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National Guard instead of HPSP?

Discussion in 'Military Medicine' started by RDC12304, May 13, 2008.

  1. RDC12304

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    Ok...so I was (still am) highly considering HPSP. That was, until I thought about the opportunities afforded by the national guard.
    Now, I know that the guard does not pay for tuition or fees or whatnot...but this is not the largest concern for me because my COA is about 22k/year including books and fees. So, with that said - being part of the NG would allow me the chance to do a civilian residency wherever I want. Furthermore, you are non mobilizable during med school and during intern year...during the remainder of residency you are available for mobilization but the national guard prefers (and I have seen it in official writing) for their GMOs to be residency trained family docs. Then after residency there is no such thing as PCS unless I want to move. During school and residency I will be held accountable for 1 weekend every 3 months and 2 weekends during the summer (this is also flexible based on school).

    So, it doesnt pay as much as HPSP but it sure seems like there is a lot more "freedom" associated with this decision.


    Does anyone have any experience with the national guard? Any comments, etc? Thanks - anything helps right about now.
     
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  3. 73BARMYPgsp

    73BARMYPgsp Post Doc
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    Every NG doc I have ever met pretty much does whatever they want. When I was in the guard, you would always overhear their conversation with each other "well, maybe I'll go over here and do such and such for a while, or maybe I'll do blah blah something else. They said I could go to Iraq next year if I wanted to..." So on the dimension of "control over my career" you are probably right.
     
  4. jonb12997

    jonb12997 I'm a doctor!!
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    I'm in the ARNG... Being in school I keep control of when I drill. I go when I can, don't when I can't b/c of rotations or whatnot. Basically I was told that my "job" right now in my guard unit is to study hard and pass my courses... basically to become a doctor. Everything is secondary to that.

    From my take on it, assuming the state has the slot, you can basically move to whatever state you want and get into their med command. You don't get PCS'ed like our active duty counterparts. Plus, the HPSP living expenses (everything above tuition) that they get, you can get during med school for a 2:1 pay back. For instance, I'm taking two years of a $1400 a month bonus. My payback will be 3 years of residency, plus one as attending for that bonus, and this falls within my 8 year committment anyway... Plus drill pay monthly.
     
  5. RDC12304

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    So you can pay off the stipend you are receiving concurrently with your 8 year MSO?
     
  6. amindwalker

    amindwalker Forgetful omniscient
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    If your commission date is 1 April 2008 or later, you can get the ADSW thing (AD salary & benefits while in school) for 1:1. The stipend, if you want to go that route, is going up to $1900/month + drill pay (around $350 for 2LT) for 2:1. In either case, you will owe the Guard 8 years, which starts counting down immediately. By the time residency is over, your commitment will be too. If you want the 75K sign on bonus it will cost you another 3 years, as will the loan repayment. Either way, the Guard is great.

    All of the docs I have met love being in the Guard (Army or Air). They get to have a full time civilian practice in the specialty of their choice (provided they matched what they wanted) and they get to do the military thing as well. Most of them have been deployed (for 90 days), but they were glad they got the opportunity to serve.

    I can second what jonb12997 said about drill weekends, they are really cool about it.
     
  7. jonb12997

    jonb12997 I'm a doctor!!
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    amindwalker, glad to know that my state isn't the only one that's being flexible... that speaks volumes for the program.
     
  8. iatrosB

    iatrosB trying not to kill anyone
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    Yes and no.

    Everyone receives an 8 year MSO regardless. That starts counting down as soon as you sign up (ie, school counts down).

    However, the STRAP program cannot be paid back concurrent with reciept (meaning you have to wait till you graduate to start paying it back). So really, the 8 years will be up before your STRAP obligation is complete most likely.
     
  9. iatrosB

    iatrosB trying not to kill anyone
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    My state is flexible as well. :thumbup:
     
  10. horhay1241

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    Anybody know if this program for med students works in the entire country, or does it only work if your state has a need for docs? I have not heard anything back from recruiters in WI, so I can't really get any info from them.
     
  11. iatrosB

    iatrosB trying not to kill anyone
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    I'm pretty sure every state needs docs...I'd be suprised otherwise.


    The program is national, so I would imagine you can get it in every state.
     
  12. jonb12997

    jonb12997 I'm a doctor!!
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    The trick to this if you really only want the 8 year commitment, only take two years of STRAP (MDSSP is what they call the STRAP bonus while you're a med student)... b/c if you take all four years of the bonus, then you'll owe 8 years AFTER finishing school (2:1 payback for the MDSSP), for 12 years total. However, think about this, you'll have 12 years in, only 4 or 5 (depending on your residency) that are actually deployable time, so you're looking at 2, possibly 3 deployments during that time... Then, only another 8 on top of that, if you don't mind the chance of the 90 day deployments, and you've got retirement years! Remember as it stands right now (and someone please correct me if I'm wrong), that Guard retirement doesn't actually start until you're older, unlike active duty retirement that kicks in as soon as you finish, which honestly could be as early as 38-40.
     
