I talked to a local recruiter about it here's the deal. She told me that you have to have been accepted by like February because the committee meets in like march or something like that. Anyway, then you go through the interview, if you end up getting it you go to boot camp for 45 days the summer before school starts (you get paid), then every summer that you get a loan you have to work for 45 days, you're like a reserve (so you get paid during that time also). They pay all of your tuition, books, fees, and you get a stipend of about $1300/month for 9months every year that you borrow. Then when you're done she said that you can choose a residency in either civilian or military (although i've heard differently), then once you're a doctor and have finished residency you have to work for them for as many years as you borrowed money for.
one service is really not any better than the other... I am active duty military. ultimately it depends on what your priorities are. for instance, as a navy doc, you may spend up to 6 months a year on a ship. the army will probably deploy you quite frequently. the air force is really good at keeping you with your family as much as possible. but altogether, the military takes fairly good care of the physicians. the main consideration now is whether or not your willing to take on the responsibility of service to country (with the war on terrorism) before self.
I agree that being in the military requires you to put the organization and country above your personal needs. However, I believe that there are significant differences in the services particularly when it comes to to training programs. The board is filled messages discussing the diferences (just search on HPSP). As to the notion that the military "takes fairly good care" of its physicians, this may be true when compared to other officers of equal grade, but it is certainly not true when compared to civilian conditions. That being said, the military offers other rewards, such as service to our country