grayce79

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First, please do not respond with hate messages. I know that I signed a contract and that I should have done better research, but I was one of teh dumb ones who believed the recruiter's lies. My biggest concern is the possibilty of not getting the residency I want. I spoke to some people who told me today that before the AF will grant a deferment, all of their residencies must be filled. I don't want to get stuck doing something I don't want to do.
I just wanted to know, in a HYPOTHETICAL situation, could you break your contract and just pay back all the money? What would happen? Has anyone ever heard of anyone doing this? I am in my third year and I have already done COT. I want to be in the AF, but I want to pick my own specialty!
 

NotShorty

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Ouch.

I've just heard that payback ends up costing you 3 times as much. That's a big reason I didn't go that path...just in case.

NS
 

GeoLeoX

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Before you consider what would seem to be a rather protracted and difficult course there are a couple of things to keep in mind. We all want (or wanted in my case) to get our residency choices, you are not unique in that regard. The AF currently is giving out a lot of deferments. The simple fact is that they need more physicians in specialties than they are able to train. The caveat that must always be remembered is that this is a supply and demand issue. There will be more deferments for fields in which their need is great and their training opportunities are limited (surgical specialties, for example). There will be fewer deferments for specialties that they can train (usually, though not always, primary care and general surgery). While I am in the Army and deferments are not as readily available, my AF friend from medical school easily procured a deferment for ENT. Something else to keep in mind that you may not fully appreciate for a few years is that there are ways to improve your chances in getting what you want, a concept I liken to a "controlled fall". Talk to the right people, say the right things, etc.

hope this helps,

geo
 

AubreyMaturin

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How competetive is the specialty that you want? Maybe it does'nt matter and you will have no problem.

Does the Airforce offer GMO tours prior to residency like the Navy does? I am starting HPSP this year, and I plan on possibly filling my commitement by doing GMO tours, then going to civilian residency. This seems to be the quickest way to repay the obligation. If I love the Navy, who knows maybe I will stay in for residency and beyond. I hear miltary docs (not the ones on this site) say they loved their GMO tours because it put them up close to the operational side of the miltary.

Granted four years is a long time to postpone your training, but assuming that you are traditional age (which I assume you are becasue you fell for recruiter BS), four years is nothing. And who knows, you may really enjoy yourself. After all, there must be some part of you that joined the military becasue you wanted to join the military. Take adavantage of it.

Also a GMO could make you a more competitive candidate for your residency of choice. It does in the Navy, don't know about AF.
 

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grayce79 said:
I want to be in the AF, but I want to pick my own specialty!
Since you want to be AF why not focus your energies into getting the specialty you want. As long as it's offered in the military I don't see the problem. Get to know & impress people. You still don't seem to have learned from your first mistake. Research what will make you the best candidate and then do those things. It's not as much a crap shoot as you are making it out to be.
 

qqq

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Croooz said:
Since you want to be AF why not focus your energies into getting the specialty you want. As long as it's offered in the military I don't see the problem. Get to know & impress people. You still don't seem to have learned from your first mistake. Research what will make you the best candidate and then do those things. It's not as much a crap shoot as you are making it out to be.
You should definitely listen to Croooz. Also, if you haven't, read this board through and through. It really helped ease my concerns about getting the residency I want. For example (and I'm not an authroity on this or anything):

- the military will not force you into any residency.
- pretty much everything is offered in the military
- doing a gmo tour can really help you be more competitive in getting your residency, a gmo tour is not that long anyway and it can possibly make you more competitive if you decide to get out and do a civ residency
- some residencies may actually be easier to get into in the military than in the civ world
 

qqq

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No you cannot quit your military obligation. there are some people that do, however; but normally they are medically discharged, or their discharge is not honorable. aside from character considerations, i think it could potentially hurt you professionally to make up some reason why you want to get out. it's a small world.
 

qqq

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qqq said:
No you cannot quit your military obligation. there are some people that do, however; but normally they are medically discharged, or their discharge is not honorable. aside from character considerations, i think it could potentially hurt you professionally to make up some reason why you want to get out. it's a small world.
by honorable i don't mean what ever one's personal sense of "honor" is, but rather the official military term "honoral discharge."
 

