Military Scholarships...good or bad idea????

Discussion in 'Medical Students - DO' started by smedly, Mar 3, 2002.

  1. smedly

    smedly Member
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    Has anyone received or applied for a military scholarship. I've been speaking with recruiters and I am not sure if I can trust them. 'The year for a year', plus the $1000 a month, deal sounds good but I'd like to hear opinions from someone with personal experience. There is no published information on the subject...just the recruiters word. I need some advice. Thanks
     
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  3. mpp

    mpp SDN Moderator
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    I think that most people agree that do not join the military for the money, but join only if you would want to be in the military anyway.

    Check out what <a href="http://lukeballard.tripod.com/HPSP.html" target="_blank">this guy</a> has to say about it. Also search these forums for HPSP and you will find tons of discussions on the merits and problems with the military scholarships. Good luck...
     
  4. algae

    algae Senior Member
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    Hi smedley - I am currently in a similar situation. I applied for both the Army and Air Force HPSP, and should be hearing whether I got either scholarship by the end of the month. I've noticed a few inconsistencies with what the recruiters have said and what is actually true. If you receive a 4 yr scholarship, and you do a 5 year military residency, then you owe them 5 years of pay back, so it's not 1 yr for 1 yr exactly. If you have any other specific questions, I'll try to answer them if I can.
     
  5. smedly

    smedly Member
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    Thanks..that's a really good site.

    I had no idea about the 5 year res. thing. Why did you decide not to apply for the Navy scholarship? Are you starting osteopathic med school this fall? Thanks
     
  6. T.A.M

    T.A.M Senior Member
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    Smedley,

    I took the army scholarship. Yes, it is a year for a year, but that time doesn't start subtracting off until you finish your residency. There's other weird situations that can apply, but I'm not certain how they work.
    One thing to consider that the recruiters don't really talk about- deployments. This is pretty much a fact of life in the armed forces today. Its very possible that every few years, you could spend a significant amount to time away from home. Depending on what sort of person you are, this could be a curse or an opportunity. There's good deployments and bad. I myself have spent a significant amount of time in Kosovo, and I can't wait to go back as a doc. Although you'll probably never get deployed as a resident, expect to see the world once you finish.
     
  7. PATCH Medic

    PATCH Medic Member
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    Hello, words of wisdom from a long time medic and former active Army. The military is a way of life, not a job, and doctors work hard. The officer position and the physician require undue stress to a family. If you are young, single, have lots of energy,and a strong commitment to survive, you might like it. The Army has a rule I believe, that if they have a residency you must attend it, and this does not count towards your payback years. Translation; your in for a long time....
     
  8. algae

    algae Senior Member
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    Hello again smedley - yes I am starting at an osteo school this fall. I didn't look into the Navy because I figured it would probably involve being at sea at some point and this does not appeal to me. Plus, I read about something called a GMO (general medical officer)which is a part of being in the Navy but not the other branches. All I really understand about it is that it isn't very pleasant. The AF seems to be the best in terms of lifestyle, but if you haven't already applied then you missed the deadline. I feel like the Army might have better residency options, but since I want to go into family practice I don't really think that'll be a problem. The Army told me there was an 80% chance that I would be deployed during my pay back time (NOT during residency though). It's a tough decision so I still don't know what I'll do if I get either scholarship. I already had the physical which was a scary preview of military life. Good luck in your decision making!
     
  9. JoshD

    JoshD Member
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    Smedley,

    I will be attending KCOM this fall and have been offered and accepted an HPSP from the Navy. I am very excited about this. Unlike some who believe that you are selling your soul to Uncle Sam, I look at it as an excellent opportunity. I think I will enjoy military life and I am especially looking forward to sea duty. I think it will be really cool to see some of the world before I kick the bucket!

    I spent a lot of time trying to decide whether the scholarship was right for me and, in the end, I took it. My current boss went to medical school on an HPSP from the Navy and he spent many years in the Navy before he got out. I asked him very bluntly if, given the option, would he do it again. He said ABSOLUTELY!! I don't want to get into all the specifics of why I chose the scholarship and the benefits and drawbacks of my decision here but if you would like to email me I will try to answer any questions you may have. Take care and GO NAVY!!!! <img border="0" alt="[Clappy]" title="" src="graemlins/clappy.gif" />

    Josh
     
  10. pyoj

    pyoj Senior Member
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    last year i applied for both army and air force and got both. i took the army scholarship b/c i felt they had more to offer what i was looking for with respect to education and 10 years from now.

    as far as deciding whether or not you should apply...it depends on what you're in it for. financial reasons? unique life experience? unique medical experience? travel? committment to the government? patriotism? what have you.

