Military Residencies; Especially Army

Discussion in 'Medical Students - MD' started by Who'syourdaddy?, Nov 29, 2000.

  1. Who'syourdaddy?

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    Hello all,
    I wanted to get a feel for how military residencies are viewed by the general medical community, ie other doctors, hospitals, etc etc. I have the GME directory and that's helpful but I am wondering what opinions, good or bad, some might have about these.

    BTW, I have to apply for these because I am an HPSP (don't you love how the military loves acronyms, I wonder why?) student and am required to apply for FYGME through the Army.

    If anyone has any info on how good military residencies, FYGME, etc is, esp. for the Army, could you please post it, thanks in advance.

    Also, if one specialty, ENT, EM, is really good in the military, or one place, Tripler, is really good for GME than please post that as well, thanks in advance, again.
     
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  3. Crafty

    Crafty Member

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    Whosyourdaddy --

    Sorry I don't have an answer for you, but I do have another question. I will be starting med school in the fall, and I am currently looking into the HPSP. How locked in are you to doing a military residency? I know you have to apply to them, but are you obligated to accept one? Do you feel like your hands are tied and you don't have the same freedom as your non-HPSP classmates? I just wanted to get some input from someone who is actually going through the process. Thanks
     
  4. BigSkyDreams

    BigSkyDreams Smelly Uncle Member

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    Howdy

    I was looking into this option for paying for school also but the doc that I was working with had a different view point.

    He said just to take the loans and don't worry about it. He borrowed just over $100,000 (1992 dollars), finished eight or so years ago, and has them payed off as of this year. The benefits are that he was able to choose the residency he wanted rather than pick one from the approved list, started a practice that he controls and now is reaping the benefits, ie He doesn't have to start one after his commitment, and he didn't have to wear those silly ass uniforms! (I'm former Navy and now Army [​IMG])

    I hope this helps, it is just another way of looking at things.

    ------------------
    BSD
    ______
    Work under the assumption that you will be happy one day
     
  5. DocHunter9

    DocHunter9 Senior Member

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    I am a Health Care Recruiter for the U.S Army so I will attempt to answer your questions.
    1.Who'syourdaddy? Military residency programs are looked at as being equal to or better than most residency programs. In one of the consideration factors, board pass rates, Army residency programs are near the top.

    2. Crafty, Approximately 85% of all Army HPSP recipients go to a military residency. You are obligated to go to a military residency if you are offered one in that specialty. There is an educational delay that you can take if for example your 1st choice is surgery and your 2nd choice is family practice, the military offers you a family practice residency but not a surgery residency and you are accepted into a civilian surgery residency they will allow you to defer your Scholarship payback unitl you complete your residency.

    3. BSD (love your nick name by the way), I have compared my list of military residency programs and the list at teh AMA web site and I didnt see any civilian residency programs that werent on our list, If you know of some or even one I would like to know what it is. As for the uniforms I guess I cant argue that point. [​IMG]

    If you have more questions feel free to ask. You can also email me at the address in my profile.
     
  6. BigSkyDreams

    BigSkyDreams Smelly Uncle Member

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    Howdy,

    DocHunter, I would email you but I think others will benefit from seeing the posts.

    I am eight years out from my twenty year letter from the National Guard but I really want to stay reserve. What are my options besides taking the big money package, from my stand point it really is a sweet deal but thats because I am so close to having my retirement points. Can I take a direct commision? By the time I finish medschool and res, I could be done with the military, etc.

    I have taked to the state recruiter but I haven't been able to find regs and pubs (regulations and publications, for the civilian reader)

    Why does the military work in acronyms? During WWII, that was the big one, the drafting office mistakenly enlisted Biochemist by the dozen. Acronyms are their terrible revenge on the military! [​IMG]

    ------------------
    BSD
    ______
    Work under the assumption that you will be happy one day
     
  7. DocHunter9

    DocHunter9 Senior Member

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    Your 20 year letter would not stop you from continuing your service. One of the options that you might have is the STRAP (another biochemist's joke [​IMG] the Specialized TRaining Assistance Program). It is available to residents in certain specialties. (the specialties change from year to year and are based on our stentgh in those specialies). The STRAP pays a stipend of $1027 a month and incurs a payback of 2 years reserve for every 1 year of assistance.
    In the Army, I'm not sure about the other services, all of our medical officers are direct commission. You could also serve without obligation by just applying for the commission once you complete the residency.
     
