Military Physician Pay

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - DO' started by HooahDOc, Mar 14, 2004.

  1. HooahDOc

    Physician 15+ Year Member

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    UPDATED: Added in some stuff I left out and fixed a couple errors.

    I did some calculations and figured up how much one would make post-residency in any military branch.

    Using the sites I list at the end of this discussion, I determined someone fresh out of residency would be an O-4 with over 4 years total time.

    Monthly Pay:
    O-4 with more than 4 years basic pay: $4299 per month
    O-4 Basic Housing Allowance with Depdendent: $988 ($859 w/o)
    Variable Special Pay: $416 per month
    Board Ceritified Pay: $208 per month
    Basic Allowance for Subsistance: $175.23
    Annual Special Pay: $15,000
    Total Monthly Pay: $6,086 ($7,336 if count ASP as "monthly")

    Specialties:
    Emergency Medicine: $26,000
    General Surgery: $29,000
    Orthopaedics: $36,000
    Psychiatry: $15,000
    Anesthesia: $36,000

    I used the specialties I'm interested in Per year, the basic pay with bonuses came to about $88,032. Of course it may vary a little depending on the residency and such. Adding in the specialty pay I get the following:

    Emergency Medicine Physician: $114,032 per year
    Psychiatrist: $103,032
    General Surgeon: $117,032
    Orthopaedic Surgeon: $124,032
    Anesthesiologist: $124,032

    References:
    http://www.dod.mil/comptroller/fmr/07a/07A05.pdf
    http://www.dfas.mil/money/milpay/pay/2004paytable.pdf

    Moral the story? Don't do it for the money. If I made any errors or omissions, please correct them.
     
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  2. DORoe

    DORoe BWAAA HAAA HAAA
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    yes but doesn't the military cover all of your loans and other medical school costs? Basically over the course of years 1-4 add another $30,000 or so to that as benefits.
     
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  3. Andrew_Doan

    Andrew_Doan Doc, Author, Entrepreneur
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    Also consider that a majority of your pay is FICA/social security tax exempt, you may not have to pay State tax, and some of your income is federal tax free.

    For instance, a G-surg who makes $110,000 in the military may bring home as much as a G-surg who is making $140,000-150,000 per year.

    After working 10 years, that military G-surg is making $150,000 year or taking home as much as the $180,000-$190,000/year civilian doc.

    After working 20 years, the military G-surg is making $160,000-170,000/year. Then the G-surg leaves and collects a hefty retirement while pursuing a civilian career.

    Although you won't make 100s of thousands of dollars in the military, you and your family will have a comfortable life-style.

    Excellent point.

    Yes, so add in the extra $30K/year during payback, and many of you will make more than your colleagues during the first 4 years of practice! ;)

    In my example above, this equals to $170K-180K/year equivalent income during a 4-year military paypack. In addition, if you qualify for fellowship training, you get to be fellowship trained with a six-figure salary! ;) Another huge bonus many overlook. How would you like to complete a 3-4 year cardiology fellowship and be paid over $100k/year as a fellow?!
     
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  4. DoctorInSpace

    DoctorInSpace Senior Member
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    Also, consider the following: no health insurance costs for yourself and your family, no having to pay malpractice insurance, no overhead costs for an office out of your own pocket, being able to practice REAL medicine instead of what the insurance companies tell you is acceptable.....

    No I didn't do it for the money. I did it because Aerospace Med is primarily a military issue. But not having to pay malpractice is a HUGE incentive, especially seeing the state of affairs here in Florida.

    Thanks for the original post! That was great.
     
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  5. OP
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    HooahDOc

    Physician 15+ Year Member

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    Glad I sparked some discussion. HOnestly, the money was never an issue for me. As long as I make enough to be comfortable and be able to do the things I enjoy doing, I will be happy.

    I can't wait to sign that paper and enter service to my country. It may sound odd, but I'm looking forward more to that than my acceptance! (Though I look foward to both!)
     
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  6. DORoe

    DORoe BWAAA HAAA HAAA
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    what branch of the military are you going to serve?
     
