StarboardMD

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Aug 24, 2006
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I am currently an MSII looking at potentially getting discharged and being removed from HPSP for a medical issue (psychiatric condition) that came up after I was already on the scholarship. Whether I stay in or not is basically up to the Army now, so there's no point in debating the chances of whether I'll be dumped. I am wondering if there is any possibility of getting anything other than an honorable discharge, and is there any way that this could negatively impact my residency application or medical licensure? My condition itself isn't what I'm worried about--I've already investigated what's involved with licensure, etc. in spite of it. I'm just worried about the potential for a mysterious discharge from the Army to negatively affect my future career. If anyone has any info or ideas about who I should talk to, I'd be grateful to hear them!
 

bustbones26

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I am currently an MSII looking at potentially getting discharged and being removed from HPSP for a medical issue (psychiatric condition) that came up after I was already on the scholarship. Whether I stay in or not is basically up to the Army now, so there's no point in debating the chances of whether I'll be dumped. I am wondering if there is any possibility of getting anything other than an honorable discharge, and is there any way that this could negatively impact my residency application or medical licensure? My condition itself isn't what I'm worried about--I've already investigated what's involved with licensure, etc. in spite of it. I'm just worried about the potential for a mysterious discharge from the Army to negatively affect my future career. If anyone has any info or ideas about who I should talk to, I'd be grateful to hear them!
I am not sure who exactly can answer this question for you correctly. Unfortunately, finding the person who can will be a challenge.

Here is a personal experience that I can share with you. Late in my second year of medical school, I discovered that I had two medical conditions. Being the honest person that I am, the HPSP contract somewhere says that you have to report of changes in your medical condition to OTSG. So that is where I started and that is where you should start too. Whoever is in charge of you at OTSG, call them up and tell them that you have had some changes in your medical condition.

Now, I feared ignoring it and being accussed of hiding it later. It was a hassle, but here is essentially what they did. They cut me orders to go to WRAMC to be seen by two separate clinics to address each condition. Essentially, they initiated a medical board (MEB) on me. At the time, I was just going through the motions but now that I have dictated tons of MEBs I know what these entail. Anyways, in the army, we have the AR 40-501 which summarizes terms and conditions of an MEB which I know you can look up online somewhere, download it (pdf file), look up your condition in chapter 3 and see what it says.

Ultimately, at the end of every MEB dictation, every doc states "He/She meets/does not meet retention criteria per AR 40-501 paragraph X-XX" You get the idea. Then these MEB dictations go to a physical evaluation board who process the decision, keep him, dump him, how much of a rating, etc. In my case, my MEB went through and disappeared and I was retained.

Don't sweat it too much, in HPSP, you are not even really in the Army!! Its almost amusing, only the people in OTSG know that you exist, everybody else has no clue who you are or what you do. You are in a reserve unit that has no commander and does not drill and as you are making phone call after phone call to people it will just not make any sense to them at all how you managed to be commissioned as an O-1 and do nothing.

My suspicion would be this, if you go through the motions at OTSG as I did, they likely would cut you orders to see a psychiatrist at WRAMC who would dictate and MEB, and as stated before, summarize whether you meet/do not meet retention criteria for AR 40-501. Don't sweat it if you are medically discharged, you will likely get nothing and neither would the Army. It is not dishonorable to be medically discharged.
 
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StarboardMD

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Awesome. That's the kind of info I'm looking for. I, too, am a naively honest person, so I reported the medical change, sent in all my medical records, and two months ago, they decided the documentation was insufficient to make a decision, and I would have to be seen by an Army doc. Two months later, I'm still waiting for them to make the appointment. Of course, the longer they delay, the more school they're paying for, but I digress.

I've checked the AR 40-501 Ch 3 and my condition is on there, so I guess it's up to the Army as to how badly they want me. So, if I were medically discharged, I would get an honorable discharge? And then, if the question of prior military service ever came up, I could say that I was honorably discharged, end of story? That's exactly what I was looking for. Thanks so much!
 

elderjack21

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Awesome. That's the kind of info I'm looking for. I, too, am a naively honest person, so I reported the medical change, sent in all my medical records, and two months ago, they decided the documentation was insufficient to make a decision, and I would have to be seen by an Army doc. Two months later, I'm still waiting for them to make the appointment. Of course, the longer they delay, the more school they're paying for, but I digress.

I've checked the AR 40-501 Ch 3 and my condition is on there, so I guess it's up to the Army as to how badly they want me. So, if I were medically discharged, I would get an honorable discharge? And then, if the question of prior military service ever came up, I could say that I was honorably discharged, end of story? That's exactly what I was looking for. Thanks so much!
You will not get a dishonorable discharge. At worst you'll get something like a general discharge or something. Not a big deal and it won't hurt you in any way.
 

gravy4thebrain

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The servicemembers I have seen discharged for medical reasons received honorable discharges. I would be surprised if you are given anything but an honorable discharge. Perhaps a general, under honorable discharge but this can be upgraded to honorable six months after separation.
 

BigNavyPedsGuy

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I was under the impression that a medical discharge was essentially an administrative seperation, and does not carry the stigma of an "other than honorable discharge".

Look at this way: every kid who comes back from Iraq missing their legs ends up with a medical discharge. I doubt their discharge has any negative effect on their future career.
wow, Tired. What a dramatic way to make a simple analogy :)
 

i want out

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I was under the impression that a medical discharge was essentially an administrative seperation, and does not carry the stigma of an "other than honorable discharge".

Look at this way: every kid who comes back from Iraq missing their legs ends up with a medical discharge. I doubt their discharge has any negative effect on their future career.
as a GMO you may have the opportunity to learn a little more about the types of seperation.
I am going from memory, and thank God its been almost a year since I was on active duty.

administrative seperation which medical discharge almost alway falls under is neither a positive nor a negative thing. There will be a code on the DD214 that essentially says whether they would take you back into the Military, and that is likely to be different.

If you really want to get deep into it you can even find out what kinds of things will make easier for them to stick you with an OTH which is not as benign on your DD214 as it sounds, also not as easy to make stick.

Some good reading about DD214s past and present
http://dd214.us/dd214andjobs.html

i want out (of IRR)