  8. BigSkyDreams

    BigSkyDreams Smelly Uncle Member

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    Howdy,

    DocHunter,

    Thanks for the info. Which office in my state would I contact about STRAP? NG or USA, STARC, Etc.

    thanks again


    ------------------
    BSD
    ______
    Work under the assumption that you will be happy one day
     
  9. DocHunter9

    DocHunter9 Senior Member

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    BSD,
    I believe the Health Care Recruiting office that is responsible for your area is located at 4407 N. Division St., Suite 801, Spokane, WA 99207 (509) 484-6471. I used the Boseman (sp?) Zip Code, 59716 to get that info because it is listed under "Big Sky" in the zip code book. You can check for another zip code to see if there is a closer one by going to www.goarmy.com, click on find a recruiter, click on Health Care Professional Recruiter, and then enter your zip code and it will give the nearest office.
     
  10. jefftzeng

    jefftzeng Junior Member

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    Hi,

    You can always look at another branch of the armed service. I've been looking into the Navy program. The compensation packages (ie stipend, tuition) are pretty much the same. Navy, from my brochure and telephone conversation with a recruiter, says that you are required to apply for a military residency, but you can choose either. The military residency will go toward your retirement, while civilian residency won't.
    As for a specialty, I've been looking at the various specialties for the Navy end of the program and it pretty much covers most specialties (GP, OBGYN, IM, ortho, cardio, plastic surgery . . .).

    No, I'm not a navy recruiter! [​IMG]
    I'm just trying to give some info.
     
  11. DocHunter9

    DocHunter9 Senior Member

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    You might want to check out when you make that application because the Navy has you do a GMO (General Medical Officer) (as in no specialty) tour prior to going to a residency, and I could be wrong but your GMO time does not count toward HPSP payback.
    GO ARMY!! (I am a recruiter so I have to say that) [​IMG]
     
  12. nostromo

    nostromo Member

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    Military Residencies are outstanding. They are all AMA/AOA/ACGME accredited and have excellent reputations even among civilian programs.

    However, if your decision to accept the HPSP is based upon fear of educational debt, perhaps you should think otherwise.

    Do not join the military unless you are interested in serving your country, because your immediate career goals and personal interests may not necessarily reflect the needs of the military, in which case you might be disappointed.

    Take all advice from any military recruiter with a grain of salt. They lack objectivity and paint an unbalanced picture of military life.

    Feel free to e mail me personally if you wish to discuss this further.


    Yours,

    Lt. Michael Suls, D.O., MC, USNR
    Flight Surgeon
    Head
    Department of Aviation Medicine
    NAS
    Corpus Christi, TX

    [email protected]
     
  13. GeoLeoX

    GeoLeoX Ancient

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    For jefftzeng:
    The military has a "2-part" residency program. After your FYGME you then apply for the rest of the residency. In the Army and Air Force you are guaranteed a military residency after you finish your intership year. In the Navy there is still a sizable GMO (or flight surgeon or undersea medicine, etc) program that diverts you after your internship year.

    Simply stated, you DO NOT choose whether you can take a military residency OR a civilian one, unless you do a Navy GMO (that is you do a 1-yr internship after graduating and then serve without completing your medical residency. After your payback service you can then apply for a civilian or military residency. If you choose a military one you will incur an additional service obligation. Your years as a GMO in the Navy do payback your service obligation.

    That being said the Navy is attempting to phase out the GMO program like the Army and Air Force already have before 2005.

    This information is based on research that I have done and an application to the Navy and Army HPSP. I am now a 4yr Army HPSP student.

    I wholeheartedly agree with everything that nostromo says.

    2lt.Geo


    [This message has been edited by GeoLeoX (edited 12-09-2000).]
     
  14. jefftzeng

    jefftzeng Junior Member

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    Thank you so much for the enlighting information. I was not aware of this. I will now look much more into the "fine print." Thank you.
     
  15. Spang

    Spang SDN Angel

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    Just an addition to GeoLeo's post:

    The "additional obligation" you incur runs concurrent with any other obligation you may have.

    Second, I wouldn't hold my breath for the Navy getting rid of the GMO tour anytime soon. It's been my observation that the number of billet to be filled remains the same and the number of available physicians hasn't increased. Do the math.