  13. amindwalker

    amindwalker Forgetful omniscient
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    I'll be a 58 year old Colonel at the 20 year mark anyway, so I haven't given much thought to any age requirement for Guard retirement. In other words; I dunno.

    MDSSP (med school STRAP, the reserves call it STRAP JR) is now one of two ways to go. It's a great deal; $1900/month stipend with a 2:1 obligation, exactly as mentioned by jonb12997. The ADSW is a different deal, with (among other things) a 1:1 obligation. If you are interested in the Guard, I recommend that you investigate both routes, and decide which one works best for you.

    My wife was ABSOLUTELY OPPOSED to me serving in the military in any capacity, and she was furious when I started looking into it. However, when I was accepted into the Guard ADSW/ASR program, she cried TEARS OF JOY because of all the money and benefits. She's very happy now, at least as happy as a med school spouse w/kids can be.
     
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  14. jonb12997

    jonb12997 I'm a doctor!!
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    agreed!



    how true!! :)
     
  15. SF Doc

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    I'm a PA starting Med School in Aug @ USF (South Florida). I'm a senior CPT and switching into the Guard in Sept. I have no commitment and haven't taken HPSP or Guard stipend. How does this ADSW-while-in-Med-school thing work? It would be sweet if I could pull it off....

    Let me know how....
     
  16. JDMD243.0

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    I posted about this about a year ago:

    http://forums.studentdoctor.net/showthread.php?t=387837

    I'm in the Air National Guard, so I can't speak for the ArNG program but I personally think it is a lot better deal than HSPS/USUHS:

    1) I get in state tuition at my school even though I'm from out of state
    2) I get $7000 a year in state tuition assistance (Colorado--has a 2:1 comittment)
    3) Depending on what residency you go into you get between $30K-80K in loan reimbursement once you start residency
    4) Only a 4 year committment to the ANG (1 weekend a month, two week AT) once you graduate (unless you take the state tuition assistance, or loan reimbursement which is a 1:1 comittment--it's complicated)
    5) You can go into any residency you want--just keep in mind that if you are looking for the loan reimbursement, you get more money if you go into a residency that has more utility for the military e.g. internal medicine, general surgery etc.

    Bottom line is you don't get as much money up front going the ANG route but I think in the long term you end up coming out ahead (sts) in terms of committment and flexibility. As far as I know the ANG does NOT have the MDSSP/STRAP program, so you don't get as much money from the ANG as the ArNG. As someone above said, your unit is very flexible with your time while you are in school/residency because they know your primary goal is to become a doctor. So if I have tests coming up, they have no problem letting me miss drill and making it up during a break.

    Every state has an ANG unit and there is no limit on how many med students a unit can have so it's just a matter of talking to the right person to get hooked up.
     
  17. amindwalker

    amindwalker Forgetful omniscient
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    Here's another cool thing that I just found out about that may interest some of you prior service people; You can get a Guard commission for up to and including O-3E for the new ADSW program. Such an individual would be paid more that $5000/month taxable salary + BAH & BAS (around $1200/month or more non-taxable) while attending medical school. The HPSP guys have to go back to O-1 for med school.

    Furthermore, the ADSW deal applies for dental students and Physician Assistant students. Thanks, SF Doc. Your post prompted me to look into that.
     
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  18. SF Doc

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    I'm an O3E now, Aeromedical Physician Assistant. Maybe I should use your point of contact? I talked to a guy this afternoon who said my rank would be REDUCED to 02E even though I have been a CPT for 4 1/2 years as a AMEDD officer (Medical Specialist Corps), was the Distinguished Honor Grad @ OBC, Dean's list at the US Army Flt Surgeon Course, and am promotable to MAJ now. Sounds like a load of dingo's kidneys, but I'm lookin' for an exception to policy on that one.

    This is not my first rodeo,

    -H
     
  19. jonb12997

    jonb12997 I'm a doctor!!
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    now that's an interesting question. I have no idea why, if you were an O3 or even O4, that you'd drop down to an O1... there's a VERY good chance I'm wrong, but i have a funny feeling that the recruiter is wrong.
     
  20. EMH

    EMH ARNG - MC
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    This is prior service only?
     
  21. amindwalker

    amindwalker Forgetful omniscient
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    Yeah, that's only for prior service. They don't hand out O-3E for good looks, unfortunately. BTW, I've misplaced my mobile emitter, do you have it?
     
  22. TeleRugby

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    ...and that's for prior active service, correct?
     