Trajan

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As requested, I will not respond with wrath (though I'm tempted). HOwever, it's curious how many HPSP medical students think that it's always the military that keeps them out of a specialty. HELLO! Lots of civilian medical students interested in competitive fields don't get to go into their first choice specialty either! If anything, it's easier to match into a competitive specialty in the Army and Navy (probably less true in AF) than in the civilian world, though you may have to do it in a round about way.
 

Neuronix

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qqq said:
by honorable i don't mean what ever one's personal sense of "honor" is, but rather the official military term "honoral discharge."
That's actually completely false, at least as far as the Army goes. If you read the handbook, you get an honorable discharge if you successfully "resign", and this used to happen with some degree of frequency before the demand for military physicians shot through the roof (look at some of the old threads about this topic). Reasons included just not wanting to do HPSP scholarship anymore and used to have payback, sometimes with or without interest depending on the circumstances. To get a dishonorable discharge, there needs to be more going on than just requesting to leave. Still, if you ask about leaving, your recruiter or your contact people will immediately threaten you with court martial/dishonorable discharge. This is part of the dishonesty of recruiters and part of the current demand for physicians.

It's interesting that in the military it can be easier than the real world to match in some specialties but more difficult than the civilian world in others. This is especially true for the Air Force. For example, if you want PM&R and you're in any branch outside of USUHS you're probably SOL this year, while if you wanted it in the civilian world you'd have no problems. The Army grants lots of deferrments for things like Emergency Med every year, while the Air Force sets pretty small quotas (see the other thread about EM), making it way more competitive than the real world. Meanwhile, some branches can't even fill competitive stuff like rads many years. To the op: what specialties ARE you thinking about?

It is true that the military won't force you to do a residency you don't want: you'll just get GMOed unless you pick something available. That would suck IMO. "It's only 4 years" is a ridiculous argument if you're waiting to become an attending to actually have a stable life, have kids, and earn some more reasonable dough. Still, maximize your chances by doing your away rotations and unless you're choosing something very competitive in the military you should have a good chance.

Good luck!
 
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grayce79

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Thank you for all of the replies. To answer some of the questions, I am interested in OB/GYN. I know in the civilian world that I would be really competitive and I should not have a problem getting a residency. As far as the AF goes, I have no clue how competitive it will be. All I know is that there are about 250 HPSP AF students for next years match and about 8-9 OB/GYN slots. But what I don't know is how many people are going to be trying for those slots - 2? 50? I don't know. I guess in the past, I thought that if I didn't get an AF OB/GYN residency, I could just defer and do a civ one instead. But then I found out about all of this other GMO stuff and the possibility of having to do a different specialty. As for making myself a competitive applicant, of course I have been working hard and I plan on doing ADTs and getting to know people, etc.
Thank you for not writing hate messages to me!
For those who are contemplating doing HPSP, my advice would be to take out student loans and then decide later if you should join the military. You can always join up once you are in residency and they will write you up a fat check each year to pay off chunks of your student loans. I feel that way you have more freedom and you won't get stuck doing GMO if you don't want to.
 

GeoLeoX

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Now on to the next phase.....

Since you know what field you would like to pursue, now is the time to find out exactly how competitive it is in the AF. Find out the names of each of the program directors at each of the different programs. Ask them how many applicants they had. Ask how many spots they had last year and how many are projected for this year. Ask how many deferments were handed out. Ask if they think that these figures will be representative of what you will be up for in another year. In my experience they are usually incredibly forthright with this information. Express your concerns and ask for advice. Use your judgment as far as how much or little information about yourself you would care to disclose. As you may have put together from all the previous posts the military is a small world. In fact you probably don't have to call all the program directors, just choose one. They all get together anyway and discuss ALL the candidates for each program then they decide which ones they want and which ones should get deferments. If they all know you then you are likely to get a better fit if you tell them what you want. They are not out to screw you, these are other physicians who likely went through the same thing. They know that a happy resident is a good resident. (The same, unfortunately, does not apply after your training, but that's another story....)
This is what I referred to previously as the "controlled fall" - you have limited options and it is up to you to maximize the benefit to yourself.

