AMcD3

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I've heard about this for a few years, how the army will pay your tuition, fees, + stipend in return for service after you're an MD. I checked out their website, not too much info unfortunately, and was wondering if anyone had some more solid understanding of what all they ask of you after your are done. Also, does it constrain your choice of specialty? Just looking for some info while I think about contacting the recruiter. It is tempting, saving about 200k....
 

steppwolf

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AMcD3 said:
I've heard about this for a few years, how the army will pay your tuition, fees, + stipend in return for service after you're an MD. I checked out their website, not too much info unfortunately, and was wondering if anyone had some more solid understanding of what all they ask of you after your are done. Also, does it constrain your choice of specialty? Just looking for some info while I think about contacting the recruiter. It is tempting, saving about 200k....
Here's an e-mail I received from the local military recruiter:

Hi,
I am one of the Health Care Recruiters for your area. I am contacting you to let you know about the Health Professional Scholarship that the Army provides. Bottom line, if you are offered one of these scholarships, the Army will pay full tuition, books, fees, and you will receive a stipend of over $18,000 per year while attending any accredited medical school. While attending school you are commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant in the Army Reserve BUT you cannot be pulled out of school for any reason. Unlike other reserve programs, you are being trained to be a Doctor, until you complete your residency you are not fully job qualified therefore you do not have to worry about being pulled from medical school for any kind of training! If you would like to learn more about the scholarship please contact me below or respond to this email. Look forward to hearing from you soon!
 

mvenus929

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My mom (having just moved out of recruiting) sent me an article the other day saying how the Army and Navy are actually increasing the stipend and benefits for scholarships because they're hurting for doctors so badly. I deleted the article, otherwise I'd post it for you.
 

MirrorTodd

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What Dr. Funke said is true. Don't do it unless you want to serve. You will be even more miserable than civilians in residency. The problem isn't the benefits. The problem is the incompetent people who are in charge. They will dictate you're life.
 

Church

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So, MirrorTodd, how much time in the service have you had?
 

selkie14

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This is an option I looked into as well. A lot of physicians really enjoy working for the military because they spend no time on insurance claims and much less time on general bureaucracy. Then there are the financial benefits, of course, which are fantastic, and if you have a hankering for being all over the world... However, you've got to beware of the promises made in these programs. When I talked to a recruiter, they told me that I would have full choice of my specialty and residency (including non-military residencies), though they would prefer if I accepted a military residency if one was available; however, I know someone who ended up in a specialty he didn't want because that was what the military demanded of him. I honestly feel more uncomfortable not trusting their word than if they'd told me right off the bat that they would have the final word on that. It's a place of top-down decisions, and there are orders you can't question--something that makes me uncomfortable in all sorts of ways, particularly now. You also have to think about what it will do to your relationships--you may not be involved with someone now, but if you meet someone (unless, of course, they're military as well), they probably will not have a career that is flexible enough to allow them to be overseas with you. And that's four years of service commitment (assuming you don't take any support from them during residency); not a short amount of time to be apart. Nor would it be easy for your future spouse to reenter their career path after so much time. You'd be doing it after your residency, so you'd be...taking an avg of residency times...probably 31 when you start, 35 when you finish.

So a lot of factors. If you're footloose & fancy free, it's not a bad option. And being without debt would be fantastic ( :( )

Ok, editing this: a quote from the military medicine forum:
"The Navy only defers people to meet projected specialty shortfalls, not desires of the HPSP student"
and it seems to be the same with Army, etc.

You have to take a military residency unless they don't have the capacity to train as many residents as they project they'll need in a certain specialty, in which case you'll be granted a deferment to go to a civilian residency program.
 

kypdurron5

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selkie14 said:
This is an option I looked into as well. A lot of physicians really enjoy working for the military because they spend no time on insurance claims and much less time on general bureaucracy. Then there are the financial benefits, of course, which are fantastic, and if you have a hankering for being all over the world... However, you've got to beware of the promises made in these programs. When I talked to a recruiter, they told me that I would have full choice of my specialty and residency (including non-military residencies), though they would prefer if I accepted a military residency if one was available; however, I know someone who ended up in a specialty he didn't want because that was what the military demanded of him. I honestly feel more uncomfortable not trusting their word than if they'd told me right off the bat that they would have the final word on that. It's a place of top-down decisions, and there are orders you can't question--something that makes me uncomfortable in all sorts of ways, particularly now. You also have to think about what it will do to your relationships--you may not be involved with someone now, but if you meet someone (unless, of course, they're military as well), they probably will not have a career that is flexible enough to allow them to be overseas with you. And that's four years of service commitment (assuming you don't take any support from them during residency); not a short amount of time to be apart. Nor would it be easy for your future spouse to reenter their career path after so much time. You'd be doing it after your residency, so you'd be...taking an avg of residency times...probably 31 when you start, 35 when you finish.

So a lot of factors. If you're footloose & fancy free, it's not a bad option. And being without debt would be fantastic ( :( )

Ok, editing this: a quote from the military medicine forum:
"The Navy only defers people to meet projected specialty shortfalls, not desires of the HPSP student"
and it seems to be the same with Army, etc.

