Limvostov

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I don't mean to beat a dead horse, but I have looked into this the best I really can at this point and so I am posting this for the residents and attendings to answer. Thank you in advance :)

I have been thinking about singing up for the AF HPSP scholarship for a while. I am well on my way to being finished packet and only need the two page essay and a physical exam and my packet will be all done and to the review board. My wife (an ICU nurse) and I met for 3 hours with the recruiter today and compared what the recruiter told us to what the chief hospitalist my wife works with (who spent 11 years in the AF after residency) had to say about his experience in the AF. All in all everything matched up pretty well. However, there were a few things not cleared up completely.

1) As I will be attending a DO school what are my chances of getting into a more competitive residency...say orthopedic surg. as I will be competing with MD's and people who have done their time as flight surgeons? (Just a side note: I have no idea what specialty I will want to do in the future, but I want to plan the most difficult one that sounds interesting to me, thus I said ortho surg.)

The recruiter said it would be no problem as the AF will not delineate between MD and DO. He said that if I didn't get into what I want I would just have to either do an internship year and then apply again or go flight surg and pay back a couple of years and then I would get in for sure. The chief hospitalist had no clue as he always wanted to be a hospitalist and so there was a healthy mix of DO's and MD's in his residency.

The recruiter also said that I would in no way be held from applying to the civilian match if I didn't get into a military match of my choice. However, he did say that I would have to not place at any of the three options I chose for the match and it would be best to leave options 2 and 3 blank if I planned to do this.

2) Will doing a flight surg. tour actually put me at the top of the list for any residency I want? The recruiter seemed to think so... :confused:

3) Will an internship year add extra obligation to my military time? The recruiter said I will never owe more than 4 even if my residency is 7 years long (though he did say fellowships add more time). Also he said that if I do flight surg. for three years and then have one left to serve I can do my residency and then one more year and I would be done. The HPSP website is in conflict with this and from what I can tell it says that if I do three years flight surg and then do a 4 year residency I would owe back three years of time.

4) This is not directly related to the title, but is still an unanswered question of mine. How many seats in each residency specialty have been offered over the past few years? The recruiter said no such list of numbers exists.

5) Had to add a fifth question here... The recruiter also said that military doc for all disciplines typically work from 7a-4:30p mon-friday and there is usually no "on call" duty because emergency calls go to civilian hospitals. Is this really the case? That just sounds too good to be true.



Sorry about the book and thanks for any help on any of these questions.
 
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IgD

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Did you read at all through the posts in the forum? Your questions have been answered many times over.

Doing a flight surgery tour might give you some extra points for the match but its no substitute for scholarship. There have been many people who didn't match for a residency after consecutive GMO tours and left.

I think the vast majority of 4th year medical students will match into military internships. The recruiter is correct that you can apply all you want but I would estimate the reality is less than a 1 in 10 chance you would be permitted to enter civilian training.

The part about never owing more than 4 years is absolutely false. If you do a 3-year gmo tour and then a residency more time will be tacked on to your obligation. It's even more payback if you do a fellowship too.

Finally, the no call part is absolutely false. If you are at a small hospital with only 2 physicians in your department you may find yourself taking nearly continuous call while the higher paid contractors do not.

Join the ranks of military medicine if you want but know all the facts and go in with realistic expectations.
 
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sethco

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:bang:

Agree with answer above. These questions have been asked multiple times and the answer is always the same.

While a flight surgery tour may give you more points in the military match, it DOES NOT GUARANTEE your choice of residency. I have friends that have been turned down multiple times after their utilization tours. Granted this was for competitive residencies (i.e Derm, Ortho, Anesthesia, etc). It got to the point where they said "F*ck this, I am just going to do a civilian residency and separate from the military" and that's exactly what they are doing!

In the AF, 25-30% of med school applicants with have to do a minimum 2 year GMO/FS tour before going into residency and this percentage may climb as we become more operational. Did your recruiter tell you this? You can "apply" to the civilian match, but if you are not given a civilian deferment through the military match, you have to pull yourself from the civilian match. Depending on how many interviews you will have done before the match results come out, you could waste a lot of money.

