Military Program

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - DO' started by SoCal, Nov 4, 2002.

  1. SoCal

    SoCal Senior Member

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    Is anyone one else considering this? I am giving this some serious thought, and could use some advice from you all.
     
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  3. Doctor Peloncito

    Doctor Peloncito Family Physician

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    I am in the process of applying for the Navy HPSP. If you are willing to commit to the military, then there is no argument against it. Consider the fact that you will graduate from med school with close to 200K in debt and will be making 35-40k/year as a resident. In the military, you will be an officer, make >50k as a resident, and have ZERO debt (other than your soul for four years post residency). Plus the recruiter gave me really good pizza when I was a starving undergrad, so how could I turn her down:laugh:

    BTW, just returned from my TUCOM interview. I thought it went well.

    Later,

    WannabeDO
     
  4. FERDOC

    FERDOC Junior Member

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    I second that.
     
  5. H0mersimps0n

    H0mersimps0n HMO CRUSHER

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    just out of morbid curiosity, do medical students with families/relationships tend to survive ok if the enter into the military programs? During my interview at LECOM I met anther interviewee who had been in the military for years and was planning on it for DO school. He had a family that was very young and up-rootable.

    I will be entering this year (somewhere), and my g/f will be entering next year (wow class 2008), and just wondering what kind of options the military (depending on branch of course) gives, how good the residencies are, etc? anyone ever try this?
     
  6. cdreed

    cdreed Senior Member

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    I am in the AF now. I have a husband, a 15 month old daughter, and two bassett hounds. I highly recommend the military lifestyle if you are committed to serving your country. As a military physician, you are a soldier first, then a doctor. I would talk this over with your family though. My husband is adventurous and the arrangement works well for us. But I know that some people dislike the fact that the govt. basically owns you. You do what they say and go where and when they say. Be sure to check your options thoroughly. Different services treat deployments differently. The military is a good choice if you go in educated, flexible, and passionate about protecting our country's interests.
     
  7. SoCal

    SoCal Senior Member

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    Wannabedo...congrats. I hope to be reading the good news soon. I just got my acceptance letter yesterday, and have decided to attend. From what I have heard so fay, the Air Force is they way to go (I dont know why though) The Navy seems great to me, b/c the bases are all near water. Are these programs competitive? How much moving is involved during your 4 years of active duty? If you are married, do they tend to keep you stationary if they can? I have a million more ?'s, but these are good for now. Thanks
     
  8. Doctor Peloncito

    Doctor Peloncito Family Physician

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    Thanks... as for the Navy, the only differences are that the Navy has fewer residencies than the other two (army and AF), but the bases tend to be in much better places. Also, you technically aren't restricted to military residencies if you don't match for a military residency. You can do a civilian residency and then do your committment afterwords. The alternative is serving as a General Medical Officer in the Navy which doesn't offer the same privileges as a board certified physician. Also if you do a civ. res. then those years don't count towards retirement (after twenty years in the military you can retire, and all of your years of active duty count, whether they were prior service before college, or residency years after med school).

    As for moving around, I was told that it is possible to not move at all in a twenty year career, but most likely you would be passed over many many times for promotion. In a 4 year (post residency) career you are likely to move at least once (typical tour for a person in the military = 3 years.)

    Competition depends on whom you ask. The recruiter said that they are highly competitive. Dr. Haight said that he'd never heard of a person applying and NOT getting one.

    If you have any other questions, don't hesitate to PM me, I grew up as an army brat so I can answer lots of general questions and more difficult ones are only a phone call away. I can also refer you to the Navy recruiter for the Bay Area. She is really cool and is not pushy at all (she doesn't really need to be).

    Later,

    WannabeDO
     
  9. Homunculus

    Homunculus SDN Caveman Administrator
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    I'm currently an MSIII on a 4 year army HPSP scholarship. I don't know much about the navy program, but if you have any question about the ary one i'll answer what i can.

    take it easy

    homonculus
     
  10. Doctor Peloncito

    Doctor Peloncito Family Physician

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    According to my recruiter, the money is the same whether you are Army, Navy, or Air Force. This is because the money all comes from the same pool. The only differences are in the locations where rotations and internships are done.

