momo7430

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Hi everyone, just wanted to share a piece of info from the NHSC website.

I am planning on going into Primary Care for sure, and was looking at the application details about the National Health Service Coprs Scholarships and read the following which freaked me out a little:

NHCS FAQ:

(Question) "16: What if I change my mind about going into primary care after I have accepted the scholarship or while in residency?

Answer: Accepting an NHSC scholarship is a serious commitment. If, after graduation, you enter training that is not approved by the Scholarship Program, or you otherwise fail to comply with your contract, you will be liable for financial damages equal to 3 times the amount of your scholarship plus interest."

I thought it was worth pointing out just in case someone else out there needs all the facts before signing anything...

I think anything is possible in the next four to seven years, so heck if I'm ready to pay back THREE times what I'm given PLUS INTEREST :eek: Ouch!

Seemed a little tricky to me, so I just thought I would make a tread in the hopes that none of us get taken advantage of.

Best of Luck everyone on this new adventure we're about to take! :thumbup:

It's all new to me, and if anyone has any different info, please share... :D

Learning something new everyday,
Momo
 

jhug

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the nhsc will pay over $200K for your education...or more when you consider inflation/interest! Actually, double that because not only did they lose money on you but the lost the chance of selecting someone who would have followed through with the commitment.
You are an investment and they will be sure to get their return:)

I would very much agree with the OP in that if you aren't sure that primary care is your thing, and you don't like the idea of being somewhat limited in where you can work...the NHSC is probably not for you.
 
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momo7430

momo7430

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The NHSC website is: http://nhsc.bhpr.hrsa.gov/

It has all of the details for the program, and contact info to ask more questions.

I realize that they would want their money back, even with additional penalties for breaching the agreement, but I think that THREE times your loan amount plus interest is a little exploitative.
(It could be well over half-a-mill) That's crazy. :wow:

-Momo
 

Karhu

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Thanks for the post MOMO. its good to know that NHSC is serious about only finding scholars dedicated and serious about FP in a rural/underserved area. They take a huge financial undertaking on all scholars. If you've ever read the application booklet you can see that it's SERIOUS. There's lots of bold statements warning of the implications of breaking contract. Hell, they even have derived a mathematical formula for how they figure the costs of repaying the loan if you break contract. Yet, for me, it all seems worth it in the long run. If I get the scholarship, I will be 36 and debt free. 4 years of my life is worth many years of freedom from debt. I'll toast to that...cheers!
 

kaikai128

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The military scholarships bear the same "can make you pay back up to 3 times" language in their contract...and that is only if they choose to let you out. I think they are actually a bit more stringent than NHSC.

I think it is good; people need to realize that the commitment is serious. We are all adults and must live with decisions that we make.
 

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I applied recently for the grant and I agree with everyone else that you probably should not apply if you think you might change your mind about primary care while in school. Be careful with the military grant though.....From what I have heard they can pull you while you are in residency to serve and seeing that we are still at war I would be wary. That's what happened to one guy I talked to and he never returned to medicine. Defeats the whole purpose in the end.
 

kaikai128

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MEO44 said:
I applied recently for the grant and I agree with everyone else that you probably should not apply if you think you might change your mind about primary care while in school. Be careful with the military grant though.....From what I have heard they can pull you while you are in residency to serve and seeing that we are still at war I would be wary. That's what happened to one guy I talked to and he never returned to medicine. Defeats the whole purpose in the end.
I find this really hard to believe...I would almost go so far as saying "thats crap." Please provide documentation. I don't think I have even heard this in the Military Med forum where the worst of the military is often discussed.

Everything that I have ever read has stated that you are non-deployable during residency. Even after residency, you will be in some shape or form (even if you are deployed) still be deployed as a physician...if you are ever deployed. At worst, you would be a glorified medic. Needless to say, they aren't going to deploy their physicians as something other than medical personnel.

