beefballs

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Good morning

i have matched into residency and am considering doing the STRAP-Specialized training and assistance program and HPLR-Health professions loan repayment

What I get $1900 a month in residency and 50,000 for loan repayment
Repayment- 13 years of reservist time, in peace time that is 1 wknd/month and 2 weeks/year, war time total of 120 days deployment in 12 month cycle

I am a prior service enlisted so the mil life is not something I am naive about

I am really considering this mainly because I can pay off my loans during residency

My question is how will this affect me as far as employ-ability when I complete residency, would a group be less likely to hire me? How does the reservist commitment affect your private practice?

also any advice or anecdotal experiences both pro and con would be welcome

sincerely
beefball
 

orbitsurgMD

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Good morning

i have matched into residency and am considering doing the STRAP-Specialized training and assistance program and HPLR-Health professions loan repayment

What I get $1900 a month in residency and 50,000 for loan repayment
Repayment- 13 years of reservist time, in peace time that is 1 wknd/month and 2 weeks/year, war time total of 120 days deployment in 12 month cycle

I am a prior service enlisted so the mil life is not something I am naive about

I am really considering this mainly because I can pay off my loans during residency

My question is how will this affect me as far as employ-ability when I complete residency, would a group be less likely to hire me? How does the reservist commitment affect your private practice?

also any advice or anecdotal experiences both pro and con would be welcome

sincerely
beefball
I think the answer to your question will depend on specific employers and your specialty. I have been asked about my reserve obligations by employers but it appeared to me that it made no difference. Some were prior service so they at least understood. But I was IRR, not drilling reserve, so my risk of being called up was theoretically much lower, although not "zero." I have never experienced it as a negative.
 

IlDestriero

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I think the answer to your question will depend on specific employers and your specialty. I have been asked about my reserve obligations by employers but it appeared to me that it made no difference. Some were prior service so they at least understood. But I was IRR, not drilling reserve, so my risk of being called up was theoretically much lower, although not "zero." I have never experienced it as a negative.
My father inlaw was a Colonel in the Army Reserve for many years. He was an independant contractor subspecialist physician. When he was called up for gulf war I, he returned home to no job, and had to sell his house and move. He also had a 4 month deployment to Bosnia right before he got out, but after he submitted his retirement paperwork, hmmm... Coincidence? I don't think so. Thanks Army. He was a partner than, so he still had a job, but his partners were very unhappy to hire a locums person to cover for him. They all lost income due to his absence, and could not work without someone for that long.
If you are a primary care physician, your partners have to pick up your patients in your absence, or find another physician. A specialist may find that it takes a long time for the referrals to come back after a deployment. That can really hurt your practice. You really need to consider that.
13 years of commitment is a really LONG time. I would never do it.
 

beefballs

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My father inlaw was a Colonel in the Army Reserve for many years. He was an independant contractor subspecialist physician. When he was called up for gulf war I, he returned home to no job, and had to sell his house and move. He also had a 4 month deployment to Bosnia right before he got out, but after he submitted his retirement paperwork, hmmm... Coincidence? I don't think so. Thanks Army. He was a partner than, so he still had a job, but his partners were very unhappy to hire a locums person to cover for him. They all lost income due to his absence, and could not work without someone for that long.
If you are a primary care physician, your partners have to pick up your patients in your absence, or find another physician. A specialist may find that it takes a long time for the referrals to come back after a deployment. That can really hurt your practice. You really need to consider that.
13 years of commitment is a really LONG time. I would never do it.
Specialty is Gen Surg, and thank you for the response
 

IlDestriero

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Specialty is Gen Surg, and thank you for the response
BTW, the 90 or 120 days in the sand stuff that they're selling now is BS. It is a policy that could be changed with the flick of a pen. If things get hot, don't bet on being back to work in 3 or 4 months.
You also need a serious reserve fund. Your pay will be dramatically reduced if you are activated for even 4 months, or 12. You're not going to qualify for the special pays as most require a 12 month commitment. The mortgage, Benz, and taxes still need to be paid every month, even if your income drops 10k+ a month.
 