    I have a random question about the benefits of being in the military. If I understand correctly, during the 9 months out of the year that you are in school you are essentially a reserve officer on non active duty status. Do you have any military benefits during this time (ie. px/commissary priveleges, etc.)? Also, if you do your 3/4 year clinical rotations in military hospitals, are you considered active duty?

    Thanks,

    WannabeDO
     
  11. HoosierDO

    HoosierDO Senior Member

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    hi guys...quick question...what are the physical standards that have to be met by someone gaining this scholarship...ie bootcamp, physicals, etc. any input would be greatly [email protected]!!!
     
  12. Homunculus

    Homunculus SDN Caveman Administrator
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    Salary (pay scale) is the same for all services as far as I know. The amount you make as a physician may differ from person to person according to different incentives and specialty pay though.

    I am currently considered in the reserve component, which means i can use military commisaries, PX, and even the tickets and recreation offices. The ticket thing came in really handy when my wife and i went to Hawaii-- great discounts are to be found there. :)

    I am required to spend one 45 day period of Active Duty for Training (ADT) for each year of my scholarhsip. During this time i get active duty pay, and the benefits that goes along with it. Traditionally, unless you are going to USUHS, you will go to an officer training school of some type after your MS1 year-- this is one ADT. The second one i didn't have enough time off of school to schedule-- no biggie, they jsut let you go to school while you collect the active duty pay then. My last two ADT's will be rotations at Army hospitals where I will be looking at doing residencies. Great thing about these ADT rotations is that not only do you get active duty pay, you also get your way there and back paid, as well as housing and meals. Wanna go to Honolulu for free? Schedule an ADT (make sure you book it way ahead of time) at Tripler. :)

    take it easy

    homonculus
     
  13. Pitt Panther

    Pitt Panther The Best Baller in PA

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    I'm also interested in what the military has to offer. I am concerned however that I will not be able to get a neurosurgical residency. Will I have the chance to see if there is a need for neurosurgeons (in any branch of the military) before signing my name on the line? Or do I sign my soul over to the govt and hope that there will be a neurosurgical need?

    Any input is appreciated.
     
  14. phil413ru

    phil413ru Senior Member

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    I am also applying for Army HPSP. However, I have also been in both Army ROTC, and Army NG. I have shadowed and talked to several military doctors, and have aquired much information from my interaction with prior service army (many from combat arms).

    The military (at least Army) is excellent for operational medicine. It gives you an opportunity to learn hands on "field medicine". Like mentioned before, you are a solider and a leader first, then doctor. If you are interested in truly becoming a soldier and serving your country, then this is a perfect opportunity. However, if you are looking for a way to simply pay for school, I would not recommend it. You will very likely be moving around a lot. Potentially every three years (Army) although not likely to be that frequent. What would most likely happen is you do residency one place, stationed a different place for 4-6 years. However, in the Army, you have JRTC (joint readiness training) and TDY (temporary duty station) where you may be temporarily deployed for 3months to 1 year. Military life can be hard on the the family, but it is definately doable. If you have kids, and both parents military, might have problems. However, if at leat one parent not military, and doesn't have a job requiring extremely long hours, then Army is excellent. The Army has many programs available for family, along with housing/substinence allowances. It has organizations that assist in moving, and allow you to "borrow" cooking and basic house supplies while you get settled. It has a community centered around family. Keep in mind that in residency, even cilivilian, time limited, and you will not be with family much. Military residencies are somewhat less extreme. Time away from familiy is probably comparable. Military can also be great for exposing familiy to different cultures and societes too.

    As to residency requirement, just like civilian sector, you have to apply for residency. Almost any specialty in civilian field is needed somewhere in military. The highly technical ones are more competitive, but this is also the same in the civilian sector.

    For physical requirement, I know for sure that the Army is very strict on height weight. You also cannot have any signicant health problems, and must be able to pass physical fitness test. Speaking only for the Army, the test is 2minutes situps, 2 minutes pushups, and 2 mile run. If interested, I can give minimum and max scores dependents on age. You will probably take test during OBC (officer basic camp) before matriculation. At least in Army, many conditions are wavierable. Significant conditions that may be disqualifying are asthma, immune disorders, neurological disorders. Keep in mind that even if originally disqualifying, you can always apply for a waver.