  23. amindwalker

    amindwalker Forgetful omniscient
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    As I understand it, reservists and Guard personnel qualify.
     
  24. EMH

    EMH ARNG - MC
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    So I'd imagine that since the ANG is offering this that the Air NG and the reserves will have to come up with something similar to compete. Any word on programs from the other branches?
     
  25. dentalOH

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    ANG = Air National Guard
     
  26. iatrosB

    iatrosB trying not to kill anyone
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    And actually, the program is only for ARMY National Guard...not the Air National Guard.
     
  27. EMH

    EMH ARNG - MC
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    So the acronym for army national guard is?
     
  28. dentalOH

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    Army National Guard = ARNG
     
    #27 dentalOH, Jun 5, 2008
    Last edited: Jun 5, 2008
  29. Boopieness

    Boopieness public health/pathologist
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    I thought I was tracking, but now I am lost. All this back and forth. And people not knowing the correct letters for the acronym has me confused as to who is in the know and who is not.

    Okay, in one complete sentence without acronyms. Please spell it out.

    What branch of the guard is offering this ADSW/AR?
     
  30. EMH

    EMH ARNG - MC
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    The Army National Guard. The program is called ASR or AMEDD Student Recruiter program.

    AMEDD = Army Medical department

    Sorry it's hard not to use acronyms.

    ADSW Active Duty Special Work
    ADOS Active Duty Operational Support
    I've seen ADSW/ADOS used to describe the job.
     
  31. amindwalker

    amindwalker Forgetful omniscient
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    Boopieness, PM me & I'll hook you up with the 411 (information).
     
  32. iatrosB

    iatrosB trying not to kill anyone
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    Any idea of how many spots are left of the 200?
     
  33. rusny

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    can somebody make a new topic that will show HPSP vs National Guard benefits and responsibilities.
     
  34. amindwalker

    amindwalker Forgetful omniscient
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    iatrosB, I have been told that the number has gone up to 600, @ 200/year. I am certain that there is plenty of room remaining.

    rusny, I will (or at least plan to) post a comparison of HPSP & Army National Guard ADSW/ADOS/ASR program tomorrow. I'm beat.
     
  35. iatrosB

    iatrosB trying not to kill anyone
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    That's kinda what I thought...if that's the case (I'll find out in September), I'll give you that info you PM'd me for. :thumbup:
     
  36. amindwalker

    amindwalker Forgetful omniscient
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    Thanks iatrosB.

    rusny, I made a table comparing HPSP & the Guard ASR program, but it didn't work when I tried to post it. I hope this makes sense.


    ARNG ASR program
    Monthly pay (taxable) - $2,555
    Housing allowance (non- taxable) - $1024/month (in my case, Erie, PA w/dependents)
    Subsistence allowance (non- taxable) - $202/month
    Tuition - $10K/year (in PA)
    Student loan repayment - Currently $50K - Will be increased drastically soon (rumored to be going up to $250K)
    Free health insurance for self & dependents - Yes
    World-wide space available flights for self & dependents - Yes
    Commitment - 1:1 (1 weekend every 3 months as a physician) NO ACTIVE DUTY COMMITMENT
    Residency - Civilian (Can also qualify for the STRAP stipend as a resident)
    Deployment - Can only be deployed after residency & then for a maximum of 90 days (+ processing) every 2 years (2 years between deployments)
    Commission - USAR & ARNG
    Rank during med school - O-1 for 2 years, then O-2 for remainder of school
    (with accompanying pay & BAH increase)
    Prior enlisted pay rate (O-1E, etc) - Yes (O-1E – O-3E)



    HPSP
    Monthly pay (taxable) - $1,907
    Housing allowance (non- taxable) - $0.00
    Subsistence allowance (non- taxable) - $0.00
    Tuition - Full
    Student loan repayment - ?
    Free health insurance for self & dependents - NO
    World-wide space available flights for self & dependents - NO
    Commitment - 1:1 (active duty)
    Residency - Military (with a significant possibility of not getting what you want)
    Deployment - No restrictions after residency
    Commission - USAR, USNR, USAFR
    Rank during med school - O-1 for 4 years
    Prior enlisted pay rate (O-1E, etc) - No
     
    #35 amindwalker, Jun 14, 2008
    Last edited: Jun 15, 2008
  37. iatrosB

    iatrosB trying not to kill anyone
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    No free health insurance. They will reimburse you for what you pay out of pocket for your OWN insurance, but not dependents :thumbdown:
     
  38. iLuvDAT

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    How could you get reimbursed $10k For tuition? I thought we were responsible for our own bills.
     