    Best of Luck

    PS: I'm a Naval Aviator, not a doc, but applying 2001.
     
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  17. GeoLeoX

    GeoLeoX Ancient

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    Spang,


    I think that you are refering to paying back your medical school and residency requirements at the same time. That is true, but consider the following scenarios:

    You are awarded a 4-yr Navy HPSP scholarship. After your 4 years of medical school you apply for a Navy internship. You are accepted and train for one year at a Navy hospital. Thus far, you have not paid back any of your "4-year service obligation". After the internship you have several options:

    1. Apply for and get accepted into a Navy residency. In this case you are trained, let's say for 2 more years in Internal Medicine. You have still not paid back your obligation but you are now ready. You pay back your 4 years with commendable service, you don't re-up and you are a residency-trained civilian physician with little or no (hopefully) debt. 4 years medical school + 1 year internship + 2 years residency + 4 years of payback = 11 years. End of story.

    2. You like the military and decide that you want to either fly planes or swim in the ocean. You receive additional specialized training in Flight Surgery or Undersea Medicine that takes an additional few years and then you are ready to pay back your service obligation. After fulfilling your service obligation you are "entitled" to a military residency. IF you decide to take it you will be required to serve additional time to pay back the support. 4 years medical school + 1 year internship + 2 years (?) specialized training + 4 years payback = 11 years. You are now a NON-residency trained civilian physician. If you decided to take a military residency after your payback, tack on 2 years residency + 2 years payback = 15 years.

    3. As above but without the specialized training. Instead you are a GMO with the Marines, or on a carrier, or some similar situation. 4 years medical school + 1 year internship + 4 years payback = 9 years. You are NOT residency-trained, but you are now a civilian physician with little or no debt. Again, if you decide that you want to apply for a military residency add 2 years for the residency (internal medicine) and 2 more for the payback = 13 years.

    The first option is highly desired for most, however, as stated previously not too likely in the Navy.

    In addition, if your residency is longer than your payback time you will incur additional payback.

    The recruiter that I spoke with gave me this information (after I pushed a while of course). If you know something to the contrary, please tell me!

    Geo

    [This message has been edited by GeoLeoX (edited 12-08-2000).]
     
  18. DocHunter9

    DocHunter9 Senior Member

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    First, I'm not going to devote a lot of space to defending my integrity except to say that I do not mislead the applicants I work with, nor do I paint a lopsided picture of what the army is like and the satisfaction level of the people I work with proves it. NUF said!
    One stop at the Financial aid office of your medical school can put you in touch with one if not several current and previous HPSP recipients. They can probably tell you about anything you want or need to know.
    GeoLeoX, you talk about about the residency thing like it is a normal occurance, when as a matter of fact we discussed it here on the boards I had to do about an hours worth of research and I would guess that your recruiter had to too. In that process I was assissted by a civilian technician who has been working with HPSP for many years and she did not know about this. Now for the facts. There are only 4 residencies that would add to your HPSP payback.(they are neurological surgery, orthopaedic surgery, otolaryngology and urology). Of the 275 first year residents in Army residencies 9 will incur an additional year of obligation because of their residency . Thats 3.2%. That being said, I am glad that I now know about it, so that when I discuss obligation time with an HPSP applicant I can ask what specialty they intend to go into and work from there rather than just saying year for year.

    [This message has been edited by DocHunter9 (edited 12-08-2000).]

    [This message has been edited by DocHunter9 (edited 12-08-2000).]
     
  19. Who'syourdaddy?

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    DocHunter9: Look Im the one who started this thread, and while all information you provide is appreciated, realize that I already have my own Health Care Recruiter. I have learned through the years to take everything recruiters say with a BIG BIG grain of salt, you never get told about the bad stuff, you (the applicant) have to find out on your own.
    So if you could provide a way or a web page where information about the quality of military residencies then I would really appreciate it. Just posting, "All army or military residencies are GREAT" is not very helpful since that's what my own health care recruiter would tell me as well. Not to be obnoxious or disrespectful but you have to realize that Im not going to take a Health Care Recruiter's word for it, I want to hear from people who have been there.

    Does anyone else have any info on military residencies, quality, etc.?
     
