Hstudent, were you drunk when you typed that post? It is hard to understand where you got your numbers. I disagree with pretty much every number you posted that I could understand. Please, instead of placing chicken scratch down here, give us a breakdown of how you got your numbers because you aren't even close in your figures. If you take the scholarship for the 4 years and get out after 4 years, even at a cheap school like I go to in Texas, you will come out ahead in the end. I can show anyone how I get this with a full spread sheet with references where I get my figures.

As I said in my post, the numbers were quick and rough estimates to show generally that you could come out either ahead or behind depending. They were written in something like chicken scratch, so I wont fault you for misunderstanding them, but had you read more carefully, you would note that where I had the theoretical-individual coming out behind, he was not "getting out after 4 years" like you just said, but after 6 (and BTW, you can do a six year OMS residency in the military, its just not a military residency... civilian deferment; additionally, most OMS residents would end up owing six years, even in a four year program, because usually you wont get into an OMS residency without doing an AEGD/GRE or having a couple years experience...). Still, since you asked, I will provide some sources and figures showing that my original number-conjecturing does in fact reflect the correct general idea, though with some margin of error as to the exact values (I did say there would be in the post...):

What I said: [HPSP scholarship value = 200000, extra income in training = 220000, earning difference = -150000 x 6= -900000, net difference is -480000...]

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New, calculations of figures (as opposed to a very quick estimate of figures):

Value of HPSP scholarship is equal to $25000 (stipend of $2100 per month for 10.5 months + 1.5 months at O1 paygrade w/ 0-2 years in grade, or $2580 per month) x the number of years for which the scholar ship is awarded, plus tuition, books, and fees x the number of years awarded.

Some sources, though I assume so far, this is well within the bounds of accepted figures:

Basic description of the program--

Two notes: It advertises a $20k bonus, but as this has only been offered some years (and I believe generally not to Air Force applicants, at least the first year offered) I've excluded it from calculations. Secondly, this states a stipend of $1900 per month, however, the higher $2100 per month stipend I expect will come into effect(see the second source), and so I used this in calculations... of course, using the $1900 stipend would drop the scholarship value, and only help my claim, that the scholarship is not always financially beneficial.

http://www.goarmy.com/amedd/hpsp.jsp
http://forums.studentdoctor.net/showthread.php?t=295772
Now as for getting a scholarship value of $200000:Four year scholarship:

Stipend/pay: $25000 x 4 = $100000.

Tuition/books/fees (ie. cost of attendance for Dental-school): Heres a much cheaper instate dental school, as I originally suggested, when I was apparently drunk and incoherent.

http://dentistry.umc.edu/students/prospective/predoc/fees.html
Tuition books and fees will come out to well UNDER $15000 per year. Note that that equals $60000, again, lower than the hundred thousand I estimated, and thus again, going with the more accurate figure would only help my claim, though I choose to leave it as is, fully recognizing that this is an unusually cheap dental school, even for instate/cheap state. Now I trust, this is satisfactory evidence of the validity of my first figure: HPSP scholarship value-- $200k (in this theoretical case).

Now, continuing onto my second figure: extra income in training = 220000.

Lets say that the stipend for a civilian AEGD program is $35000; this varies, both higher and lower, but I'm choosing this figure because it was the first one that came I clicked on (googled AEGD stipend). Source:

http://www.dent.umich.edu/depts/crse/AEGD_FAQ.php
In the military, pay during AEGD as far as I can tell, is O3 pay:

Basic Pay: $40,888 + 2400 BAS+ $18936 BAH ($1578 per month) = $62224

I chose to calculate the housing allowance for Anchorage, Alaska,... something of a tribute to AFDDS-- Elmendorf, AFB AEGD Residency Director

Anyways, figures are all available on GOarmy.com, should you wish to check them yourself.

http://forums.studentdoctor.net/archive/index.php/t-486365.html suggests $70000 as a general estimate during AEGD

This makes the net difference for PGY1 + PGY2, between civilian and military pay, be ([(62224-35000) $/yr]x2 yr= $54448, net in favor of the military.

For PGY 3-6, I again used the first program for which I could find figures, discarding 6 year programs:

http://www.dentistry.umn.edu/progra...grams/grad_oral_surg/Additional_OMS/home.html
Year 1: $45,744

Year 2: $46,918

Year 3: $48,532

Year 4: $50,516

As far as the military pay goes (I'm not 100% sure of this...) you should receive the same pay as during AEGD, except that in OMS year 2 (PGY4) you're time in grade will pop your basic pay up to $54547, or around $75883 depending on housing.

Combining these for four year net:

($62224 - $45744) + ($62224 - $46918) + ($75883 - $ 48532) + ($75883 - $50516) = $87504.

Therefore, the 6 year earning difference during training (original estimate: 'extra income in training = 220000), comes out to be: $54448 (PGY1 + PGY2) + $87504 (PGY3 + PGY4 + PGY5 + PGY6) = $141952,

well under my estimate, therefore, favoring my original conclusion that for a specialty the military can put you well behind financially.

Continuing onto my 3rd 'totally absurd' figure: 6 year earning difference during 'pay-back' time: 900000 more of the civ. Now this is the one figure I admit to having been a little overly enthusiastic on the civilian side, and unfortunately, it is also the one with the least usable, readily-available data to look at. However, let us assume, for the civilian OMS, a starting salary of $150,000. Two years experience, $175000; three, $200000; four, $225000; five, $250000; six, $275000. These are very reasonable figures-- check any average for OMS in private, non-academic practice, and you will find these to be right in the middle figure set 50%. An ambitious OMS, doing less fun work, and more hours, could pull in quite a bit more. Heres one SDN source:

http://forums.studentdoctor.net/archive/index.php/t-143644.html
Now, for our militaristic-indentured dentist ;D :

Salaries vary by rank, location, specialty pays, et cetera... but as an average over the six years, you will be about $22000 above your rank pay (Basic pay + BAS+ BAH et cetera).

http://www.military.com/benefits/military-pay/special-pay/special-pay-for-dental-officers
If someone just needs the year by year breakdown, respond and I'll add it, but I don't really feel like it, and military pay for dentists should be a widely enough understood topic, that if this number is grossly wrong, swarms of angered posts will attack me for it soon enough. (Do remember, that during these six years you will not get any retention bonus:Thus pay will be $50000 or so less than you might expect to see). To estimate basic pay, I took the average of O3 with over 6 years in grade-- $57156 -- and O5 with over 12 years in grade -- $75888, this being what I estimate would be the first and last years basic pay on average. This yields $66552. Adding in our Anchorage BAH, BAS, and my $22000 dental-bonuses estimate, I figure a net annual average income of the 6 years of post-residency commitment to be $109888.

Taking the average of the civilian pay estimate previously suggested, equates to $212500. This is of course, $102612 more per year on average than the military pay, for a net salary difference of $615672. (Which, I confess, is quite a bit short of my $900000 guess, though as a percentage no farther off than the amount less the scholarship was actually worth, or the pay difference in training... still, $280k is a lot of money).

So, combining all of this (to get my final conclusion that it puts you financially behind to go the military route given the limitations of going to a cheap public school and choose a high-pay, time consuming specialty): Using the (actual, not my original estimates[ie-- 160k, not 200 for scholarship value et cetera...]) and rounding to the nearest thousand to calculate, the actual net difference at the end of military commitment is *drumroll*... (160k + 142k - 616k = -314k) a net loss of about three-hundred and fourteen thousand dollars; not quite my four-hundred and eighty-thousand dollar guesstimate, but still a substantial amount.

PS:

Sorry this was really long... and sort of pointless.