  39. amindwalker

    amindwalker Forgetful omniscient
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    The PA Guard pays around 10K/year for tuition (paid directly to the school). Other states may not be so generous, but some, like Illinois, pay the full tuition (Boopieness mentioned it on another thread). iatrosB, you're talking about HPSP, correct? The ASR program includes tricare for me and mine.
     
    #38 amindwalker, Jun 15, 2008
    Last edited: Jun 15, 2008
  40. iatrosB

    iatrosB trying not to kill anyone
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    yes.
     
  41. EMH

    EMH ARNG - MC
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    You know the name of this program? I haven't heard of it until now.

    Something to consider adding to a comparison would be the retirement and Montgomery GI bill since they differ quite a bit between the guard and the full timers.
     
  42. amindwalker

    amindwalker Forgetful omniscient
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    EMH, please feel free to share that info. I don't know much about those specific differences.
     
  43. EMH

    EMH ARNG - MC
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    Nor do I except I know that there is some formula that looks at the # of retirement eligible years and total points and rank and spits out your retirement amount. Also in the Guard retirement doesn't start until 65 compared to the regular service where it begins at retirement. The GI Bill has sounded even more confusing and I think it's almost where you apply for it and there may or may not be money for you.

    Also, who knows more about the tuition assistance program.
     
  44. notdeadyet

    notdeadyet Still in California
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    True on the GI Bill score. There is a big difference between amounts of payment between Guard and Active Duty.

    That said, the requirement for the active duty GI Bill payout was 3 years. If you did the ASR program for three years (when you are considered as active duty in the books), I wonder if you would qualify for the active duty GI Bill.
     
  45. EMH

    EMH ARNG - MC
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    When I asked my recruiter this question I got a mysterious answer that left me more confused than when I first asked.
     
  46. notdeadyet

    notdeadyet Still in California
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    Nice. Yeah, my takeaway on the decision whether to go with the ASR program is to assume I'll get Guard GI Bill benefits and be pleasantly suprised if I get more.
     
  47. EMH

    EMH ARNG - MC
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    Typo somewhere?

    I spoke with a 20 year service Guard doc and he said the best piece of advice he could give me is to not expect anything that's not in your contract. Then you don't get frustrated and anything extra you get is bonus. On a side note when I explained the ASR program to him he couldn't believe it. He had to take the document explaining it home to read it and then he said to me it's the best deal he'd ever heard of.
     
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  48. notdeadyet

    notdeadyet Still in California
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    Sorry. I meant that if I have to wonder if I'm going to get the smaller or larger GI bill, I'll assume the smaller and be pleasantly suprised if something different pans out.
    Good advice.
    Yeah, I keep waiting for the other shoe to drop. I've read it over and over and it looks like a pretty good deal.
     
  49. Tyrone Biggums

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    As an incoming M1 interested in the program I have a couple of questions:

    1. Would you have to sign up for the program before a certain date to be eligible?
    2. What if you aren't able to fit officer basic in before school starts?
    3. Is their a 3 year version of this program? (1:1 commitment so 3 yrs in school, 3 yrs drilling, 2 yrs IRR potentially?)
    4. How much of a 'Recruiter' is the ASR required to be?


    Any information would be appreciated, thanks.
     
  50. EMH

    EMH ARNG - MC
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    There isn't an established deadline but know they are only taking in 200 per year.
    OBC isn't required until you want to get promoted past O-3 is the way it was explained to me. Since you won't make O-3 until you graduate there isn't a rush to get OBC done until after graduation. I've been told that OBC for the ARNG is even shorter than the OBC the Army HPSP people do. I am curious because I haven't discussed it with my local recruiter but I have read it somewhere that for your third year of active you get promoted to O-2. OBC might be required for this to happen?
    The program only has one version currently.

    The way the IRR works has been explained to me like this. When you sign up with any branch of the military part of this contract is that for 8 years from the day you start you have a IRR commitment. If you're active in the guard or other branch then that overrides your IRR.

    The other commitment involved is a 6 year commitment to the ARNG. You can get the full time ADSW pay to be a recruiter for a maximum of 3 of these years. The other 3 will be during residency when you go to drills.
    I haven't quite been informed about this yet. I do know that I've been told I wouldn't have to wear a uniform to class. I'd attend a few out of town conferences, speak at a few on campus recruiting visits, and make sure that fliers are available on campus. They said just bring us leads and we'll do the rest.

    If you have more questions PM me. I can put you in contact with a recruiter or just share what I've learned. I'm currently signing up.
     
  51. notdeadyet

    notdeadyet Still in California
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    Actually, the ARNG recruiter I spoke to mentioned that you still have to do drills in medical school, but you can do it on Flexible Training schedule, which can be as little as one day every three months. Maybe either he mis-spoke or I mis-heard, but I thought that's what was said. I remember my ears perking up when I heard drills were required in med school.
     

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