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Military doctor pay

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Beerpenguin

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I'm an Army captain, formerly active duty but reserves now, but am trying to figure out exactly what I'll make as a doctor (applying to medical school now) in the Army. Here's my understanding of the extra pays docs get:

MSP: after residency, and after the completion of your obligated service (e.g. 7 years after residency for USUHS grads). Amount varies with category of specialty and yrs of creditable service.

ISP: immediately after residency, irrespective of how much obligation you have left. Amount according to specialty only.

VSP: just the $1200/yr for internship and residency, and at least $5k/yr after that. Varies with yrs creditable service.

BCP: like ISP, immediately after residency. Varies with creditable service.

Okay, assuming all that is right, what the deal with this RSP I keep hearing about--$15k/yr. Is that in addition to the MSP agreement you can sign for multiple years? Is there a cap to the MSP+ISP+RSP? Is RSP the same thing as MSP? I'm only asking this because there is ABSOLUTELY NO information on the web that really clarifies what a military doctor will make and when. You can patch it all together, like I have over the last few weeks, but I still have questions...thanks for any clarification anyone can give on how RSP and MSP work.

-BP
 

IgD

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I'm in the Navy...

Basically you'll get:
1. Base pay
2. BAS
3. BAH
4. VSP (Starts during residency)
5. ASP (All doctors get 15k annual bonus starts after graduation from residency program)
6. ISP (Annual bonus based on your specialty starts after graduation of your residency program)
7. BCP (Board certification pay after graduation of your residency; You must pass to get this and not always easy to do)
8. MSP (Multi-year special pay- you don't get this until you fulfill your obligated service and sign a new contract)

Never heard of "RSP" maybe you are referring to ASP
 

Zoomer

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I'll break it down for you. As an attending doctor in a captain's pay bracket I make about $48,000 base pay plus $12,000 a year for food and housing allowence plus a $5,000 that is built in for being a doctor plus $15,000 yearly bonus for being done with residency plus $26,000 yearly bonus for being residency trained in Emergency Medicine plus $2,000 for being board certified. Total is about $108,000 yearly BEFORE TAXES.

If you are in an ACTIVE DUTY residency, you get the base pay ($38,000 - less years) plus $12,000 for food and housing plus $1,200 for being a doctor in training. Total is $51,200 BEFORE TAXES.

I did not do a military residency so my salary was far less as a civilian resident, but I did not add years to my commitment. You owe one for one for every year your residency is over your initial commitment. (ie you owe 4 for medical school but do a 5 year active duty surgical residency - your now owe 5 years at the end or your residency.) If you tack on a fellowship, it adds one for one onto your medical school commitment (ie you do a neurosurgical fellowship - add 4 more years onto your 5 year commitment. Now you owe 9 years.) Now you are a neurosurgeon with a typical starting salary in the civilian world of $850,000 to $1.5 Million but in the military you get paid a little more than an ER doc ($123,000) plus you get to stay an extra 6 years around that salary. So you will be about $5 million in the hole when it is all done because you took an HPSP scholarship. Where as if you had done it all civilian and taken loans, you would be $6.2 million up and have never spent multiple year long tours in Iraq while your base was undergoing rocket attacks. By the way, if you are injured, the disability is calculated on your BASE salary so you will get about $18,000 a year for 100% disability and you will get to spend a lot of time at the VA hospitals. Well, you say you'll buy extra disability in the military - no insurance company will give you disability insurance while you are in the military and certainly not if you are in a combat zone.

I added the end part to DISCOURAGE young men and women from accepting an HPSP scholarship - bottom line is that your life will change and you do not really know at 21/22/23 years old what you want to do with your life. I know a lot of the military Neurosurgeons and other specialist who walk around like beat dogs because of the one little mistake they made 11+ years ago. my budy, a neurosurgeon just got back from his 2nd year long tour in Iraq. His wife and two kids left him, sold the house , and moved away while he was in Iraq. He is now contimplating suicide.

To go back to my salary, I make $108,000 in the military and my buddy (who graduated at the EXACT same time as me) makes $280,000 as a civilian and in two years has paid off all his college debt and medical school debt. He has also NOT been to Iraq twice.

Anyway, my advice is THINK HARD before accepting an HPSP scholarship - it is not the deal they make it out to be. The governement spends a TON in advertising to cover this fact.
 

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Thyroid Storm
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Zoomer said:
I'll break it down for you. As an attending doctor in a captain's pay bracket I make about $48,000 base pay plus $12,000 a year for food and housing allowence plus a $5,000 that is built in for being a doctor plus $15,000 yearly bonus for being done with residency plus $26,000 yearly bonus for being residency trained in Emergency Medicine plus $2,000 for being board certified. Total is about $108,000 yearly BEFORE TAXES.