If you are really worried about having your training interupted, stay far away from HPSP. Instead look into either the Guard program or the FAP. These programs seem much superior, especially for those without prior military service.

If I were you, I would be very careful in taking any advice from recruiters, other med students, or other docs that have been separated from the miltary for longer than 5 years. The GME and military medicine has changed significantly in the past decade.

The recruiter already gave you multiple bold face lies. You will owe more time if your residency (plus fellowship) is longer than 4 years and you will incur additional commitment if you do a GMO tour and then go into residency.

It is useless to look at previous years residency spots for each specialty, as the needs of the AF change on a near annual basis.

"No Call" is false. Even as a Flight Surgeon, we still carry around pagers at night and on weekends.

Read some previous posts. You will find many more answers
 

Limvostov

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Thank you everyone who answered. I found some more stuff after reading some older posts and some of the military residency location's websites. It looks like I may need to slow down on this application and take my time reading more. I will give my recruiter a call today and let him know not to schedule me for the physical.

Your replies really helped me out thank you so much.
 

mitchconnie

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The recruiter also said that I would in no way be held from applying to the civilian match if I didn't get into a military match of my choice. However, he did say that I would have to not place at any of the three options I chose for the match and it would be best to leave options 2 and 3 blank if I planned to do this.

Categorically false that you can simply enter the civilian match for the specialty of your choice if you fail to match with the military. You MUST be selected for ortho in the military match in order to do residency in ortho, period. Now...if you are selected for ortho, you MIGHT be given a deferment to pursue civilian training, but that is in no way guaranteed, or even likely.

The bit about less discrimination against DO's is probably true. The simple fact is that the military is getting so DO-heavy, and so desperate for physicians that they can't afford to discriminate.
 

Limvostov

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Good to know that there were some truths in with all the other stuff...I would be way more likely to join if I had been told the truth from the beginning. The fact I have had a hard time getting straight answers from the military on simple straight forward questions regarding things that will effect me and my family for the next 10+ years makes me really doubt that they will take care of me like they say they will. Maybe next year I will have a better feel for the AF and the HPSP and sign for the 3 year scholarship, but this year is off for sure.
 

Galo

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Good to know that there were some truths in with all the other stuff...I would be way more likely to join if I had been told the truth from the beginning. The fact I have had a hard time getting straight answers from the military on simple straight forward questions regarding things that will effect me and my family for the next 10+ years makes me really doubt that they will take care of me like they say they will. Maybe next year I will have a better feel for the AF and the HPSP and sign for the 3 year scholarship, but this year is off for sure.


I think as you read through this forum more thoroughly, and talk to other physicians who are currently, or have recently left the military, you will realize that you have made a wise choice, and that even a 3 year scholarship is a potential shackle that you do not need if being a physician is your ultimate goal.

Just get thorough med school by whatever means you can, do a good residency based on your efforts in med school, and when you finish if you still want to join the military, you at least can do it in the specialty that you chose.

best of luck
 

AF M4

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Exactly. Agree wholeheartedly with all of the above. Take your time. The military will always be there waving in doctors with open arms and pay off your loans for you, whatever they might be. You will ALWAYS have this option, so be sure to explore the other options first.
 

i want out

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Good to know that there were some truths in with all the other stuff...I would be way more likely to join if I had been told the truth from the beginning. The fact I have had a hard time getting straight answers from the military on simple straight forward questions regarding things that will effect me and my family for the next 10+ years makes me really doubt that they will take care of me like they say they will. Maybe next year I will have a better feel for the AF and the HPSP and sign for the 3 year scholarship, but this year is off for sure.

Finding a recruiter that tells the truth, is about as hard as finding a used car salesman who never stretches the truth.

Most of the time recruiters don't even intend to lie, your just asking a question that they don't have the answer to, and they stretch what little they know about the program to fill in the blanks.

These stretched truth's or bold faced lies then effect you 5-10 years down the road, long after the Recruiter has forgotten you even exist.

The military 'taking care' of you is another common fallacy.

If your fresh out of high school, and have absolutely no idea what you want to do with your life, then the military will take you in, and put you in a job that they need done, and the enlisted community will then help you find a military career path, if and only if you find a mentor and they are interested in your future.

