ek6

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I've asked a few of you about this already, but thought that I'd post a thread to see if I could squeeze any more info out of everyone on this forum. I'm heading off to med school this fall, applied to HPSP (have not yet signed the contract), and know that in some way or other, I want to participate in med corps.
The part-time national guard seemed like something worth looking into. I know how the benefits and time commitment work, but was wondering if any of you did this program or knew anyone who did it.

Thanks
 

Spang

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There are two Army Guard guys in my class, both prior service now medical corps. Although it seems they are relatively protected from deploying due to their billet code, they definitely don't get the time to study or the practical patient experience the recruiter advertises. They've done a lot of long weekend SRPs and for example had to drill this last weekend, the weekend before our finals. Neither of them seem to have a problem with the time committment though.

I'm not sure how well rotations are going to work out in the third year either as they have 2 weeks active duty vs the 45 days the HPSPers do and most rotations are at least 4 weeks,I think.

Hope this helps a little.

Spang
 
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dry dre

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Ek6,

I personally think that the Guard programs are the best military programs going, for the following reasons:

1) No active-duty requirement (unless activated; not including 2 weeks per year)
2) $500 a month during med school
3) Ability to "get out" after med school (assuming you signed for 4 before starting).
4) $1000 a month during residency - stipend
5) $500 a month during residency - drill pay
6) If you find out that you dig the military route, you can always go full-time active later.
7) $80k in loan repayment
8) If you take the $1000 a month during residency, you owe 3 years of reserve time, then you're free.
9) The $80k in loan repayments can be done on a ~year to year basis
10) Often VERY flexible schedule to get your drill time in.
11) Did I mention no active duty requirement? This is all in the RESERVES.
12) All the regular benefits of military service are available, professional, personal, community service etc.
13) Ability to be paid for clinical elective rotations during the 4th year of med school.

The "bad" side of the Guard, from my perspective:

1) It's the Guard (okay don't shoot me).
2) You still have to take loans for med school.
3) There's no equivalent Navy program (so going active in the Navy isn't an option).

I don't mean to piss anyone off with these comments. I'm prior service and realize that the active duty component of HPSP turns many folks who might be considering a trial with the military away. I'm not talking about STRAP or similar programs here.

FWIW, I've spoken with several Air Guard docs (though only at one unit) who loved their jobs. They were all primary care, and weren't abused, activated, or otherwise unhappy. They were activated for Bosnia and the Gulf though...
 

Navy Dive Doc

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I'm all for the military, and there are some good deals out there economically in the reserves/Guard. My point is that anyone who thinks they won't be activated for a period of active duty is fooling themselves. The Army is entirely dependent on the reserves for support functions, so make sure anything you sign up for is worth a 364 day activation and the subsequent impact on your civilian life. No whining after the fact, please.
DD
 

r90t

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The oldest soldier killed in Iraq was a National Guardsman, and a grandfather. They are deploying, as are the reserves.

Don't just look at the monetary aspect of the program. It is blood money, regardless of what you call it. Accept that fact prior to signing any paperwork commiting yourself to the possibility of deployment. I didn't think I would end up in the Gulf 10 days after internship, when I started med school in 98. World situations change and BOOM off you go to war.
 

NJEMT1

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You were taken out of residency? What branch and program were you with (i.e. hpsp, nat'l guard, etc)?
 

r90t

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I wasn't pulled out of residency. What I was trying to imply that if you join any branch of the service under any contract, you could find yourself deployed on a moments notice. I graduated from internship in June 03 and 10 days later was sitting in the middle of the Persian Gulf participating in Operation Iraqi Freedom. Once you start residency, you will not be touched. I was sent to relieve a person returning to the states to start his Ortho residency.
 

ek6

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so you were pulled out after internship...

can't you sign a four year contract for your four years of med school? My big reservation with HPSP is that your time commitment starts after residency...that's 8 long years away. I'm going to be 25 soon and my life will surely change when I'm 33...probably will have family. Wouldn't it make more sense to sign a four-year contract so I can get out when I graduate med school...and just take care of the deployment possibilities as a med student (and yes, I am aware of this being a possibly serious detriment to my med school schedule)
 

militarymd

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ek6

HPSP's purpose is to have active duty physicians (after a minimum amt of training--internship) at a moments notice to deploy for the military.

medical students and physicians in training are of no use to the military.

If you join, prepare to be deployed at a moments notice. I was sent to the Gulf last year with a 3 day notice....actually not bad...some of my colleagues had less...including those who were getting ready to retire or separate.
 

militarymd

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After reading some of your other posts, I really think that you will not be happy in the military. Not to say you won't be a good physician, but just that you sound like someone who would have problems with the way the military functions.....fair sometimes, unfair at others, rules that change or bend as necessary, and unpredictable as to whether the changes are beneficial to you or not.

There are no loop holes.....if you sign, prepare for a life changing career that can really SUCK at some times.....
 

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I'm currently a sophomore in college and doing the Army National Guard and ROTC simultaneously. I've got a couple of questions about the National Guard program for med students.

1) Are you deployable during med school? your residency?

2) Do you have to complete your residency or just med school to receive the loan repayment and bonus (80k)

3) What is the time commitment? Does it start during or after med school, or after residency?

thanks!
 

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Question? I am a 3rd year FP resident about to sign with the reserves. I was told deployments can at most be 90 days. Is this true????
 

ek6

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If you were told this by a recruiter, be wary - it's been pretty much a consensus on this forum among experienced military docs that recruiters and detailers are not really known for their sincerity and honesty. I'm sure others who actually have military experience will chime in on your question.
 

Navy Dive Doc

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Frmrtd,
Navy deployments are a MINIMUM of 6 months, and the Army is talking about calling up reserve units for one year at a time (more likely 364 days as I've posted elsewhere). Whoever told you deployments are no more than 90 days was lying, pure and simple. No less than 90 days is more like it. Be careful.
 

Rock Star

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Excellent discussion with some accurate info by above posters with experience.

I love the military!!! This ride has been too good for over 16 years: great duty assignments on active duty, experiences I would never have gained as a civilian.

I will reiterate what others have said and implied: WHEN YOU SIGN ON THE DOTTED LINE.........UNCLE SAM OWNS YOU!!!

The reserves/national guard/Air guard are integral parts of our military. When I go out to the air base to drill on my weekends I'm consistently doing exams on Air Guard personnel who've just returned from Iraq. Recently the upper brass have asked Air Guard flight surgeons to volunteer for 45 day billets in undisclosed locations in the middle east. Eventually volunteers will dry up and individual flight surgeons may be mandated to serve.

The monetary gain as mentioned previously in the guard/reserves is nice, but you need to know the reality that comes with it.


AIR POWER!!!
 

Boopieness

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The Guard rotations have been 90 days since 2003.

The hardest thing is to just say I don't know.
 
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