beefballs

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BTW, the 90 or 120 days in the sand stuff that they're selling now is BS. It is a policy that could be changed with the flick of a pen. If things get hot, don't bet on being back to work in 3 or 4 months.
You also need a serious reserve fund. Your pay will be dramatically reduced if you are activated for even 4 months, or 12. You're not going to qualify for the special pays as most require a 12 month commitment. The mortgage, Benz, and taxes still need to be paid every month, even if your income drops 10k+ a month.
I really appreciate your frankness, it is alot of food for thought.

on one hand I have 200k in debt and what i assume will be a significantly reduced earning potential when i am done-I am also a husband and father who knows I need to be building a financially stable life and future for my family, and my debt is a huge albatross on my neck in that regard

on the other I have the option of owing 13 years of reserve time which may (likely?) inhibit my professional career in the private sector, but would free me from the debt burden.

I have a lot of thinking to do
 

notdeadyet

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What I get $1900 a month in residency and 50,000 for loan repayment
Repayment- 13 years of reservist time, in peace time that is 1 wknd/month and 2 weeks/year, war time total of 120 days deployment in 12 month cycle
Consider the National Guard. They're currently giving out $120K in student loan repayment for three years of post-residency service. You can do the STRAP for $1,900/month as well, but you'll accrue more years.

By joining the Guard/Reserves, just be prepared to largely swear off the idea of working in a solo or small group practice until your commitment is done. Working for Kaiser, it's probably not a big burden. Working in a partnership with two others while you have to go away every two years for four months? Problem.
 

orbitsurgMD

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My father inlaw was a Colonel in the Army Reserve for many years. He was an independent contractor subspecialist physician. When he was called up for gulf war I, he returned home to no job, and had to sell his house and move. He also had a 4 month deployment to Bosnia right before he got out, but after he submitted his retirement paperwork, hmmm... Coincidence? I don't think so. Thanks Army. He was a partner than, so he still had a job, but his partners were very unhappy to hire a locums person to cover for him. They all lost income due to his absence, and could not work without someone for that long.
If you are a primary care physician, your partners have to pick up your patients in your absence, or find another physician. A specialist may find that it takes a long time for the referrals to come back after a deployment. That can really hurt your practice. You really need to consider that.
13 years of commitment is a really LONG time. I would never do it.
I completely agree. My experience was unavoidable; I had IRR status following my leaving active duty for residency and fellowship. As soon as I was able, I resigned my commission.

I happen to think that reserve duty is not compatible with any kind of non-institutional practice, no matter what some may say or do. If you get called up, it is a hardship to your partners, if you are in a group and could be financially very damaging. Were I in a group that had anyone who chose to be in active reserves, I would insist they carry and pay for overhead insurance to cover their absence in a call-up. The "law" that requires employers to hold jobs for reservists is totally unworkable in any practical sense when it comes to activation with absence. Even in institutional settings, if there is only one or very few of a particular specialist, the effects of a prolonged absence can be very disruptive. And it is self-deception to suppose a substitute locum tenens doctor can be had to fill in. That is mostly fiction, especially with surgery specialties.

It takes years to build the trust and referral relationships that make a good private referral practice; it takes only a short absence to destroy one.
 

beefballs

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I completely agree. My experience was unavoidable; I had IRR status following my leaving active duty for residency and fellowship. As soon as I was able, I resigned my commission.

I happen to think that reserve duty is not compatible with any kind of non-institutional practice, no matter what some may say or do. If you get called up, it is a hardship to your partners, if you are in a group and could be financially very damaging. Were I in a group that had anyone who chose to be in active reserves, I would insist they carry and pay for overhead insurance to cover their absence in a call-up. The "law" that requires employers to hold jobs for reservists is totally unworkable in any practical sense when it comes to activation with absence. Even in institutional settings, if there is only one or very few of a particular specialist, the effects of a prolonged absence can be very disruptive. And it is self-deception to suppose a substitute locum tenens doctor can be had to fill in. That is mostly fiction, especially with surgery specialties.

It takes years to build the trust and referral relationships that make a good private referral practice; it takes only a short absence to destroy one.
That was what i was afraid of, I am looking not to screw over partners, so basically I am limiting my post residency job prospects to locum tenens & hospital employee only
 

beefballs

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I am gonna look into the National guard and the HPLRP with a 3 year commitment, I could work Locum Tenens for 3 years without inconveniencing colleauges