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ROTC or HPSP?

Discussion in 'Military Medicine' started by Gladius, Jan 5, 2009.

  1. Gladius

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    Which would be a wiser choice to go with?

    I plan on practicing Ophthalmology, also, do Ophthalmologists also perform surgery, or is strictly in the physician field.

    Thanks
     
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  3. NavyFP

    NavyFP Senior Member
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    First of all, an Ophthalmologist is a physician who has completed medical school and an Ophthalmology residency. They do operate on and around eyes. You are thinking of an Optometrist who typically works at places like Hour Eyes and Lenscrafters to fit you for glasses and contacts. Both are "doctors" in that they are awarded a doctoral degree, but they are hardly equivalent.

    Considering you have not done enough research to understand this basic fact, I recommend you do neither until you have spent considerable time investigating your presumed chosen career path and the ins and outs of the educational and military programs.
     
  4. Sarg's kid

    Sarg's kid HPSP Butterbar
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    I'm going to second NavyFP on this one. For the purposes of answering your question, I am going to assume that you are still in high school.

    ROTC scholarship will pay for your undergraduate education. I don't know the details, b/c I didn't do it. But, if you plan on doing ROTC AND HPSP, be aware that this extends your commitment to the military. Also, it is hypothetically possible for the military to require that you serve your ROTC payback as a second Lieutenant before you go off to medical school. Things to think about.

    As for me, I chose HPSP because my undergrad student loan debt was small and presumably much smaller than my medical school debt would be.

    But, as NavyFP said, one is for College, the other for Medical School, so you need to figure out what you want to be when you grow up, THEN try to find the scholarships.
     
  5. cavalier329

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    I did not choose to do ROTC, although I plan on serving the military either through USUHS (military med school in bethesda, md) or HPSP.

    I did this because I decided that if I went ROTC and for whatever reason I was unable to get into medical school the first time I apply, then I wouldn't have the opportunity to work on my overall application because Id be in the fleet...so it wouldve made things difficult.

    Also, what Sarg's kid said is very true. The ROTC program has to essentially ALLOW you to go to med school. This isn't a given. You are under contract with them for a completely different line of work...plus they are paying for school so you are at their mercy. They can easily tell you that you aren't cleared to go med school...and so much for that.

    You have to ask yourself what is most important to you. If you 100% want to be a doctor and want to do NOTHING else...then you should just go HPSP. But, if you would be happy serving in another field and you accept that you may not be able to be a doctor then go for ROTC. Best case scenario...you go ROTC and you get the packet for med school and you get HPSP....no debt AT ALL!

    Worst case...you go ROTC and don't get the packet. You could potentially be very bitter and miserable if you wanted to be a doctor.

    The choice is yours.
     
  6. DogFaceMedic

    DogFaceMedic Member
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    There has been a change in the law. ROTC grads accepted to medical school get almost automatic education delays (nothing is truly automatic, but it is not like the restrictions in the academies.) When they finish residency, then they owe their time. If they also do HPSP, the commitment is added on top of that. Several colleagues have done this and owe 8-9 years after residency. Each case is a little different. If a person is looking for a way to pay for a good college their family cannot afford, then ROTC is a way to open the doors. But, as always, never go into a deal with the gov't with eyes shut.
     
  7. NavyFP

    NavyFP Senior Member
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    You'll have to quote chapter and verse. I have not heard of any changes to that law.
     
  8. SirGecko

    SirGecko Go Navy
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    Current NROTC senior applying to medical school weighing in here (my advice applies directly to the Navy, some changes may apply with army or airforce):

    There are really two major considerations. The first is that you have consecutive payback. So if you did ROTC and then went directly to medical school you will have a minimum of 8 years (11 if you do USHUS) *after residency*. This means that from the time you start ROTC you can't separate yourself from the military (realistically) for a minimum of 19 years. Why 19? Well you are in ROTC for 4 years, then you have medical school for 4 years, then since you have accrued at least 8 years of payback by this point you pretty much have to do a residency which is another 3 years or more (8 years of GMO and then doing civillian residency isn't a very realistic option I think) and then you finally have 8 years practicing. That is a lot of time to commit yourself to so I'd make sure that the military is for you. (that said, its what I am hoping to do)

    The second major consideration about ROTC is the roadblocks it puts in your way. ROTC, depending somewhat on the university, takes a lot of time. Time you could spend studying or volunteering or other activities to help your application. It can have a negative effect on things like GPA which is important for getting into medical school. Another consideration is that you are not allowed to *apply* for medical school without first getting the go ahead from the Navy. (or army or airforce) This means that if there are too many applicants or the military has another use for you, you may not even be afforded the opportunity to apply. If you are going to do ROTC I'd make sure your carreer goal is to be an officer and that you would be happy doing something else besides medicine for at least four years first.

    Good luck on your descision and remember, do your research and don't trust just one person!
     

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