    Overall, HPSP is a very good opportunity. I love the military and plan on making military medicine a career. Best luck in applying for med school!

    If any of this information is way off, let me know. I am just going from my observations and what I have been told by several prior-service classmates.
     
  15. MeganRose

    MeganRose Senior Member

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    I'm currently a 2LT in the Army whose been accepted to med school and applying for HPSP (all branches) Do branch qualified LTs still have to go to that training after the MSI year or does OBC fufill that requirement? Assuming I get the scholarship, it would be cool to get a summer off.... Also, people that are Army, could you give me some insight into how happy you are with your decision? I'm an AF brat but when it came to undergrad, Army paid the (huge) bill. Now, I admit I'm a bit biased (Go Army!) but my father thinks I would be crazy to stay Army if I get the AF scholarship... Navy remains at the bottom of my list...
    M
     
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  17. MeganRose

    MeganRose Senior Member

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    Hey Phil,
    Did you know SGT Douglas Birch? He's at my unit now and just came off an assignment for ROTC at your undergrad school...
    M
     
  18. SoCal

    SoCal Senior Member

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    Thanks for all the great responses. I have heard, and dont know why, that people really like the AF...why so? Is it just personal preference? During your four year pay back time, do you live on base? Do you have to? Are the living conditions decent and safe? In a four year pay back time, is it possible to not move at all? Sorry for all the ?'s
     
  19. MeganRose

    MeganRose Senior Member

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    Hi Kenny,
    I grew up in an AF family so I can speculate on some of the reasons ppl are so pro AF. Basically its as close as you can get to a civilian lifestyle within the military. Facilities are top notch and safe (but in all fairness, this has been the case on all military installations I've been on... Cant say the same for the surrounding neighborhoods, tho. For some reason Army posts are always bordered by the ghetto) Also, on things like PT they're a little bit more lax than other branches. I can also say that in general, they have the best rep for being the more intellectual branch (vs the stereotype of Army grunts or Navy/USMC squids and jarheads)
    I'm applying for HPSP all branches right now, I figure regardless of branch, you can't really lose....
    M
     
  20. Homunculus

    Homunculus SDN Caveman Administrator
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    I imagine it depends on what OBC you graduated from. The OBC version you get in HPSP is a modified medical service corps OBC, tailored to HPSP/USUHS students. If you already graduated from the MSC OBC, i don't see why they'd make you do it again, but anything's possible. Even if you do have to repeat it, it will be so easy it'll be like vacationing in San Antonio. :)

    I was a 4 year Army ROTC scholarship recipient in undergrad, and so far most "military" training given to the doctor side of the house is cake even compared to ROTC. Army was really my only choice for HPSP due to my prior service obligation, but I still feel it was the best for me. A classmate of mine is AF, and their OBC sucked bad. Mine was a vacation. I'll not speak about the Navy ;)

    take it easy

    homonculus
     
  21. biofreak126

    biofreak126 Member

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    Hi there! I have also been seriously considering and Armed Forces HPSP, but I can't seem to find out all of the details on any of their websites. Is there a special website that does give all the details or do I have to go talk to a recruiter? And how do you apply? Is it through the recruiter? Also, I've heard of Army, Navy, and Air Force HPSPs, but do the Marines have one as well? Thanks a lot in advance for any help.:)
     
  22. Doctor Peloncito

    Doctor Peloncito Family Physician

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    The marines do not have a HPSP because they are treated by Navy docs (the USMC is a division of the USN, not a separate branch of the armed forces). Contact a recruiter from any branch and ask for the contact info for the medical corps recruiter for your area. Do not give the regular recruiter any of your contact information. They will send you a bunch of crap that you don't need. ONLY talk to the medical recruiters. The rest of them generally are VERY pushy, and usually know nothing of the HPSPs. The medical corps recruiters are all O3 or above (captain in the army/af Liutenant in the navy), and know that if you are intelligent enough to go to med school then they can't try any of the recruiter bs on you. I have the info for one of the SF Bay area recruiters for the Navy and she is great. So if you are in my area, I can direct you to her.

