Aug 26, 2015
3
0
Status
Pre-Medical
Currently I'm a junior in undergrad pursuing a degree for pre-med. I just received an email about the HPSP scholarship and have been thinking about it for a few weeks now. I've been debating so much about this because, even before receiving this email, I have wanted to be a doctor in the military, but I still have a lot of questions about it.

1. I was slightly confused about the residency part of military medicine.Through working in the hospital for years and other shadowing experiences I have narrowed down my field of interest to surgery. I've heard that it's difficult to get into the residency of your choice. I was wondering if I don't get into the militaries surgical residency program but get into another military residency program do I have to be in the military one or can I do a civilian deferment surgical residency so I can pursue my field of choice.

2. Another thing that I read was that even if you get into the surgical residency in the military, they're "not as good" as civilian ones because you don't get to see as many different surgeries and they don't get as much experience. I was also wondering if this is true.

Either way, I'm pretty set on what I want my career path to be so the answers to these questions will help me decide if I want to apply for the HPSP scholarship and join right after medical school or get loans for medical school and join after a civilian residency. Thank you for any help and insight that you can provide.
 
Last edited:

IlDestriero

Ether Man
10+ Year Member
Nov 24, 2007
7,605
7,137
The ivory tower.
Status
Attending Physician
Currently I'm a junior in undergrad pursuing a degree for pre-med. I just received an email about the HPSP scholarship and have been thinking about it for a few weeks now. I've been debating so much about this because, even before receiving this email, I have wanted to be a doctor in the military, but I still have a lot of questions about it.

1. I was slightly confused about the residency part of military medicine.Through working in the hospital for years and other shadowing experiences I have narrowed down my field of interest to surgery. I've heard that it's difficult to get into the residency of your choice. I was wondering if I don't get into the militaries surgical residency program but get into another military residency program do I have to be in the military one or can I do a civilian deferment surgical residency so I can pursue my field of choice.

2. Another thing that I read was that even if you get into the surgical residency in the military, they're "not as good" as civilian ones because you don't get to see as many different surgeries and they don't get as much experience. I was also wondering if this is true.

Either way, I'm pretty set on what I want my career path to be so the answers to these questions will help me decide if I want to apply for the HPSP scholarship and join right after medical school or get loans for medical school and join after a civilian residency. Thank you for any help and insight that you can provide.
1. You may not match into your field of choice in the .mil or the civilian world.
To get released into training at a civilian program, you have to ask, they have to have a need that will not be met through .mil residencies or someone in the training pipeline, and they have to pick you to fill it. And you have to match in the civilian program.
They can't make you match into a field you don't want to do, though you will have to pay time back as a GMO and then apply to the civilian match when you are getting out 4 years later.
2. Many .mil residency programs are pretty average because of the limitations of being a military program, though that's fairly variable and depends on the field. Are you a superstar? Do you want an academic career at an ivory tower program? Are you even a candidate for a very competitive 5star residency program? Most aren't, so it probably doesn't matter to you either way.