  20. BoonDoc

    BoonDoc Member

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    WYD,
    I spent quite a bit of my military career working with and around army doctors.
    I never heard any of them complain about having to payback their years of medical school.
    On the contrary. It is rare to see an army doc quit after his time was up. Most stayed for the twenty years.
    I only heard good things said about the residency placement. Many applied for and recieved second residencies. They figured that if they are going to spend 20 years in the army, they might as well get the most out of it.
    A lot of the docs moonlight. They were all highly motivated and happy to serve.
    Then again, I was in a special ops unit. I didn't talk with many docs from the "normal army"
    My .02

    ------------------
    Walking is man's best medicine.
    -Hippocrates
     
  21. Homunculus

    Homunculus SDN Caveman Administrator
    Moderator Physician

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    Out of all the military docs (and ex-military docs) I know (all Army), none of them have regretted their decision, especially with their residencies. Many even stayed in the reserves after their service obligation. That being said, I would recommend that if you have ANY doubts about it, don't apply-- I'm sure there are plenty of others out there who'd love to take your place. (i don't mean that in a snotty way at all [​IMG] )

    take it easy!

    Homonculus

    p.s. yes, I am an HPSPer... [​IMG]



    [This message has been edited by Homonculus (edited 12-09-2000).]
     
  22. misfit

    misfit Blinded Me With Science

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    Hello:
    I am currently applying to enter the Fall 2001 entering class at several medical schools and the "jury" is still out on the final decision. In fact, it may take as long as April/May 2001 to find out.

    Now, I completed my Army HPSP application and physical/medical check-up at the MEPS in October and I have yet to hear from my recruiter as to whether or not the "boards" have accepted me.

    I was told, flat out several times, that I meet the qualifications for Automatic Acceptance Status, so it would be no problem for me to be accepted for an Army HPSP 4-yr. scholarship.

    Since I cannot get a hold of my recruiter at this time, could anyone tell me the situation: is there an auto acceptance policy?; do the boards not make a decision until you are actually accepted to medical school?

    Any info. would be appreciated. Thanks.

    misfit
     
  23. Crafty

    Crafty Member

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    Misfit --

    I also plan on entering med school in Fall 2001, and I'm currently looking into the Army and Air Force HPSP. From what I've been told by my Army recruiter, the Automatic Acceptance Criteria is at least a 31 on the MCAT and a 3.5 GPA. This is of course contingent upon you being accepted to a medical school and passing all of their screening processes (health, background check, etc.) So if you have those states, it sounds like you're just waiting for an acceptance. Good luck.

    I'm still investigating the HPSP thing, and I'm hesitant to sign on to anything before I get all the details. Right now I'm leaning towards waiting a year and possibly applying next year for a 3-year HPSP scholarship. Does anyone have any pros/cons to the 4-year vs. the 3-year plan?
     
  24. GeoLeoX

    GeoLeoX Ancient

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    DocHunter:

    I am sorry if I offended you in some way. I know that we discussed it back in August. If you reread the post you will see that I was specifically discussing the Navy. The simple fact is that the recruiter has a different goal than the scholarship applicant. Not a single recruiter that I spoke with (each with the 3 different branches) lied to me. I don't want to ever imply that they did. Their goal is to provide the military with a recruit (hence the title) and to facilitate the scholarship process by helping the applicant through the paperwork and the questions.

    Most of the information that I have is not from the recruiter, though a healthy portion is. Most is from former and current HPSP students with a good bit also from official military websites.

    One big issue that no one here has yet addressed is the transient nature of the recruiter. Enlisted recruiters don't spend their careers being recruiters. They have to get up to speed with a lot of information that changes every year. Unless they are in the same situation as the applicant who is thinking of giving the next 10+ years of their life to the military in addition to trying to become a trained physician they will not appreciate some of the issues that can come up. A good example is the extended payback required from an extended residency to which I refered in my previous post. I think that this may lead to many understandings in which a recruit doesn't get the whole picture. Honestly, though, if you are basing your entire decision to commit the next 10 years of your life to the military armed solely with the information that you received from one person whose job is to get you into the military you deserve what you get. The information is out there. There are web pages for the: Army, Navy, and Air Force. Please get your information from multiple sources. That is the only way that you can find the consistencies.