    Good luck,

    WannabeDO
     
  23. jennij

    jennij Member

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    OK, I have a question. I talked to both the Army and AF HPSP recruiters today and want to apply to all as well, but the AF guy told me that I couldn't apply to them all. This arose because he said that he would just get the physical that I would take for the Army from them and "convert" it to the AF. It sounded like he was just going to withdraw my app from the Army, so I asked about it and he said that I couldn't apply to both and that since I wanted to go AF he would just take my physical from them..... What is this about? Also, do you just do one physical, or do you have to do one for each branch you apply to?
     
  24. MeganRose

    MeganRose Senior Member

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    Hi Jenni,
    Not to be mean, but recruiters are not your friend and its important to keep that in mind whenever you interact when them. I suppose you can't really blame him, it is his job. But at any rate what he was talking about is something that shady recruiters do-- the AF requires the original copy of the physical while the Army & Navy accept a copy. Some recruiters pull the original so that the applicant cannot process at the other branches. Just ask your Army and Navy recruiter to please leave the MEPS original so that the AF can still use your physical. That way, in the end you can make the decision that is best for you, not for the recruiter. Good luck!
    Megan
     
  25. MeganRose

    MeganRose Senior Member

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    Hey homo,
    I'm going to MPOBC in January, so not much med education there. (hoah drinking and going to the field!!!) But I guess you're right, esp after ROTC it would be easy to go through MSCOBC. Plus I live in SA so....
    Thanks for the response!
    Megan :D
     
  26. Doctor Peloncito

    Doctor Peloncito Family Physician

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    From what I understand, and I could be totally wrong, the money all comes from the same place. There are a set number of HPSP spots (regardless of the branch), so the AF might get more than the Army one year, and the next year the Navy might beat them both. For this reason, the recruiters really don't want to help you if you are applying for more than one. When I was talking to the Navy recruiter a few years ago I asked her about multiple applications. She told me that I need to make a decision on which branch I wanted to apply for the HPSP through. If I chose the Navy, she would be glad to help me. If I chose the Army she would not fault me, she would just not be able to help me. IMHO its kind of disrespectful to go behind the recruiters backs and apply for more than one of the HPSP scholarships. It is a lot of work for them and for a person to change their mind and switch branches on them at the last minute would not be cool. I think that you should choose one branch and stick with it.

    WannabeDO

    on a sidenote, I just emailed her and asked her about multiple applications. Here was her answer:

    Russell,

    You may apply for all three scholarships if you wish - ultimately the $$ comes
    from the same source (Uncle Sam), but it is DISTRIBUTED by each distinct
    service. Most importantly, only the Navy scholarship gives you the opportunity
    to serve with the Navy and Marine Corps, with the greatest variety of
    operational units (infantry, helicopters, patrol aircraft, carrier based jets,
    armor, artillery, special warfare, divers, etc.), and in the best locations.

    I hope this helps!
    LT Schmied

    Virginia Schmied, RN, BSN, CCRN
    Lieutenant, Nurse Corps
    United States Navy
    510-773-8735

    546 Vernon Avenue
    Mountain View, CA 94043
    FAX: 650-603-9643
     
  27. MeganRose

    MeganRose Senior Member

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    IMHO its kind of disrespectful to go behind the recruiters backs and apply for more than one of the HPSP scholarships.

    I still would advise everyone interested in the HPSP scholarship to apply for any (and all) of the branches that they desire.
    Why? There is no guarentee that you will be awarded the scholarship. The application process is involved on both recruiter and applicant side(esp for current Active duty or prior service) so I would say to weigh your options carefully and apply only to branches that you can honestly see yourself serving in.

    But each branch has its own board and decision making process. Just like applying for med school-- I would never apply to one school and hope that I get in. The alternative-- paying for even one year of medical school when you could have gotten it for free-- is not one that I want to risk. Once again, the recruiter is never your friend so its not "going behind their back". Its protecting your interests. This is 4+ years of military service and growing up in a miltary family has taught me,
    Just a thought,
    Megan
     
  28. pathdr2b

    pathdr2b Banned
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    Hi Everyone,

    I've wanted to be a military physician for about 7 years now. At that time I met a Harvard trained Navy doctor doing research (in Norfolk) and I've been hooked every since.

