Eccentrically Silly
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Hubby is thinking of doing this, and I am not sure what to think honestly.

ANY opinions would be appreciated!!

Does health insurance for the family come with the scholarship?
How likely is it that hubby could be pulled from med school to go fight?
Would rank compromise his ethics in regards to medicine? Ie - he has to give the care to his patient that a higher rank orders him to, even if he doesn't agree?
How good are the chances that he could pick the area that he would like to complete his service? (REALLY would like to come back to the area and go to Madigan)
Is army, navy, or airforce better in regards to choices of residency and where you end up?
When completing his service obligation, is pay adequate or is he paid at whatever ranking he has at the time?

Sorry for all the questions but we REALLY need to make a decsion on this.



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Health insurance only comes while he actually on active duty (summers, etc.) I think it very unlikely he would be pulled to fight. The military does not consider you a "full" ready soldier until you complete your training or schools. I was Army but Air Force seems way better to most. He probably would have a tough time coming to a certain area. The military does serve its own needs first. The officers I knew in health service were pretty independent. I don't think anyone dared to tell them what to do.

He would be paid at his rank, but there are a ton of bonuses that make up for the lower pay. Most end up making close to 100K. Also, remember, housing, utilities, etc. if all provided and NO malpractice insurance to pay. It adds up to almost a civilian pay when benefits are added in. One thing to remember, If the Army says you owe back four years, residency does NOT count. So, in essence you end up active duty for seven or more years. It is still not a bad way to go if he can handle the military and the BS they give you. Hope this helps.. Good luck!


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I'll weigh in on this a bit. I'm in the Army HPSP and think it is a fantastic deal, as long as you are predisposed to serve in the military. Don't just do it for the money!

As for the health insurance, while you are in school you get certain expenses paid. One of them is for health insurance, but I'm 90% sure it only covers the individual and not the family. At my school, the extra cost for family insurance is huge!

As for having to go off and fight during med school, the chance is zero. There are so many reservists that are actually trained already, there is no need. Now if all 3 million (?) reservists get called then we're at war with China and were all screwed. I guess there is a small chance that a doc could get called out of residency though.

In terms of some other issues that concerned you, Madigan is very popular in the residency picks. I has the reputation for being the most academic -- I mean dedicated to teaching its residents, not research. Unfortunately, its small and doesn't have a lot of residency slots.

Thinking about residency should be crucial in you decision making process. Joining the military could interfere with you husbands choices. Different branches have pros and cons. I picked the army because they have more residency choices than the air force and the navy still has GMOs (ugh).

Finally, on pay, I'll give the quick and dirty. If you are going to do primary care, you will make fairly close to what you can in many parts of the civilian world. For specialist, however, its not even close. You could be loosing 100K per year of post residency active duty. This sounds bad, but it isn't. Most people I've talked to fail to properly evaluate the savings of the scholarship. If you do private school for 4 years, accrue and compound interest during residency, you will owe about 200K. Amortize this over 10-25 years AND pay it back with after tax money and you are talking 700K or more!!! Wow!

Good luck, feel free to ask any more Qs

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I have a quick comment on Tricare, the military health insurance - it STINKS!!!! You don't get insurance benefits on a military scholarship during medical school, though. Your spouse is a reservist during that time period and doesn't qualify for medical benefits. The insurance coverage only kicks in once he/she begins active duty service. My husband is currently active duty and we've both had to deal with Tricare and have nothing positive to say about it!



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I am currently active duty Army and have been looking at how it deals with its doctors for the past 3 1/2 years. The doctors do get to do pretty much what they want to do, but they do still have to do 'hardship' tours (read Korea or Germany) as a requirement. Also, they can be activated to go on short-term deployments to support different operations as well. I have an uncle that was a doc in Desert Storm and he said he was fairly close to the front lines, but it really does depend on where you are working at.

The pay is great while you are in your residency, with benefits the Government says it is $60,000 plus. The extra pay mentioned does not kick in until you have completed your residency and varies from specialty to specialty. Also, while you are on scholarship, you don't get the extra "stay in the service" money which is where the largest lump sums lie.

The military is a tough life and not just for the individual. I have had to constantly fight the 'norm' to be able to spend the amount of time with my family that I feel is necessary. For some reason it is the accepted norm to talk all day and get the paperwork done at night when you could be with your family. Paperwork is horrendous and inane.

I do need to caveat my comments thus far because I have not spent much time working directly for or with MEDDAC (the Army medical community), but the Army does consider you to be first and foremost a soldier no matter what you do in the Army. It is not a decision to enter in lightly because it can be a pretty restrictive life (as far as where you can live). Although I have heard they try to work with docs more on that matter than most of the other soldiers.

I hope this helps, and even more importantly I hope to be able to join you and your husband at KCOM next year (I will know next Thursday). If you have any questions, please feel free to email me. Oh, I am trying to get the Air Force scholarship because they take much better care of their people than the Army does.



I agree TRICARE is the most archaic and frustrating organization ever conceived by the minds of men. It is run by the beaureaucrats and not the healthcare people.
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