But as a physician, or medical student, you have already charted a course for success. The .mil is not all that interested in your career goals unless they fill a need. They will however put you in a position to fill their needs regardless of what it does for your career.

If you do decide to join, look for the words "needs of the .mil" in the contract.
These words are always a way for them to completely change the terms of your contract at will.

i want out(of IRR)
 

deuist

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You can "apply" to the civilian match, but if you are not given a civilian deferment through the military match, you have to pull yourself from the civilian match. Depending on how many interviews you will have done before the match results come out, you could waste a lot of money.

Having spent nearly $2000 on app fees, airfare, and hotels, I'm going to be really pissed if the Air Force denies a deferment on Dec 17. Looking back, I should have scheduled my interviews during January so that I could have waited to make travel arrangements.
 
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medicine1

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I think your questions about the AF scholarship are legitimate. I personally know some of the issues going on. Unfortunately, it is hard to gauge what scholarships to get, especially when one is not sure on what to specialize in. If I had to do it over again, I would have gone through the National Health Service Corps.
If you have any questions, just send me a message.
 

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Having spent nearly $2000 on app fees, airfare, and hotels, I'm going to be really pissed if the Air Force denies a deferment on Dec 17. Looking back, I should have scheduled my interviews during January so that I could have waited to make travel arrangements.

I had the same issue. I had to attend 6 civilian interviews before I knew if I had gotten a deferment. I was able to put off most of my interviews and interview expenses for January though, which would have helped had I been denied the deferment. I had gotten some assurances from the AD program directors that I shouldn't have a problem getting a deferment, but you always wonder.

Trust me, you'll piss away $2K without thinking about it in a few years. I'm considering passing up a sum of money equivalent to two years of HPSP payments just to get out a couple of months earlier.
 

AFSmiley

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The bit about less discrimination against DO's is probably true. The simple fact is that the military is getting so DO-heavy, and so desperate for physicians that they can't afford to discriminate.

Completely agree. I went to COT this past summer, and from a rough estimate, I would say MD's made up ~10-20% of the future physicians. Oh how the tables have turned..............:rolleyes:
 

deuist

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I had gotten some assurances from the AD program directors that I shouldn't have a problem getting a deferment, but you always wonder.

I was surprised to hear one of the PD's tell me that I should have no problem getting a deferment. I didn't think that he was in a position to make such a prediction---but I was certainly relieved to hear it.

The other PD hadn't looked at my application which he had for 3+ weeks and acted surprised that I was even applying to EM. All of this and he scheduled the interview! I guess that some things don't change in the Air Force.
 

AF M4

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I was surprised to hear one of the PD's tell me that I should have no problem getting a deferment. I didn't think that he was in a position to make such a prediction---but I was certainly relieved to hear it.

The other PD hadn't looked at my application which he had for 3+ weeks and acted surprised that I was even applying to EM. All of this and he scheduled the interview! I guess that some things don't change in the Air Force.

Lol, I got assurances that I would get EM and a buddy of mine was assured he'd get rads. I talked to a lot of other people afterwards and a bunch of them all had similar stories...many more people got assurances than there were slots available. It costs the PDs nothing, so why not?

Believe the assurances after you show up for the first day of residency.
 

sethco

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I was surprised to hear one of the PD's tell me that I should have no problem getting a deferment. I didn't think that he was in a position to make such a prediction---but I was certainly relieved to hear it.

Funny...I was told this same thing two years in a row. Once during my 4th year of med school and once during my intern year. The second year I did not believe him for a single second.
 

sethco

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Lol, I got assurances that I would get EM and a buddy of mine was assured he'd get rads. I talked to a lot of other people afterwards and a bunch of them all had similar stories...many more people got assurances than there were slots available. It costs the PDs nothing, so why not?

Believe the assurances after you show up for the first day of residency.

I think that the majority of the PDs are a bunch of pansies. Why couldn't they just be honest? I am sure a lot of applicants would save a lot of money on the civilian interview process if they were just honest with them. I know I spent a couple of thousand on the civilian residency interview/application process because the PD told me not to worry and I was a "shoe-in" for a deferment
 
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