Please, if I am wrong...feel free to educate me. MEO44...could you find some literature to back that up?
 

iatrosB

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kaikai128 said:
I find this really hard to believe...I would almost go so far as saying "thats crap." Please provide documentation. I don't think I have even heard this in the Military Med forum where the worst of the military is often discussed.

Everything that I have ever read has stated that you are non-deployable during residency. Even after residency, you will be in some shape or form (even if you are deployed) still be deployed as a physician...if you are ever deployed. At worst, you would be a glorified medic. Needless to say, they aren't going to deploy their physicians as something other than medical personnel.

Please, if I am wrong...feel free to educate me. MEO44...could you find some literature to back that up?
It's true but only after the first year of your residency. They will not deploy you until you complete AT LEAST your first year but the trend is to allow you to complete the entire residency. When you are deployed, you act as a GMO. But as MEO44 indicated, anything goes with the current status military.
 

Laloz

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Also, keep in mind that the NHSC does have a loan repayment program... not quite as good of deal as getting the scholarship but still a decent deal if you happen to decide to go into primary care and are willing to go to an underserved area. You can sign up for a 2 year committment with $25,000 per year maximum paid toward your debt, with 1 year extensions and $35,000 paid per year. This is a good option if you are unsure if primary care is for you, but later decide that you want to work in underserved areas.

Link for Loan Repayment Program
 

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iatrosB said:
It's true but only after the first year of your residency. They will not deploy you until you complete AT LEAST your first year but the trend is to allow you to complete the entire residency.
BS. Tell that to my friend from high school who got an all expense paid vacation to Iraq on the Navy's dime TWO MONTHS into his PGY-I year.
 

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kaikai128 said:
The military scholarships bear the same "can make you pay back up to 3 times" language in their contract...and that is only if they choose to let you out. I think they are actually a bit more stringent than NHSC.

I think it is good; people need to realize that the commitment is serious. We are all adults and must live with decisions that we make.
One of the major differences, though, is that the military scholarships allow to try to get into ANY specialty.
 

BMW19

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Boomer said:
One of the major differences, though, is that the military scholarships allow to try to get into ANY specialty.

Is Emergency Medicine considered primary care for NHCS? I know some people consider ER primary care

BMW-
 

Laloz

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BMW19 said:
Is Emergency Medicine considered primary care for NHCS? I know some people consider ER primary care

BMW-
NHSC (National Health Service Corps) considers 5 specialities primary care:

Family Medicine
OB/GYN
Peds
Psych
Internal Medicine

I have read that it may be possible to extend residency an extra year for a fellowship (i.e., FP residency with a Fellowship in OB/GYN), but these are not really encouraged and (as I understand it) they are delt with on a case-by-case basis.
 

iatrosB

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Boomer said:
BS. Tell that to my friend from high school who got an all expense paid vacation to Iraq on the Navy's dime TWO MONTHS into his PGY-I year.
Your friend must not have been HPSP. They will NOT take you if you are HPSP until you are a licienced physician (AFTER PGY-1). He/she might have been reserves, in that case anything goes. This is not the case with HSPS participants.
 

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iatrosB said:
Your friend must not have been HPSP. They will NOT take you if you are HPSP until you are a licienced physician (AFTER PGY-1). He/she might have been reserves, in that case anything goes. This is not the case with HSPS participants.
HPSP--yes. Signed up three weeks into his first year of med school. Not a reservist. Got called up.

If it's that important to you, I'll try to get you in touch with him.
 

hylacinerea

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Having spent 8.5 years in the military, I can tell you that almost anything is possible. Usually, every military contract will have language such as "...depending on the future needs of the (army/navy/air force)," or other similar wording that allows the specific service branch to tailor your contract to its future needs. My service contract was altered during operation Iraqi Freedom and the letter I got from the Penagon said that my contract had been altered, "for the convenience of the government." My understanding is that your contract usually will not be altered while you are in a training status. This is where is gets tricky because depending on whether or not one is doing a civilian residency or a military residency might affect the definition of training. Morover, the definition of training may change yet again after PGY-1.