    The spring before I was to apply to UHSUS, I was hospitalized with pneumonia and "left" with asthma. Since I was 29 at the time, I was told by the med student recruiter UHSUS to enlist as as an officer in the Navy since I would past the 30 year old age limit at UHSUS. Unfortunately, I never made it past the physical (the local recruiter discussed my case with someone in DC) although I have never been hospitalized for asthma.

    Recently, I was told by a local recruiter to apply for the HPSP scholarship during my first year of med school or to try to enlist after completing medical school.

    My question is what is the age limit for OCS training for doctors? I also plan to apply to UHSUS next summer (a long shot if not an impossibility) since I understand they are always looking for qualified women and minorities and I happen to be both. Any advice will be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks!
     
  29. Doctor Peloncito

    Doctor Peloncito Family Physician

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    I was told by my recruiter that the age limit for HPSP was 39 years old. Also, she told me that this is waivable.
     
  30. MeganRose

    MeganRose Senior Member

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    I think its 35, anything after that is only waiverable if you have prior service...
     
  31. cheeb

    cheeb Junior Member

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    Since you guys are talking about waivers with the Military. I have been told by Army/Air Force/Navy recruiters on line that physical ailments such as asthma,colorblindness and other are waiverable for HPSP/FAP applicants where they are usually not waiverable for general active duty personell.I know for a fact that several regular ROTC Air Force students have recieved waivers for both-does anyone know of any HPSP/FAP applicants who have recieved medical waivers?
     
  32. SoCal

    SoCal Senior Member

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    Do you have to apply for the program through a recruiter? Is there any sort of deadline? When do you do the ADT's? I know the firts one, COT, is done before we start med school, but when do you fit the other 3 in?
     
  33. UHS2002

    UHS2002 Senior Member

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    I am an Army FAP recipient and I was told before my physical that although there are many "waiverable" conditions, asthma is not one of them, at least not in the Army. It used to be waiverable but they had problems during the Gulf War with soldier having major asthma attacks due to all those burning oil fields...

    On the other hand, a friend who is in the Navy HPSP, told me that several people in her OTC had asthma, so apparently it can still be waiverable in the Navy.

    Overall, between the Army and the Navy, the Navy has more lenient weight/height requirements (max weight for the Army was 14 lbs less than max weight for the Navy in my age group) and also more lenient physical fitness standards. I have no idea about the AF.

    Keep in mind that if you apply to both, you physical exam at MEPS is going to be based on the more stringent standards of the two, which means that you can be disqualified for not meeting Army standards even though you meet Navy standards (for instance, for weight/heigh limitations). At that point, you just apply for a waiver with that service.

    It is not unusual for people to wheeze if they have pneumonia, or after a bout of atypical pneumonia (mycoplasma or chlamydial pneumonia). That doesn't necessarly mean they have asthma. On the other hand, pneumonia can unmask an otherwise undiagnosed asthma. If there is any doubt about whether you have asthma or not, and your lung function tests are normal, the military can opt to give you a metacholine test.
     
  34. tkim

    tkim 10 cc's cordrazine
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    Exactly.

    I don't know if this is the case in other areas, but in New England, the Army and Navy scholarship committee awards scholarships on a *rolling* basis, where the AF awards all of them after February.

    I was actually told by the AF recruiter to apply to all branches that I would be interested in serving in. If I were to apply only to the AF, I'd have to wait til February to find out, and scramble to apply to the Army if I were rejected - and after most of the Army/Navy schloarships are awarded because of rolling decisions.

    I was also told that the results of the physical exam can be shared amongst the three branches - so you only have to take one physical exam.

    - Tae
     
  35. pathdr2b

    pathdr2b Banned
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    UHS2002,
    Thanks for the info. I'm definitely focused on Navy although I had considered the ARMY as well. If what you say is true about the Army physical (and this isn't the first time've heard this), I'll just stick with the Navy only when the time comes (next summer). Besides my Dad was a Marine so I really don't have a choice in the matter ;)

    You're also right about the pneumonia unmasking the asthma and yes my recent lung fuction tests were normal. I've started "training" for the military physical which for me includes running. I've been told that this will "help" the asthma situation alot and I hope to be in perfect shape by the time of the physical.
     
