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Here is how much military [ARMY] students/residents/doctors make...

Discussion in 'Military Medicine' started by wanabdoc, May 17, 2008.

  1. wanabdoc

    wanabdoc .666k member 2+ Year Member

    Sep 18, 2007
    Since no one seems to know the answer to this question, here is how much army docs make (from US Army recruitment documentation 2008):

    MEDICAL STUDENT (HPSP Scholarship)

    Full tuition at your choice of medical school (or which ever one you slid into) + $26,300 per year for living expenses


    $69,903 per year

    PHYSICIAN (Post-residency)

    $133,816 Anestheiology
    $115,916 Dermatology
    $123,816 Emergency Medicine
    $110,816 Family Practice
    $123,816 Gastroenterology
    $126,123 General Surgery
    $111,816 Internal Medicine
    $111,816 Neurology
    $133,816 Neurosurgery
    $128,816 OB/GYN
    $125,816 Ophthalmology
    $133,816 Orthopedics
    $127,816 Otolaryngology
    $113,816 Pathology
    $109,816 Pediatrics
    $110,816 Preventative Medicine...
    $112,816 Psychiatry
    $133,816 Radiology

    This includes all housing, variable, etc pay. There may be more pay for times you spend in combat zones, but not that much more. All pay is before taxes.

    Analysis: As a student you will come out ahead of your peers (26k is more than most sustenance allowances allowed under student loans). Also, the 20k signing bonus can buy a nice car or pay off your undergrad loans. As a resident, you also come out ahead, 70k vs 40-50k in non-military residency. However, as an actual physician, you can fall far behind depending on your choice of specialty. Family doctors and pediatricians come out ahead from a financial perspective (including student loans). However, you can see that anesthesiologists and radiologists who routinely earn over 300k in private practice pwn the military docs who get less than half of that. Off course orthopedic and neuro surgeons are even more at a loss. This is from a purely FINANCIAL perspective, without factoring patriotism or poor working conditions.

    I can post a breakdown if there are questions about where all the money comes from. These figures are based on being a 2LT in Medical School and a CPT in residency and post-residency. If you get promoted to MJR you can add about 6k per year onto the above post-residency figures.
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  3. pgg

    pgg Laugh at me, will they? Moderator 10+ Year Member

    Dec 14, 2005
    Home Again
    Those may be reasonable guesses, but there are factors you're not including.
    • It's not unusual for residents to make >$100K, especially in the Navy where it's the norm to do a GMO tour and hit O-4 while in residency.
    • BAH varies a lot depending on location.
    • GMO time and prior service have big effects on these figures.
    • You say "all pay is before taxes" but don't mention that BAH/BAS are untaxed income.
    • Promotion to O-4 is typically a much greater increase than $6K/year. At that point, most people are crossing the 6 years time-in-service mark, and the increase in VSP alone is $7K/year.
    • Once obligated service time is up, you can get MSP if you choose to stay in. Some of these bonuses are very large, depending on specialty.
    Anyone who wants to know how much they'll make in the military should look at the pay charts themselves and do the math.

    Overall, you're correct. Financially, on average primary care docs come out even or ahead; specialists lose over the long run.
  4. Perrotfish

    Perrotfish Has an MD in Horribleness Physician 10+ Year Member

    May 26, 2007
    Thank you for the analysis, it should be stickied.
  5. The White Coat Investor

    The White Coat Investor AKA ActiveDutyMD Physician Partner Organization 10+ Year Member

    Nov 18, 2002
    SDN Partner
    Don't forget that BAH can vary quite a bit. Plus, you make more when you're deployed, and for most of us, that'll occur once every couple of years.
  6. elderjack21

    elderjack21 10+ Year Member

    Jan 4, 2006
    You may want to mention that moving expenses are paid for between med school and residency, residency and first duty assignment as well.

    If you have a family by that point in time, you will find that having someone foot the bill and give you some extra money for getting set up on the other side (Dislocation Allowance) will be a huge help.

    Many in the military can take advantage of additional tax benefits of becoming or remaining residents of states like TX/AK that don't require state income taxes even though they are moving around the country.

    Finally, it wouldn't hurt to factor in the amount of interest you save by not taking out huge amounts of loans while in school. Each $100k in loans costs you about 7k a year in interest at today's student loan rates.
  7. Boardrider32

    Boardrider32 2+ Year Member

    Jan 22, 2008
    I will be making almost 80K going to USUHS with my prior pay and that is with O1 BAH and no medical specialty pay.
  8. deuist

    deuist Stealthfully Sarcastic Physician Lifetime Donor Classifieds Approved 10+ Year Member

    Jun 14, 2004
    Where did you get the 26,300 number from? My pay from the Air Force is $21,559---although it is set to rise this summer. The signing bonus is a nice touch.
  9. elderjack21

    elderjack21 10+ Year Member

    Jan 4, 2006
    The best I can figure that you would get as a single 2LT with no prior service would be 24,160 a year (I assume you only get BAH if you have dependants since you would be TDY on ADT with lodging provided, this may be a false assumption). This number is based on 10.5 months of stipend $1907 a month and 2LT pay for 1.5 months at 2,555/month pay + 202/month BAS.

    Now...if you have dependants, have some prior service, or retain your officer rank for pay you can make some extra cash during your ADT each year.

    W/Dependants gets you BAH for the 45 days which varies by zip code. Average is $1213 a month as a 2LT/ high side would be more than $2500 a month in California/low side would be around $770 in Louisiana.

    W/4 years of prior service, but still being paid as a 2LT. You get a base pay of $3215 /month instead of $2,555 a month which nets you a little over $1000 more each year during your ADT.

    And finally, if you were a prior service officer you now get to retain your rank for pay purposes (not BAH though). So, if you were a CPT before, with 4 years of service you will be paid $4,545 a month in base pay, or an extra $3000 a year during your ADT.
  10. GtownCobra

    GtownCobra Junior Member 7+ Year Member

    Jul 29, 2005
    I'm a PGY-1 Pathology resident currently applying for an AirForce FAP. The thing that scares me about these statistics is that, in theory, I could make more during residency with a FAP than I will as an attending! Taking a drop in pay would be depressing.

    If I accept a FAP for 2008-2009:

    Hospital Salary (PGY-2) : $46,300.00
    FAP: ~$68,000.00
    = $114,300.00

    A pathology attending really only makes about that much? My recruiter last year quoted an estimate somewhere in the 130K range with all bonuses and allownces added in. As a PGY-4 with a FAP, I'll be making over $120K, I can't imagine taking a cut in pay to be an attending. Any comments on this?
  11. deuist

    deuist Stealthfully Sarcastic Physician Lifetime Donor Classifieds Approved 10+ Year Member

    Jun 14, 2004
    I thought it was $68,000 total, not bonus. Check the FAP website to confirm, but I always thought that the FAP was a raw deal financially.

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