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First Post?

Discussion in 'Military Dentistry' started by Utes, Jul 23, 2006.

  1. Utes

    Utes Senior Member
    5+ Year Member

    Jul 18, 2004
    Likes Received:
    Am I the first to post in this forum?

    I'm interested in hearing from some of the dental students on HPSP on how smoothly (or rough) things have worked out for you with the HPSP.

    Also, I'm interested in hearing from dentists in the services on what the average day is like for you, what things you may not have anticipated etc.

  2. Dadoh

    Dadoh Member
    2+ Year Member

    Jul 1, 2006
    Likes Received:
    Dental Student
    It is pretty nice being in dental school and being in the HPSP. At my school they pay for everything upfront except for health insurance. That is the only thing that I have to file for reimbursment. The people that are in charge of getting your paperwork done understand that most hpsp students don't understand much about the military red tape and they are very helpful. Besides sending in a couple forms each year, there is nothing that would lead anyone to believe that I was in the military. The stipend has been nice. I have a wife and three kids so I do have to take out some loans supplement the stipend, but so far I have only had to take out stafford loans. Not the high interest private loans. If Tufts has summers off then you will have to do your officers' training during the summer.
  3. dentalguy

    dentalguy Senior Member
    10+ Year Member

    Oct 18, 2004
    Likes Received:


    For those of you considering the military, I'm sure all of you have looked at the stipends and monetary benefits. As it has been said before, you should not do it solely for the money. However, the shortage in dental and medical students signing up for the military has shrank since the Iraq/Afghanistan era. This increase looks very appealing but I have no idea when it would be passed by Congress. It sounds like it could be by this fall but who knows. I thought this may make difference. I have received both the Army and Navy scholarship and have done EXTENSIVE research on it. My decision changes every day but if anyone wants to discuss this you can PM me.
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  4. burton117

    burton117 The Big Kahuna
    10+ Year Member

    Jan 7, 2004
    Likes Received:
    Medical Recruiting Falls
    Tom Philpott | July 07, 2006
    Army, Navy Medical Scholarships Go Begging

    The number of medical students accepting Army and Navy scholarships has fallen sharply over the last two years, in part because of the mayhem in Iraq as depicted in daily news reports, say service medical leaders.

    A scholarship program that the Army surgeon general calls “our lifeblood, over time, for recruiting physicians,” is failing to attract enough qualified applicants by wide margins, except in the Air Force.

    Difficulties in recruiting the next generation of Army and Navy physicians and dentists have spurred the Senate to approve new authorities to increase dramatically medical bonuses and stipends.

    The increases, which potentially involve millions of additional dollars for medical personnel, are before a House-Senate conference committee and could win the full support of Congress by fall.

    The services recruit roughly 70 percent of physicians and 80 percent of dentists through the Health Professions Scholarship Program (HPSP). The rest graduate from a military-run medical school, accept military financial aid while in residency training or enter service as fully-trained doctors.

    HPSP scholars see full tuition covered in their civilian medical schools plus books and fees and receive a monthly stipend of $1289. In return, students agree that for every year of schooling provided, they will serve a year as a military physician or dentist.

    All the services had been meeting HPSP goals until fiscal 2005. The Navy had expected to sign 291 medical school students but could attract only 162, a 44 percent shortfall. Numbers for fiscal 2006 look about the same or a little worse, said Vice Adm. Donald C. Arthur, the Navy surgeon general.

    The Army in ‘05 expected to award 307 scholarships. It fell 70 short, missing its goal by 24 percent. Through nine months of fiscal 2006, the Army has awarded 179 scholarships, 61 percent of goal.

    “I am concern we’re going to be short” again, said Lt. Gen. Kevin C. Kiley, Army surgeon general. The impact will be felt “down stream,” Kiley explained, creating future shortages but not affecting the current number of doctors available for war or patient stateside care. The training pipeline that turns a new medical student into a doctor is four to nine years long, he said.

    Dental school students are another concern. In fiscal ’05, the Navy hoped to sign 85 dental students under HPSP. It attracted 65. The Army last year awarded 10 fewer dental scholarships than the 93 planned. It also wanted to sign 30 dentists through direct accession but could get only 16.

    With three months remaining in fiscal 2006, the Army Dental Corps has less than half the HPSP students it seeks – 54 of 115 – and has enticed seven of the 30 dentists planned to be brought in through direct accession.

    The Air Force is exceeding its HPSP goals. An official credited the Air Expeditionary Force concept which limits combat assignments for medical and dental officers to predictable four-month tours, and several years in between. Applicants also are told the Air Force offers a higher quality of life.

    Kiley and Arthur, in separate interviews, blamed some of their downturn on news and images out of Iraq. Young people, Kiley said, “look at this and say either ‘I don’t agree with our war’ or ‘I sure don’t want to be over there.’ So they see signing up for a scholarship as tantamount to enlisting and going right into combat.[In fact] it’s going to be anywhere from four to 9 years before that would happen.”

    The recruiting environment is toughening for other reasons. Kiley noted that more than half of medical school students are now women, a gender historically less interested in military service. Also, he said, the HPSP stipend of $1279 a month “is not a lot to live on” and still stay debt free.

    Arthur pointed out that more scholarship alternatives to HPSP are being offered by large managed care companies and even by rural communities sponsoring the education of students who become local doctors.

    Many prospective medical students, he said, know little about the military, except what they read and see in the news which upsets them.

    To counter such impressions, the Army and Navy are beefing up medical recruiting and sending young medical officers with operational experience to visit colleges, medical schools and professional conferences to explain the quality of their training and the rewards of service in wartime.

    Meanwhile, the Senate package would:

    -- Double, to $30,000 a year, the stipend for HPSP scholarships.

    -- Increase to $60,000, from $22,000, maximum student loan repayment to entice more medical and dental school graduates into service.

    -- Increase to $45,000, from $15,000, maximum annual grants allowed under the Financial Assistance Program for doctors who choose to complete residency training in the civilian sector before military service.

    -- Increase to $25,000, from $10,000, the size of special pay offered to Selected Reserve health professionals trained in critically short wartime specialties. Some who might qualify include emergency room physicians, surgeons, urologists, ophthalmologists and dermatologists. This is the only initiative in the Senate packet that the Bush administration sought.

    -- Enhance dental accession bonus authority. Dentists currently are offered an accession bonus of up to $30,000. That would be raised to $200,000, recognizing that dentist salaries in the private sector have increased with demand for their services in an improving economy.

    -- Allow a new accession bonus of up to $400,000 for physicians and dentists in war-critical specialties. Enticed from civilian life, the doctors would promise to serve at least four years. Specialists who might qualify include maxillofacial surgeons, thoracic surgeons and orthopedic surgeons.

    Arthur said the Navy would like to have all of the new authorities and would use most of them immediately. The Army, said Kiley, would use the $200,000 to $400,000 accession bonuses “carefully and judiciously.”
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