Hope this helps,

Geo
 

Croooz

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Take what Geo posted and tatoo it on yourself somewhere. It's as simple as he posted. There's no secret in the military...it's who you know and more importantly who knows you and what you want. Trust me that it sucks to have your name come up in the higher levels only to have no one know what it is you want so they give what they think you want or more than likely what they want for you. Get on the phone and start making some calls....or don't... It's up to you.
 

BabyDoctor

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grayce79 said:
Thank you for all of the replies. To answer some of the questions, I am interested in OB/GYN. I know in the civilian world that I would be really competitive and I should not have a problem getting a residency. As far as the AF goes, I have no clue how competitive it will be. All I know is that there are about 250 HPSP AF students for next years match and about 8-9 OB/GYN slots. But what I don't know is how many people are going to be trying for those slots - 2? 50? I don't know. I guess in the past, I thought that if I didn't get an AF OB/GYN residency, I could just defer and do a civ one instead. But then I found out about all of this other GMO stuff and the possibility of having to do a different specialty. As for making myself a competitive applicant, of course I have been working hard and I plan on doing ADTs and getting to know people, etc.
Thank you for not writing hate messages to me!
For those who are contemplating doing HPSP, my advice would be to take out student loans and then decide later if you should join the military. You can always join up once you are in residency and they will write you up a fat check each year to pay off chunks of your student loans. I feel that way you have more freedom and you won't get stuck doing GMO if you don't want to.
FWIW, my recruiter gave me a list of where all of the current GME folks are, in which specialties. in OB there were about 12 AF residencies and about 10 deferred to civilian programs, IIRC. I don't have the paper in front of me so I'm not positive on the numbers, but it was about 50/50. Also, all of the OB/GYN fellowships seemed to be civilian sponsored. Again, I don't have it in front of me to double-check, but I was interested to see it regardless.
 

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grayce79 said:
Thank you for all of the replies. To answer some of the questions, I am interested in OB/GYN. I know in the civilian world that I would be really competitive and I should not have a problem getting a residency. As far as the AF goes, I have no clue how competitive it will be. All I know is that there are about 250 HPSP AF students for next years match and about 8-9 OB/GYN slots. But what I don't know is how many people are going to be trying for those slots - 2? 50? I don't know. I guess in the past, I thought that if I didn't get an AF OB/GYN residency, I could just defer and do a civ one instead. But then I found out about all of this other GMO stuff and the possibility of having to do a different specialty. As for making myself a competitive applicant, of course I have been working hard and I plan on doing ADTs and getting to know people, etc.
Thank you for not writing hate messages to me!
For those who are contemplating doing HPSP, my advice would be to take out student loans and then decide later if you should join the military. You can always join up once you are in residency and they will write you up a fat check each year to pay off chunks of your student loans. I feel that way you have more freedom and you won't get stuck doing GMO if you don't want to.
When I was an intern just 2 years ago...the applicant to spot ratio for OB/GYN military wide was roughly 1/1...so if your competitive on the civilian side...the same probably would be true in the military...however, the military has a point system...publications, prior service, GMO time, etc..., so if academically 2 individuals are equal...guess what?? if somebody is coming back from a GMO....you just might get bumped...don't you just love the big green machine? have a green day :smuggrin:
 

Neuronix

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GMO2003 said:
so if your competitive on the civilian side...the same probably would be true in the military...
OB/GYN is not competitive in the civilian world at all. Pretty much anyone who asks for a spot can get one. Given your information, this means that it's probably one of the specialties that's harder to get into in the military.