  36. MeganRose

    MeganRose Senior Member

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    Hey Kenny,
    Tae pretty much covered the timeline for acceptance-- All are until filled. My recruiter told me a story about a student that rec'd a scholarship the first day of class. ADT is 6 wks long (4 weeks of which you're actually doing trng) and for most schools its completed during the summer break (after MSI,MSII&III years). I've been accepted to KCOM (which doesn't have a summer break in the truest sense) but all schools recognise that this is how you're paying for school and work something out for you to serve your time. You do have to apply through a recruiter but I don't want to scare anybody about them b/o my previous comments. Please understand they're not bad ppl, just people with a mission to recruit the best ppl possible and fill all their slots.
    M
     
  37. tkim

    tkim 10 cc's cordrazine
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  38. jennij

    jennij Member

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    Thanks Tae, for all the good info! :D
     
  39. SoCal

    SoCal Senior Member

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    Thanks MeaganRose...I have been talking to a lot of people, so I kind of know what to expect from a recruiter. I plan to make up my mind before talking to them anyway. Thanks again
     
  40. tkim

    tkim 10 cc's cordrazine
    Physician

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    You're welcome, future PCOMer.

    - Tae
     
  41. drtedjefferson

    drtedjefferson Junior Member

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    anyone know the pay once you start as a doc in the military??? I see a new specialty pay was added recently , is that available to f.p. docs. Don't get me wrong, it's not the reason to join but I would like to know. thanks.
     
  42. cdreed

    cdreed Senior Member

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  43. ashelley

    ashelley New Member

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    I'm currently applying for the Navy, Airforce, and Army scholarships but was wondering about the long-term benefits of these programs. My roomate is fortunate enough to have parents who can pay for her education, and she is often telling me that the military scholarship is only affordable if one plans on being in the service for life. Is this true? Do civilian physicians generally make that much more money than military physicians once the cost of malpractice insurance, and paying for staff and nurses comes into play? I'm not going to become a pediatrician for the money by any means, but if it is more affordable to take out loans and pay them back after residency I may want to consider other options. Does anyone have any suggestions? Is anyone currently fulfilling their obligation to the military right now who can tell me if they would do it again given the opportunity?

    Thank you so much, it is a huge decision I will have to make (providing i am accepted for the scholarship)
     
  44. drtedjefferson

    drtedjefferson Junior Member

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    Anyone out there withthe bottom line??? What is the complete (all additions and subtractions ) for a F.P. doc in the military. ????? enough of the isp,asp,ap/,dk/, jls just give me the complete salary.
     
  45. edmadison

    edmadison 1K Member

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    I guess I'll join in the conversation. Sorry I didn't get in earlier, but I usually don't look at the DO forums.

    First, You can get a waiver for asthma from the Army. I did. I also got DQed from the Navy for the same asthma, although that was 10 years earlier and for the JAG corps which is extremely competitive (i.e. they have plenty of applicants).

    Second, Ashelley. I totally disagree with your friend about the scholarship only being worthwhile if you intend on staying in the military. If fact, the military retirement benefits aren't really that good when you think about how much money you can save in private practice. If you were in a highly paid specialty like interventional radiology, you could make 5 times what you make in the military. In many cases it just won't be worth it.

    Finally, drtedjefferson. The bottom line is very hard to figure because there are many factors to consider. As an attending, you get specialty pay which varies based on the needs of the military. Pediatricians get much less specialty pay than orthopedic surgeons. One source I found figures about 80,000 for a military FP doc fresh out of residency. A few caveats are necessary, however. About 13,000 of this is housing/food allowance which is not taxed. So in effect its like you are making 8,000 more a year. Also, as soon as you make major/lt. commander, you will make about 7-8,000 more each year.
    In my opinion, and from a pure financial standpoint, you make out like a bandit if you do the scholarship and want to do primary care. This is because in the civilian world PCPs have incomes fairly close to what the military docs make. The deal is not as good for high paid specialist because they make so much less in the military. The value of the scholarship is also greater for those of us attending expensive private medical schools.

