Compwarrior

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I am considering the HPSP with the Air Force. I have spent quite a while researching the Air Force website, live chatting with the advisers, reading forums, blogs, etc. and I can't seem to find answers to a few of my questions. The best the Air Force adviser would give me on some of them was "It Depends". The answers I've found on the blogs/forums are all several years old. I would really appreciate current answers to these questions, even if they are general answers.

I've noticed on the other threads that a lot of the answers are something along the lines of "if that's what you're worried about then you shouldn't be joining the military." I believe it is ignorant to think that when making these huge life-changing decisions, you wouldn't consider every aspect of the decision. With that said, here they are:

1) When is the $20,000 sign on bonus dispersed? As soon as you sign? After school starts? It would be nice to have the money for moving expenses.

2) What is the current monthly stipend?

3) From what I've read, there are four ADTs During school, the first being COT and third and fourth are basically rotations with the Air Force. What does the second one involve?

4) What factors determine residency placement? (aside from board scores, and military need) I'm really wondering what makes you more competitive in a military residency.

These next questions are all for the post-residency active duty "repayment" time and assume being stationed within the US.

5) Do you live on a base or off?

6) Where would my family live? If on the base, are there things to keep my wife and kid(s) entertained? Are there opportunities for her to get a job on the base? Daycare if so? (I know, lots of questions in one, and they are odd, but I've never even visited a base, let alone lived on one.)

7) This is my heaviest weighted question, because it is a huge factor in my considerations. If you answer only one question, let it be this one. What is the current deployment schedule? I've heard things like a 3 month window every 15 months in which you can be deployed. Is this how it actually works? Also, is it different with the Army and/or Navy?

Sorry for such a long post, but I've searched high and low and am not finding the answers that I need.
 
Sep 5, 2009
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I won't be super helpful, but I'll tell you what I can as a prior-E.

1) When is the $20,000 sign on bonus dispersed? As soon as you sign? After school starts? It would be nice to have the money for moving expenses.
Don't know the first part, but the AF will pay for you to move whereever they send you, including your stuff and your family.

2) What is the current monthly stipend?
See here. Check out the base pay, housing allowance, and incentive sections.

6) Where would my family live? If on the base, are there things to keep my wife and kid(s) entertained? Are there opportunities for her to get a job on the base? Daycare if so? (I know, lots of questions in one, and they are odd, but I've never even visited a base, let alone lived on one.)
They will live whereever you live. You get paid an allowance for rent and food if you live off base (extra with dependents, see chart), or you can live on base and get money for just food (actually you still get the housing allowance, they just take all of it for rent).

The base will have a daycare and likely an elementary school. There will also be a BX (base exchange, it's like a K-mart), a commissary (a grocery store), gas stations, bowling alley, movie theater, gym etc. Military spouses get first dibs on employment at these places.

7) This is my heaviest weighted question, because it is a huge factor in my considerations. If you answer only one question, let it be this one. What is the current deployment schedule? I've heard things like a 3 month window every 15 months in which you can be deployed. Is this how it actually works? Also, is it different with the Army and/or Navy?
I can't answer this specifically, it depends on where you're stationed. However, get it through your head that in the military, during a war, YOU WILL DEPLOY. Some people just don't get that, like those d-bags that show up on the news every once in the while. If you cannot handle that, then do not go this route. It's not a big deal, really, especially in the AF as a REMF.

That's all I can contribute.

Cheers.
 
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DocArmy

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1) When is the $20,000 sign on bonus dispersed? As soon as you sign? After school starts? It would be nice to have the money for moving expenses.
I got my sign on bonus for HPSP within 3 weeks of starting school. You do NOT get moving assistance from the military for moving to school for HPSP. The move to medical school is not for the military and is not covered.

2) What is the current monthly stipend?
Current monthly stipend is $2060/month.

3) From what I've read, there are four ADTs During school, the first being COT and third and fourth are basically rotations with the Air Force. What does the second one involve?
You could save it for 3rd year and do Aerospace Medicine or something. Or do a self-sponsored extra military clerkship. Or do "At School Orders," and just get paid for being home.

4) What factors determine residency placement? (aside from board scores, and military need) I'm really wondering what makes you more competitive in a military residency.
It is my understanding that it is partly a point system: class rank/boards, rotation grades, research, etc. So, your numbers + the needs of the Air Force.

These next questions are all for the post-residency active duty "repayment" time and assume being stationed within the US.

5) Do you live on a base or off?
You can do either. You get a housing allowance if you live off base. It varies based on where you live. If you get on base housing (there is sometimes a waiting list) then you forfeit the housing allowance. So you can do whatever you want.

6) Where would my family live? If on the base, are there things to keep my wife and kid(s) entertained? Are there opportunities for her to get a job on the base? Daycare if so? (I know, lots of questions in one, and they are odd, but I've never even visited a base, let alone lived on one.)
As an Army Brat who lived on base, I can tell you that Yes, there's things for the family. There is usually a theater, youth center, library, etc. Your wife can try to get a job on base. USAjobs.gov is the website that the commissary (grocery store) and BX (base store) hire from. There are also usually fast food jobs on base or other civilian contracting jobs. She can find those types of opportunities on usajobs. Don't know about daycare.

7) This is my heaviest weighted question, because it is a huge factor in my considerations. If you answer only one question, let it be this one. What is the current deployment schedule? I've heard things like a 3 month window every 15 months in which you can be deployed. Is this how it actually works? Also, is it different with the Army and/or Navy?
If you aren't in med school yet, then this really won't apply to you. You won't be operational for 7-9 years. By then we could be at peace, or we could be "liberating" Canada.