If you are in an ACTIVE DUTY residency, you get the base pay ($38,000 - less years) plus $12,000 for food and housing plus $1,200 for being a doctor in training. Total is $51,200 BEFORE TAXES.

I did not do a military residency so my salary was far less as a civilian resident, but I did not add years to my commitment. You owe one for one for every year your residency is over your initial commitment. (ie you owe 4 for medical school but do a 5 year active duty surgical residency - your now owe 5 years at the end or your residency.) If you tack on a fellowship, it adds one for one onto your medical school commitment (ie you do a neurosurgical fellowship - add 4 more years onto your 5 year commitment. Now you owe 9 years.) Now you are a neurosurgeon with a typical starting salary in the civilian world of $850,000 to $1.5 Million but in the military you get paid a little more than an ER doc ($123,000) plus you get to stay an extra 6 years around that salary. So you will be about $5 million in the hole when it is all done because you took an HPSP scholarship. Where as if you had done it all civilian and taken loans, you would be $6.2 million up and have never spent multiple year long tours in Iraq while your base was undergoing rocket attacks. By the way, if you are injured, the disability is calculated on your BASE salary so you will get about $18,000 a year for 100% disability and you will get to spend a lot of time at the VA hospitals. Well, you say you'll buy extra disability in the military - no insurance company will give you disability insurance while you are in the military and certainly not if you are in a combat zone.

I added the end part to DISCOURAGE young men and women from accepting an HPSP scholarship - bottom line is that your life will change and you do not really know at 21/22/23 years old what you want to do with your life. I know a lot of the military Neurosurgeons and other specialist who walk around like beat dogs because of the one little mistake they made 11+ years ago. my budy, a neurosurgeon just got back from his 2nd year long tour in Iraq. His wife and two kids left him, sold the house , and moved away while he was in Iraq. He is now contimplating suicide.

To go back to my salary, I make $108,000 in the military and my buddy (who graduated at the EXACT same time as me) makes $280,000 as a civilian and in two years has paid off all his college debt and medical school debt. He has also NOT been to Iraq twice.

Anyway, my advice is THINK HARD before accepting an HPSP scholarship - it is not the deal they make it out to be. The governement spends a TON in advertising to cover this fact.


There are several inaccuracies in this post. First of all, internship is a wash in terms of commitment. So if you owe four years and do a 5 year surgical residency (including internship), you'll still come out owing four years. Second, you'll make much more then Zoomer b/c you'll have a much higher base pay due to more years in service. Also, many locations will pay you more then 12k per year for food an housing. Plus, that money is tax free. There are some other things too, but I have to get to clinic.
 

usnavdoc

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Sledge2005 said:
There are several inaccuracies in this post. First of all, internship is a wash in terms of commitment. So if you owe four years and do a 5 year surgical residency (including internship), you'll still come out owing four years. Second, you'll make much more then Zoomer b/c you'll have a much higher base pay due to more years in service. Also, many locations will pay you more then 12k per year for food an housing. Plus, that money is tax free. There are some other things too, but I have to get to clinic.

Internship is a wash in terms of obligated service committment as all residency is, however, if you do a gmo tour then you will have time added to your contract. example... you complete internship then are assigned as a gmo for two years. (This is two years of your committed service obligation) then you go back for general surgery which is 4 more years. you will accrue more time on your obligated service committment based on training(year for year). the only way to avoid this is to go straight through without doing a gmo tour. This is harder and harder each year within the navy.

Ther may be some inaccuracies on the pay side based on his years of service but that in no way makes up the difference he would make as a civilian practicioner. This of course applies only for people going into high pay specialties. If you are going into fam med or peds it doesnt matter nearly as much.
 

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Thyroid Storm
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usnavdoc said:
however, if you do a gmo tour then you will have time added to your contract. example... you complete internship then are assigned as a gmo for two years. (This is two years of your committed service obligation) then you go back for general surgery which is 4 more years. you will accrue more time on your obligated service committment based on training(year for year). the only way to avoid this is to go straight through without doing a gmo tour. This is harder and harder each year within the navy.

I agree that people get completely and totally screwed by gmo tours. I would never sign up for Navy HPSP for that reason alone. Army fortunately has moved away from GMO tours for the most part.

usnavdoc said:
Ther may be some inaccuracies on the pay side based on his years of service but that in no way makes up the difference he would make as a civilian practicioner. This of course applies only for people going into high pay specialties. If you are going into fam med or peds it doesnt matter nearly as much.

Yeah, people going into high paying specialties (especially ones like rads), will definitely come out behind financially by doing the military route. Although, there is something to be said for having a little more money when you need it. For example, the extra money I had during school and have now during residency makes a big difference to me.
 

KungPOWChicken

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The bottom line is don't do it for the money, but do it to help those who have put their lives on the line for our country. You have your life to make tons of money. What a few years of volunteer work for our troops.
 
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