    You can run the numbers yourself. Multiply you yearly tuition by 4 years, factor in interest during your deferral period. Finally amortize that amount over 10-20 years. One final note, you pay most of the loan back in after tax dollars. Thus, you have to earn $2.00 to pay off every $1.00 in debt. Once you do the calculation, you will be able to see the impact on you future income.

    Ed
     
  46. UHS2002

    UHS2002 Senior Member

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    Just comes to show how true it is that it all depends on "the needs of the service"...I was told just this past May that asthma was not waiverable for the Army, my recruiter was pretty adamant about it. And the people with asthma my friend knows, in the Navy, got accepted in 2000. If they have plenty of applicants, they can be picky, if it is a lean year, as long as your seen eye dog doesn't have flat feet, you are in !!!!

    On to a different subject:

    Right now the senior residents in my program (FP) are in the middle of their job interviews. I have been asking about salaries and the numbers I have heard about are in the range of 125-140 k starting salaries, with many places offering loan forgiveness deals on top of the salary.

    I will give you the most recent breakdown for a FP in the military (it ain't a secret, your recruiter can a should do the number crunching with you):

    O-3 2,796.60/mo which comes to 33,559.20/yr
    Total special pay 35,500
    Basic Allowance for subsistence 1,996/yr (tax free)
    Basic Allowance for Housing 15,564/yr (tax free)

    total: 86,619 of which 17,560 is tax free. So, if you pay taxes at a rate of 21% on the taxable income, you are taking home about 72,117/yr in the military. No loans to repay if you went the HPSP route, but still repaying loans if you are a FAP recipient, so subtract your loan monthly payment from that amount.

    Comparatively, as a civilian FP fresh out of residency and making lets say 125,000/yr and taxed at 30%, your take home will be about 87,500. Subtract 1,200/mo for student loan repayment if you attended a private school and your take home is about 73,100, which is comparable to what you would make in the military. However, keep in mind that many places will offer you some sort of loan forgiveness as part of your employment contract. So civilian and military salaries are basically comparable for a FP fresh out of residency, unless you go to a rural area, where you can expect,as a civilian, to exceed by a fair amount what you would be making in the military.

    After 4 years in the military, you are eligible for a extra special pay of 14,000/yr (taxable). Which brings your total pay to 100,619.52. After your promotion rols in, you will be making about 107,000/yr.

    As a civilian FP in practice for 4 years expect to make about 140,000 and up (I know many FPs that make close to 200,000 and some that are making over that, but the later are an exception and practice in rural areas). Again, if you have to pay 1,200/mo on your student loans, subtract that from your 140,000.

    As a military resident, if you went the HPSP route, you make about 50,000/yr vs 36-40,000/yr in a civilian residency. As a FAP recipient, you make about 23,000 more on top of your civilian salary (taxable, of course) to help you repay student loans (or to live high on the hog, depending on your financial savy).

    According to my number crunching above, you are slightly ahead as a primary care physician by going the HPSP route and even or below even if you go the FAP route. Basically, my personal take in all of this is: do not do the military scholarships exclusively for the money, as you might regret it when your time for repayment rolls around. On the other hand, if you think military medicine is your thing and you never want to worry about what to wear to work tomorrow :laugh: then ... go ARMY :clap:
     
  47. drtedjefferson

    drtedjefferson Junior Member

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    Thank you very much for your calculations of pay. A few things I've seen, 1.) no malpractice insurance in the military. this is usually around 5-10 grand a year your first 5 years out of residency , so they way I see it I just add this to your military salary because you don't have to pay it in the army. Later as a civilian you pay more , say 15 grand/year.
    2.)The special pays; I'm concerned that this is a con. They list these as "additional special pay" = 15k, then "Incentive Special Pay" = 12-36k (probably more near the 12), "variable Special Pay" =5 grand, and "medical Officer Multiyear pay " =6k
    If you go to the DOD's pay book (I can get you the website) It describes these requirement in 23 pages!!! and then it refers to another site for definitions! But what it does say clearly is that you can have these taken away at ANY TIME. It says this very clearly. (the only thing it says clearly)And the reason to take it away could be anything (like we are trying to make our budget this year , so tough ****, we are subtracting 36k from your salary.)
    Also take note, the largest one ,ISP, is listed as 36K on the pay chart but the fine print tells you that only orthopods make this ,adn the rest of the specialties have a number from 12-36k.
    I get cold feet when I see all of this, but I may join anyway. I am very interested in the Army, I would much rather serve my country and veterans than serve an HMO. I'm an adventurous person and probably would have done the military if I hadn't spent 8 years in college and med school. And frankly , I think 3 years is not a long time , even if it's horrible.
    If there are any attendings out there who can give us the lowdown as far as the ISP,ASP, VSP and what the final numbers are for family practice right out of residency it would be much appreciated, one day I'll buy you a martini at the officer's club. GO ARMY!
     