    evaluate what each scholarship has to offer. make sure you UNDERSTAND the terms of residency and pay back, etc. (they're slightly different for each branch).

    as far as myself, i am more than thrilled to be a part of this exclusive group of medical professionals. i can go on and on about why i chose it, but you need to discover how it will fit into your life as a medical student and as a medical professional and as a future military officer.

    best of luck!!
    ~j
    COMP '05
     
  11. dctrben

    dctrben Member
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    smedly,

    I received an Army Scholarship to pay for my undergrad. The financial aspects of it are indeed enticing. Another I enjoyed at the time was knowing that I had a job waiting for me when I got done with school. I knew that I would become a productive member of society and not just another McDonald's employee. I do not regret my decision at all. The greatest asset that the military has is their people. The people I have met and worked with are, as a whole, the best around.

    I chose not to go the military route to pay for school for one major reason: family. My wife and I would much rather have the opportunity to live closer to our family (who happen to not be near any military bases). I find it difficult knowing that I will have to hang up the uniform as a fulltime "greensuitter," but there is always the Reserves. <img border="0" title="" alt="[Wink]" src="wink.gif" />

    Bottomline is this: I love the Army, it is a great community. Honestly, you get our of your military experience what you put into it. Yes, there will be hardship tours (Korea, Kosovo, Bosnia, Macedonia, etc.) and deployments, if you or your family cannot handle this, then DO NOT join. To accept a scholarship is a commitment to that branch of service, don't accept it if you have any concerns. Ask your recruiter to give you the names of some people in the service that have already "been there, done that" and ask them any and all questions your heart desires.

    I can give you a great perspective on what you will be required to do as an officer in the Army, with a limited perspective of what an Army doc does. Feel free to ask my anything you want.

    Ben
     
  12. applicant2002

    applicant2002 Senior Member
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    What are the chances of deployment depending on the specialty? for example, peds vs family practice vs. em etc. or does the army need all specialites overseas?

    Thanks for all replies <img border="0" alt="[Clappy]" title="" src="graemlins/clappy.gif" />
     
  13. T.A.M

    T.A.M Senior Member
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    Applicant2002,

    I'll clarify something first. An overseas assignment is not the same thing as a deployment. If you get an assignment to someplace like Germany, Italy, Japan, or England, where the military has fixed, long-term facilities, you live and work in that country much like you would if you're stationed in the US. You commute to work in the morning and go home to your family at night. Although every overseas base has its own rules, you might not even have to live on post.
    A deployment is different. First of all, overseas assignments generally last 3 years, whereas deployments rarely last longer than six months. The idea is that you are "deployed from" somewhere- ie, away from your normal duty station, your home and family. Except for training deployments, which rarely last much longer than one month, most deployments are to relatively hazardous areas where something could flare up at any momment (Bosnia, Kosovo, Afghanistan, Kuwait, etc). You live on a base (or ship) and you tend to stay there, in uniform, unless the mission requires you to leave the base. Its military life 24-7, as opposed to 9-5, five days a week.
    Now, back to the original question about are their any specialties that tend to get deployed less. Although it varies, in general, critical care specialties tend to spend less time deployed. I can't imagine much use for an oncologist on a deployment. Primary care gets deployed much more often. You'll also find most surgical specialties on deployments. However, just about any military specialty that you find in the US you can find in a military hospital in Germany, Japan or Korea. I hope this has been helpful.
     
  14. smedly

    smedly Member
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    Thanks for all the replys to my posted dilemma! Initially, I was considering a 3 year military scholarship ( I start school this fall and have already completed my FA application) but I think I've reached the conclusion that the military is NOT for me. I was only interested in the military for financial reasons....thats it. I'm attending a state school with a tuition of about 17,000 and I don't think this price is worth the HUGE commitment. My fiance is appyling to dental schools (for next fall)...financing dental school plus medical school will be difficult. We both considered the HPSP thinking it would be wonderful to get out of school debt free. I am a 28 year old female..I'll be 33 when I graduate and 37 when I complete my residency...if I owed the government 4 years I'd be in my 40's when it comes time to attempt to establish myself as physician. God, I am old!!! And what about children??? I don't even know how the military would handle that situation.
     
  15. carpe diem

    carpe diem Senior Member
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    I suppose it's too late for this year.....but please, anyone else with good pro's /cons for military medicine, please chime in.....

    and what about those of us over 35, any chance for exemptions in certain branches of military if you are in excellent physical condition????????

    ...thanks

    Carpe
     
  16. Texas_Sam

    Texas_Sam Member
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    Before locking yourself into the military scholarship, you might want to research the National Health Service Corp Scholarship. If you decide on the military scholarship, you should consider the Army strongly. I'm a Navy kind of guy but I understand that the Army has more to offer osteopathic physicians.
     

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