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  7. bobg504

    bobg504 Senior Member
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    In case you were no aware, Most (<90%) of groups that employ physicians cover their employees with malpractice insurance. So, for example, I am interested in Emergency Med. From doing online searches of jobs, I have found that the avg. pay straight out of residency is $125-$160/hr., with most of the groups requiring 1800 hr./year (note: the jobs include paid vacation time, CME $$, health/dental/ malpractice insurace, and partnership track). @ $125/hr working 1800 hr/year = $225,000/year, thus, even after taxes, and loan payments, a civilian physician still comes out ahead financially. Think long and hard about accepting the scholarship, DO YOUR MATH to make sure that you will come out ahead financially. By all means, don't do it just because of the free tutition. It's really not all it's cracked up to be!
     
  8. OP
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    HooahDOc

    Physician 15+ Year Member

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    I haven't decided between Air Force or Navy. I would apply to both and buy some time in deciding, but I believe the Navy's selection board meets way before the Air Force's.
     
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  9. Baditude

    Baditude Senior Member
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    When in the military they also pay for all your housing costs when you on base. So not only are you loan free after med-school the money you earn while in the military is really "free" money. No house or loan payments and in some miltary branches they even pay utilities so no money going out except for non-necessities! A salary of $100,000+ free and clear sure sounds good to me!!
     
  10. madeit

    madeit Junior Member

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    Can you practice in the military without actually having to ever leave the country (i.e. not ever be sent abroad?)? Or is this something you have to except as a possibility?
     
  11. DORoe

    DORoe BWAAA HAAA HAAA
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    I was wondering about this as well. Can anyone comment?
     
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  12. OP
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    HooahDOc

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    It is certainly a possibility that you will be stationed overseas in both an accompanied and non-accompanied locations. You could easily wind up in Germany, Japan, or Italy, or Qatar, a ship, or Saudi Arabia -- totally depends on which service you join AND your specialty. Some specialties are non-deployable; I believe psych is one. However, this does not mean you can never be STATIONED overseas.

    The likelihood of serving without ever being deployed or stationed overseas is very slim.
     
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  13. madeit

    madeit Junior Member

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    Thank you for the reply. I should have been a little more specific. I would absolutely love to be deployed overseas, but I wanted to know if you may be able to clarify something you said. I take it un-accompanied means that you cannot take your family with you? I guess that was my overall question. If I do not want to be away from my family, does that rule out serving in the military?
     
  14. raptor5

    raptor5 Fooled by Randomness
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    I was in the navy for awhile so I feel somewhat comfortable to answer questions. If you are in the Navy an have an oversea duty station i.e. Japan, Spain, Diego Garcia you can certainly take your family with you. If you are stationed on a ship your family stays whereever they want. If the ship is out of Japan your family can stay in Japan while you are away 8-12 months every 2 years. More than likely only GMO's are on ships. Some larger ships and medical ships have other specialties. The DOC on my ship did not even have a specialty just one year transitional and he failed his step 3 three times.

    As long you are in residency you most likely are in a non-deployable status. Most military physicians never go oversees or see a ship in a four year service because most Navy assignments are 3-5 years.

    Feel free to PM me if you have any direct questions (about the Navy) unless a military doc in the service you are interested chimes in. It is very important that you find out from a doc in the service you are looking into as their assignments and locations vary greatly.
     
  15. sge1970

    sge1970 Junior Member
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    I am a Navy Pharmacist now and will be starting UHS in the fall on the HPSP scholarship. As far as going overseas, there are many Navy physicians that serve 20 years and never get deployed or go overseas. Cardiologists, endocrinologists, allergists, neurologists, oncologists and other specialties will usually be limited to one of the big three hospitals (San Diego, Bethesda and Portsmouth, VA). They would only deploy if they were looking to build their resume to become a Commanding Officer.

    With that said, the best part of being in the military is going overseas. I served in Japan for 3 years and it was a great professional experience and an even better personal one. After finishing residency, I'm hoping to get orders to Rota (Spain) or one of the bases in Italy.

    The military will never compare financially to what you can make in private practice, but I feel private practice doesn't compare to the life experience you have in the service. If you're just looking for a hefty paycheck, the military is not for you. Military docs still have a relatively comfortable life, but only join if you want to serve your country.
     
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  16. klgsatx

    klgsatx Member
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    and then when war breaks out (IRAQ) or somewhere else and whether you like it or not you go...especially if you are surgeon....we lost a couple of surgery docs here and one chieft surgeopn...they have been gone for a year so far
     
  17. raptor5

    raptor5 Fooled by Randomness
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    I visited Rota a few times. Liked the weather. Did not have much time to do alot off base but much better than Siganella(spelling) Sicily in my opinion.
     

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