  48. drtedjefferson

    drtedjefferson Junior Member

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    P.S. if any attendings wany to secretly tell me their experiences without big brother reading it , my email is "[email protected]" thanks
     
  49. edmadison

    edmadison 1K Member

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    If you look at your HPSP contract, virtually everything is subject to change. As Sherman T. Potter said on M*A*S*H, "when you're wearing a green tuxedo, you dance where they tell you!" Want to be really scared? When you sign up, you agree to do reserve time so that your active duty attending time + reserve time = 7 years. Normally you can serve this time inactive, meaning no drilling or other duties. However, if the needs of the military warrant, they can keep you on active duty. Also, they can keep you in after your committment if they want. A friend of mine is a helo pilot in the 101st scheduled to get out in June. I think they'll hold onto him until the party is over in Iraq.

    I wouldn't worry about them pulling back the specail pays. The trend is in the direction of increasing them, not reducing. They have enough trouble with recruiting and retention. I'd worry about other things, like GMO tours, not getting the residency of your choice, not getting a civilian deferrment.

    Ed
     
  50. MoNOVA

    MoNOVA Junior Member

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    I have a question regarding people allowed to live with you while serving the military as a Dr. Who can stay with you besides your wife and children?
    Is it possible for your parents to live with you while you're a physician in the military? I love my parents and by the time I'll be done with medicine, they'll be really old and would need caring from their son.
    Thanks a million.
     
  51. DrZippy2b

    DrZippy2b Senior Member

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    Originally posted by MoNOVA
    I have a question regarding people allowed to live with you while serving the military as a Dr. Who can stay with you besides your wife and children?
    Is it possible for your parents to live with you while you're a physician in the military? I love my parents and by the time I'll be done with medicine, they'll be really old and would need caring from their son.
    Thanks a million.
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------



    I believe your parents can live with you and maybe if they are considered your dependents, extra pay may be warranted. I'll ask my wife with is still in the AF --works in accounting/finance.



    I worked in the housing office on an AF installation. Here's the thing. #1-- You will be making enough Basic Allowance for Housing to cover the costs of living in the local area where you are assigned. If you live in the local community, you can have whoever you want live with you. (However, they do not receive the same benefits as your spouse and children. EG: no medical care, no commissary/BX/other base privileges.) If you live on-base, then your parents have to be your dependents and you will have to take all the steps the AF requires to make that happen.

    PM me if you want specifics about on-base housing regs. They are the same for all AF bases.
     
  52. DrZippy2b

    DrZippy2b Senior Member

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    Originally posted by MoNOVA
    I have a question regarding people allowed to live with you while serving the military as a Dr. Who can stay with you besides your wife and children?
    Is it possible for your parents to live with you while you're a physician in the military? I love my parents and by the time I'll be done with medicine, they'll be really old and would need caring from their son.
    Thanks a million.
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------



    I believe your parents can live with you and maybe if they are considered your dependents, extra pay may be warranted. I'll ask my wife with is still in the AF --works in accounting/finance.



    I worked in the housing office on an AF installation. Here's the thing. #1-- You will be making enough Basic Allowance for Housing to cover the costs of living in the local area where you are assigned. If you live in the local community, you can have whoever you want live with you. (However, they do not receive the same benefits as your spouse and children. EG: no medical care, no commissary/BX/other base privileges.) If you live on-base, then your parents have to be your dependents and you will have to take all the steps the AF requires to make that happen.

    PM me if you want specifics about on-base housing regs. They are the same for all AF bases.
     

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