Your deployment schedule will depend on the echelon of care that you administer. Meaning, if you are a flight surgeon (primary care), you will deploy with an operational element and remain with them as long as they are gone. THIS article will tell you what the AF is expecting to do in the near future. The guys on the line need doctors. That'll be you.

If you are a surgeon (orthopedic or general) you will probably deploy with a surgical hospital. These go from 3-6 months at a time.

Remember, though, the 3 month deployment does not count the train up time or the down time after you return. You have to go to a mobilization site for a few weeks before you deploy to get ready. Then you have to get all your equipment and everything back and organized before it's all back to normal after your return.

Don't let the recruiters fool you with any notions that your deployment will be FIXED at 3 months gone, 15 home. That'd be great, but there are no guarantees. So, to quote what you've already heard, it depends.
 

J-Rad

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You do NOT get moving assistance from the military for moving to school for HPSP. The move to medical school is not for the military and is not covered.
You are not on active duty while on HPSP. You are a category K reservist who is only on AD for the 45 days you do ADTs. No PCS assistance until you graduate and are coming on active duty.

You could save it for 3rd year and do Aerospace Medicine or something. Or do a self-sponsored extra military clerkship. Or do "At School Orders," and just get paid for being home.

No. Since a few years ago (last I knew) all USAF HPSP were required to go to the Intro to Aerospace Medicine course (or whatever it's called) for your 2nd ADT unless you didn't go to COT your 1st year (otherwise COT).

It is my understanding that it is partly a point system: class rank/boards, rotation grades, research, etc. So, your numbers + the needs of the Air Force.
It's all a point system. Prior service (medical or non-medical or former GMO) and a nebulous "future officer material" section also apply (look around. I believe the scoring sheme is available somewhwere. Google Air Force JSGME and you'll find some useful other documents to read as well.
Just some fine tuning of an otherwise accurate response (and emphasizing an important correction to a misstatement)

BTW if you are only looking at AF HPSP, you are making a remarkably naive mistake. If (big IF) military medicine is right for you you need to look at Army and Navy as well.
 

DocArmy

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You could save it for 3rd year and do Aerospace Medicine or something. Or do a self-sponsored extra military clerkship. Or do "At School Orders," and just get paid for being home.

No. Since a few years ago (last I knew) all USAF HPSP were required to go to the Intro to Aerospace Medicine course (or whatever it's called) for your 2nd ADT unless you didn't go to COT your 1st year (otherwise COT).

It is my understanding that it is partly a point system: class rank/boards, rotation grades, research, etc. So, your numbers + the needs of the Air Force.
It's all a point system. Prior service (medical or non-medical or former GMO) and a nebulous "future officer material" section also apply (look around. I believe the scoring sheme is available somewhwere. Google Air Force JSGME and you'll find some useful other documents to read as well.

Just some fine tuning of an otherwise accurate response (and emphasizing an important correction to a misstatement)

BTW if you are only looking at AF HPSP, you are making a remarkably naive mistake. If (big IF) military medicine is right for you you need to look at Army and Navy as well.
Thanks JRAD. My experience with the AF is all second hand and my classmates have all said that they're saving their ADT #2 for later. I suppose time will correct that misunderstanding. :D

Cheers.
 
OP
Compwarrior

Compwarrior

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BTW if you are only looking at AF HPSP, you are making a remarkably naive mistake. If (big IF) military medicine is right for you you need to look at Army and Navy as well.
I appreciate all the responses! This has been very helpful. I agree that I should be looking into the other programs, but that brings up a whole other page of questions. I lean towards the AF only because I have a brother-in-law in the in the AF (not HPSP) and has really pushed me towards it. I know that there are more residency options with both the Army and the Navy. I'm really still researching the pros and cons of each. Any suggestions would be great! Thanks!
 

Fabio001

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I have a related question. So, what are the 2nd clerkships for army and navy? Are they 45 days long, and do they only happen in the summer?
 

Jolie South

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Thanks JRAD. My experience with the AF is all second hand and my classmates have all said that they're saving their ADT #2 for later. I suppose time will correct that misunderstanding. :D

Cheers.
I did a school tour after first year because my schedule didn't permit me to attend either Aerospace Medicine course.

I pushed my 2nd year ADT back to after 3rd year, though I probably don't need it as I'm applying to a specialty with only one program.
 

glamqueen

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I did a school tour after first year because my schedule didn't permit me to attend either Aerospace Medicine course.

I pushed my 2nd year ADT back to after 3rd year, though I probably don't need it as I'm applying to a specialty with only one program.
I also did school orders after first year (did COT before first year). I was unable to go to the Aero course for many reasons, and I actually don't have any AF classmates who went, because they all were off on summer programs either at our school or other schools.

AFIT reassured me that I could just not do anything after second year and just study for boards, and then use my third and fourth ADTs back to back at the end of third year and beginning of fourth for my "audition" rotations for what I'm applying in.

Hope that helps!
 

J-Rad

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Thanks for the clarification. So really, now, it seems as if the choices are COT, school tour (i.e. getting paid to stay at school for 45 days) and the USAFSAM course (back in my day there were two more choices as well, but then they started to want to get more people to go to the SAM course).
 

DocArmy

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Just for clarification purposes, as the OP was asking about Air Force, but the Army won't let you save an ADT. They are by fiscal year. So, I had to do school orders after first year and am going to OBLC after second year. Still planning to double stack my 3rd and 4th year ADT's back to back in the fall for auditions though.