    WYD,
    Sorry that I don't have much info on the "quality" of military residencies and I am biased since I am an Army HPSP student. However, it is a fact that military residents are responsible for more than their civilian counterparts and as a result probably get more medical training. However, they don't deal with the same health insurance issues that a civilian resident would. There are obviously plusses and negatives to each. I come from the opposite side of the coin than BoonDoc since I see a lot of former HPSPs that are now civilians. Interestingly, the reasons that each of them had for leaving the military are different. One wanted to be able to raise a family in one place of their choosing. Another simply wanted more money. Yet another had a fantastic civilian career opportunity but as a die-hard military doc is still in the reserves. Unfortunately, unless you talk to someone who actively recruits or hires civilian physicians (like a headhunter or the department chair) I don't think that you will get much info here.

    misfit & crafty:

    I have heard about the automatic acceptance policy (with the stats that you mention), but the Amry webpage (see above) where I saw it last year no longer has any information about it. I would recommend you call the Army (or whichever branch) directly.

    crafty:

    I have looked into the pros & cons of 3-year v. 4-year scholarships. There are less 3 year scholarships than 4 year scholarships in all the branches of the military. Supposedly, at least with the Navy, they are trying to expand their program and also get 1- and 2-year scholarships (according to the recruiter). BE CAREFUL. You will most likely not be able to apply de novo for a 3-year Air Force scholarship. I spoke to a recruiter who told me that the Air Force takes the alternates from the 4-year scholarship pool and places them at the top of the list for the 3-year scholarship. Last year, he said, they had more than enough alternates to fill all the 3-year spots. The Army and Navy don't do it that way and you will be on the same playing field if you apply for a 3-year than those returning from the 4-year pool. I was virtually guaranteed a 3-year Navy scholarship, but for various reasons I took a 4-year Army scholarship. This is important because the boards for each meet at different times of the year (and several times a year at that). I was given a late acceptance and missed the deadline for applying for a 4-year Navy scholarship. Luckily, I had not missed the deadline for a 4-year Army scholarship due to the different scheduling of the scholarship boards. My Army recruiter fast-tracked all the paperwork for me and I made it in time to get a 4-year scholarship after school had already started. The Army retroactively paid off my tuition (which I had already paid for with student loans) and I only missed one stipend check of about $400. They also granted me an extension for filing a book/supplies reimbursement form. I wouldn't worry too much about when you get your acceptance, just be sure all your ducks are in a row so that you can get your paperwork submitted immediately.

    Hope this helps,

    Geo

    [This message has been edited by GeoLeoX (edited 12-09-2000).]
     
  25. docflight2

    docflight2 Junior Member

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    GeoLeoX,
    Your earlier post of 08DEC00 talked about payback/obligation time for the various options one has with HPSP programs. Just wanted to correct some information. You had 15 years calculated under the med school, internship, 2(?) years Flight Surgery, then payback time. Actually, payback is concurrent with post-internship training INCLUDING Flight Surgery. Total time after medschool was 5 years (4 year HPSP). Internship does not count, but I chose the military because the training was great. I left debt free, well traveled, and matched right into a Radiology residency. They had no problem with my training or payback obligation. Just wanted to clear that up. Keep up the good work- there is alot of information out there people need to know before making this decision. DF2
     
  26. docflight2

    docflight2 Junior Member

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    Sorry, you had 11 years total time. A four year scholarship can be as little as 5 years payback after graduation from medschool. This assumes you do a military internship. I think it is well worth the time and money. Good luck. DF2
     
  27. FreddyMercury

    FreddyMercury Junior Member

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    Just to let u guys know..the Army does offer 2 yr scholarships...I just got one...the only thing that they're still trying to straighten out is my payback time...originally I was told as well as being on the contract, that I would have a 2 yr obligation...however, they still think it might be a minimum of 3...does anybody know??
     
  28. JANPLME

    JANPLME Member

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    According to my HPSP handbook, physicians have a 2 year payback for 2 years of scholarship. I think nursing and psych have a minimum 3 yr payback for any scholarship.
     
  29. JANPLME

    JANPLME Member

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    I have a handbook I was sent in the mail that is for HPSP students that has info on payback times, etc. You can find a copy of it at: http://www.armymedicine.army.mil/medcom/meded/

    Somewhere on that website they should also have a list of residency programs, stats on matching, etc.
     

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