You have to take a military residency unless they don't have the capacity to train as many residents as they project they'll need in a certain specialty, in which case you'll be granted a deferment to go to a civilian residency program.
Great post. My biggest concern is the quality of the residency program. Do you know anything about how well-regarded a military residency is compared to big state schools, or privates like JHU, Harvard, etc?
 

maestro1625

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kypdurron5 said:
Great post. My biggest concern is the quality of the residency program. Do you know anything about how well-regarded a military residency is compared to big state schools, or privates like JHU, Harvard, etc?
Military residency is quite good in most cases. My cousin has had the chance to operate of Colin Powell and has been doing his residency in DC at Walter Reed.

Also, if you're considering a specialty like Ortho or ER... well expect not to be in the safest of world areas when youre done...
 

kypdurron5

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Vvandenn said:
Great article!! It's talking about a possible double of the yearly stipend; it may also arrive just in time for 2007 applicants. My only concern is that the Air Force is the only one meeting or exceeding its current recruitment goals, meaning the incentive may be targeted towards the other branches. Every military person I've ever talked to has said the AF has a higher standard of living than any other branch. I don't think they could just apply the stipend to one or two branches though.... I guess the next best option would be the Navy. Unless I can get a major scholarship from whatever school I attend, a double of the yearly stipend would mean you're making just as much money in medical school as most medical school students make during residency, except you're making it 4 years earlier w/out the debt.
 

edmadison

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maestro1625 said:
Also, if you're considering a specialty like Ortho or ER... well expect not to be in the safest of world areas when youre done...
You should expect to end up in a combat zone if you are in any specialty that is directly involved in patient care. It's not just ED and Ortho. Peds is the third most deployed specialty in the Army. Be forewarned.

Ed
 

kypdurron5

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edmadison said:
You should expect to end up in a combat zone if you are in any specialty that is directly involved in patient care. It's not just ED and Ortho. Peds is the third most deployed specialty in the Army. Be forewarned.

Ed
I guess that makes a certain amount of sense...not for military children but rather the foreign children in the war zone. Still, talking about being put into combat for military doctors is not quite the same as talking about joining for general college education and being put into a combat zone. Also, such a deployment shouldn't occur until after residency, which would be what, 11 years from now at the earliest? Maybe we'll be at war in a nice country like Bermuda by then ;).
 

hermit

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kypdurron5 said:
Also, such a deployment shouldn't occur until after residency, which would be what, 11 years from now at the earliest?
You REALLY need to read up on this career path if you are considering it. This statement is false.
 

hermit

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kypdurron5 said:
Still, talking about being put into combat for military doctors is not quite the same as talking about joining for general college education and being put into a combat zone.
Please elaborate on this. You may require flaming.
 

keepdreaming

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kypdurron5 said:
Every military person I've ever talked to has said the AF has a higher standard of living than any other branch.
honestly its not because the other branches dont care about the standard of living for their soilders its because the AF has the most money. also as a med student for the military you get treated a LOT nicer than the regular military service members. that means better housing (read: air conditioning and four walls not a tent) and less time training/exercising/taking physical fitness exams.
for example, in the army you have to run the mile within an allotted time. when the med students do it they just say "just finish it" -huge difference.
also b/c they're hurtin so bad for dr's, the higher ranked officials are willing to take a LOT of crap/mouthing off from med students/doctors.

and oh ya, so there are tons of incompetent and or mean high ranking people but you're in officer upon graduation (captain if you're in the army).

oh and if you want a ton of hands on experience the military will also give you that b/c like everybody has said, they're short staffed and well their patients are in a high risk environment. plus there's almost 0 chance of malpractice because suing a dr in the military means youre suing the military. think about how much malpractice insurance costs when factoring in military pay.

and btw i got this information first hand from a student i know who goes to USUHS. just passin on what i know...
 

hermit

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keepdreaming said:
and oh ya, so there are tons of incompetent and or mean high ranking people but you're in officer upon graduation (captain if you're in the army).
Ok...so you are an O-3 and the nurse in your operating room is an O-6...

But you are right about the malpractice insurance. If there ever was a great equalizer between military doc pay and civilian, this would be it.
 

keepdreaming

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hermit said:
Ok...so you are an O-3 and the nurse in your operating room is an O-6...

But you are right about the malpractice insurance. If there ever was a great equalizer between military doc pay and civilian, this would be it.

better than starting O-1 :D
 

pathognomonic

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Actually, at least in the military I know, the O-6 nurse will be upstairs writing your FITREP - not in the OR. He/she probably hasn't seen an OR for 10 years. :D
 

8744

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kypdurron5 said:
...I guess the next best option would be the Navy...
You do know that the Marines have no physicians or nurses of their own, the void being filled by the Navy?

You may end up with a hard-charging Marine infantry battalion as the Battalion Surgeon.

(Which is not a bad thing, you understand, unless you hoped for the country-club lifestyle of the Air Force)
 

notdeadyet

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I'd strongly recommend reading about the HPSP scholarship on the military section on the site. You'll get actual experiences from people receiving the scholarship and those who have actually practiced afterwards.

Do not believe what recruiters tell you without verifying with those who've actually been through it. Beware taking advice about the program from those who have not been through it. Some people love it, but many absolutely hate it and have been shafted.

Become as educated as you can and make the right decision for yourself. What's unique about a commitment to the military is that there's essentially no turning back.