Bottom line for all of you receiving the HPSP scholarship is that while it obviously isn't in the military's best interest to take a doctor out of training to put them in the fleet, it is certainly not impossible. Your recruiter might tell you otherwise, but then again, I could probably write a book about things people were told by there recruiters that didn't quite pan out the way they were told.
 

iatrosB

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Boomer said:
HPSP--yes. Signed up three weeks into his first year of med school. Not a reservist. Got called up.

If it's that important to you, I'll try to get you in touch with him.
Wow, this is the first time I have ever heard of this, but it doesn't suprise me. That sucks, makes me glad I turned down the HPSP scholarship!
 

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momo7430 said:
Hi everyone, just wanted to share a piece of info from the NHSC website.

I am planning on going into Primary Care for sure, and was looking at the application details about the National Health Service Coprs Scholarships and read the following which freaked me out a little:

NHCS FAQ:

(Question) "16: What if I change my mind about going into primary care after I have accepted the scholarship or while in residency?

Answer: Accepting an NHSC scholarship is a serious commitment. If, after graduation, you enter training that is not approved by the Scholarship Program, or you otherwise fail to comply with your contract, you will be liable for financial damages equal to 3 times the amount of your scholarship plus interest."

I thought it was worth pointing out just in case someone else out there needs all the facts before signing anything...

I think anything is possible in the next four to seven years, so heck if I'm ready to pay back THREE times what I'm given PLUS INTEREST :eek: Ouch!

Seemed a little tricky to me, so I just thought I would make a tread in the hopes that none of us get taken advantage of.

Best of Luck everyone on this new adventure we're about to take! :thumbup:

It's all new to me, and if anyone has any different info, please share... :D

Learning something new everyday,
Momo
I have some mixed emotions regarding the NHSC Scholarship and Loan Repayment Program. Here are my thoughts: As you known you limited to primary care which may or may not be a problem – if you change your mind during the Scholarship there is a huge penalty (3 X tuition + interest). Second, depending on how much your tuition is the Scholarship might be a much better choice because it will pay all of your in-state or out-state tuition plus a monthly stipend of about 900 $. The Loan Repayment on the other hand will pay around 25-30K a year after you graduate from a Primary Care Residency. Depending again on your individual tuition payment, 25K a year might be much less that what you paid for one year of school. Obviously in this case the Scholarship would be a better choice financially. Third if you decide on the Scholarship you have to go to a site that is ranked by the NHSC to be around 14-15 or higher (read the fine print), i.e. the most undesirable of locations. The higher the ranking the more disadvantaged the site is. You might want to go to NHSC website and see if you would really want to practice in any of those locations.

http://nhsc.bhpr.hrsa.gov/jobs/search_form.cfm

The advantage of the Loan Repayment program on the other hand, gives you the freedom to go to any site that is qualified by NHSC regardless of their rankings. Fourth, with the Loan Repayment Program you have to keep in mind that even though the NHSC is giving you 25-30K to go to a qualified site, the actual salaries of physicians in those sites are almost always considerably lower than sites that are not disadvantaged. For example the salaries of Family Practice doctors at some NHSC sites are as low as 90-100K plus the income from the Loan Repayment which is an additional 25-30K (115K-130K total). On the other hand the average salaries of Family Practice Physicians nationally are around 150K-180K. Bottom line I believe is to live where you want to live and you will still come up ahead in most cases. I personally believe there is no real advantage to the Loan Repayment Program. The government needs to get serious about improved incentives if that want people to serve in underserved sites. Quite simply the rising cost of medical school tuitions nationally is not being offset by the NHSC Loan Repayment Programs and I doubt it is going to improve real soon. I don’t want to give the impression that serving the disadvantaged is about money, but in my case I will graduate with 225K in debt and I have to be realistic about repayment. It’s a tough choice but specialty here I come!