i'll just go to my AF residency interviews and act like a complete prick to everyone.

thanks for the responses
 
Apr 5, 2010
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Hi All!
I am new here too. My hubby is actually the one applying for the HPSP Scholarship as well and is currently active duty air force. Does anyone know if we still get a $20,000 bonus or is that for civilians only? Also how long does it take to find out if we get the scholarship or not? Seems like there is not to much info about this for active duty. If anybody has any helpful info I'd appreciate it!!
 
Apr 2, 2010
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Pre-Medical
Hi All!
I am new here too. My hubby is actually the one applying for the HPSP Scholarship as well and is currently active duty air force. Does anyone know if we still get a $20,000 bonus or is that for civilians only? Also how long does it take to find out if we get the scholarship or not? Seems like there is not to much info about this for active duty. If anybody has any helpful info I'd appreciate it!!
i'll chime in with what i know, but please double check. i believe active duty still gets the signing bonus. and as far as i know, those of us who applied from active duty should be finding out within the next two weeks (probably this week) if we were awarded scholarships. if you click the link below, you'll see some phone numbers on the right of the page. those people will be able to answer your questions for sure. good luck!

http://airforcemedicine.afms.mil/idc/groups/public/documents/webcontent/knowledgejunction.hcst?functionalarea=AFPhysicianEducation&doctype=subpage&docname=CTB_048680

i know exactly what you mean about the lack of information for active duty. it took me FOREVER to track down all the info i needed for this, but i think i have a pretty good handle on it now that it's almost over. so if you have any other questions, feel free to ask
 
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Gatorfan44

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Found out today I did not get the Air Force HPSP scholarship. I'm applying for Navy as we speak, but it's hard to give up 10 years of active AF service.
 
Apr 5, 2010
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Found out we did not get HPSP either. I really don't know why!? You put in 11 years in the AF and think you would have a better chance than a civilian but we were like WTF? They complain that they don't have enough applicants and then they still don't give out the scholarships. Anybody else get approved for it?
 
Apr 2, 2010
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i got the scholarship (SO stoked...i'm gonna be a doctor!!!) so i can't hate on AFPC too much, but yeah it seems like it's easier to get the HPSP as a civilian. i think (don't know for sure) it's because each year they have a fixed number of scholarships set aside for military, and a fixed number set aside for civilians. so, civilians compete with civilians for scholarships and military compete with military, but they don't compete with each other. for the military, most (if not all) of the scholarships are alloted to afrotc and academy grads. then, the scholarships that are left over from afrotc and academy grads are given to active duty applicants. this means there aren't very many scholarships given to current active duty applicants, which makes it difficult for them.

as i mentioned earlier, civilians are in a completely different pool of competition. they have a ton of scholarships, and they rarely get enough applicants to fill all of them, so it's not competitive at all. now, why they don't give the unfilled civilian alloted scholarships to active duty applicants is beyond me, especially given the amount of effort it takes to get into med school. my guess is that they don't want to lose those applicants from their current air force career fields (engineering, personnel, finance, etc).

i think this is an ill-advised approach, because if someone has been accepted to med school (one of the requirements to apply for the scholarship), chances are he/she really really really wants to be a physician. otherwise, he/she wouldn't go through the crazy application process or put in all that hard work and effort. that being the case, if the air force denies someone a scholarship, that person will probably just leave the air force when his/her active duty service commitment is up and THEN go to med school, or, like you guys are doing, do the HPSP with a different branch. either way the air force has lost that person altogether, not just from his/her current career field.

again, this is just my own speculation. i'm sorry to hear you guys didn't get it. what a waste. i hope they navy treats you better/more logically.
 
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Apr 5, 2010
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Glad to hear you got it...we are in the process of trying to figure out why we did not get it. That is what I thought....I figured if you had an unconditional letter of acceptance you would have your foot in the door. MCAT score was a 24 and GPA a 3.3, not too shabby for having a full time job, wife and 2 little boys ages 3 and 4. He is not the typical med school app but we had finally gotten in after trying the past 4 years and re-taking a lot of classes. I really think it is bull since the AF says they don't have enuf applicants but then denies you telling you that they were very competitive this year. They should really give out the unused civilian scholarships especially since us active duty personnel know the drill. I wish they would re-consider. :(
 

teacherman84

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Where are you getting the "rarely enough civilians to fill the spots" claim? At a recent board meeting when i was selected (as a civilian) only 40 scholarships were given out and i know for a fact civilian applications were turned down as a result of this.
it seems to be competitive for both civilian and active duty, maybe moreso in this economic climate. I dont see how prior service is relevant at all. I know docs who were prior service just as miserable in their job as their non-prior counterparts. It is probably cheaper in the long run to have less docs sticking around to retire anyway
 
Apr 2, 2010
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Where are you getting the "rarely enough civilians to fill the spots" claim?
right here:
again, this is just my own speculation
like i said, that's just the impression i had. i've just never heard of a civilian being turned down for this, but i've heard of tons of active duty folks getting turned down. you're probably right since i really don't have anything tangible to back up my point of view.

and i don't think prior service is completely irrelevant. i don't think people with prior service will necessarily make better active duty docs than non prior service folks, but it's still relevant. there are a lot of similarities between medicine in the civilian and active duty worlds, but there are also some undeniable differences. some people handle these differences well, some people don't. for those who don't, that's not a bad thing at all, the military is just not for everyone. so, with that being the case, i think a selection board can be more confident that someone with prior service will be able to cope with the atmosphere than they can be with someone who has no active duty experience.

in addition though, whether you agree with that or not, i could see how it would feel like kind of a slap in the face when you work hard for several years serving your country in the air force just to have the air force deny you this opportunity, especially since the air force always advertises how it "takes care of its people"...debatable
 
Apr 5, 2010
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I agree with you wholeheartedly... it is like a slap in the face...I may not be the one who is active duty, but being a military wife and seeing everything that my husband has done in the service and for his country and everything he has sacrificed for his family I thoroughly thought that we would have gotten taken care of a lot better. And I like you thought being in the service could have helped our chances a little more especially when they extended the deadline for turning in the application for my husband telling him that he would more than likely get it and giving us wishful thinking! Hrrrrummmph! Sorry...me being the protective wife!!:rolleyes: