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Thank You Everybody, Sincerely

Discussion in 'Military Medicine' started by Tiger26, May 2, 2007.

  1. Tiger26

    Tiger26 Senior Member
    Physician 10+ Year Member

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    I just wanted to thank everyone on this forum for persuading me not to take the HPSP "scholarship."

    A little about me: I enlisted in the the Army at 18, did the 11B thing in the National Guard and had a pretty good time. Then I did ROTC, got into med school, and then had a tough decision whether to take the HPSP deal or get commissioned directly into the Guard. After reading everything on this forum, I decided on the Guard option to retain my flexibility, do the civilian match, and maybe choose to go on active duty on my terms after residency. Plus, even though I wouldn't get my entire education paid for, I figured I would at least get about half of it from the Guard 'stipends.'

    Fast forward about a year after I was commissioned into the Guard. At this point I don't have enough fingers on one hand to count the lies I've been told. Because I was commissioned via ROTC, I was promised a $10,000 bonus and the chance to go to Airborne or Air Assault school as an incentive. I was pretty HOOAH about this, but alas it was just a lie. At first they told me I only had to go to OBC, then they said I had to do BOLC II first like the other basic branch officers. I called their bluff and said I'd go because I actually would enjoy it, and then they replied that doctors were the exemption to the incentive, so I couldn't possibly go because I didn't put as much work in as a basic branch officer.

    Next, they promised they would at least send me to OBC between 1st and 2nd year to get my GI bill for med school, but it's been a year and they still haven't approved my packet transferring me into the medical student program. I hope I can go to OBC in Aug, but they're acting like they're doing me a favor or something.

    Finally, today, they say that my ROTC commitment (6 years national guard) may preclude me from getting the monthly stipend during med school (even though I never took the ROTC scholarship, just participated in the program).

    I can't begin to count the times I've called up and got a different version of the story, but get this, I'm the bad soldier because I call every 2-3 weeks to find out if they have any updates. The civilian match takes a few months to assign residencies for like 20,000 graduates, but the national guard can't get this transfer done in an entire year. On top of that, my state has 180 officer vacancies (all branches) and the pool of doctors in the total national guard is half of what it was 5 years ago, so I know my value in this market.

    Right now, I have no trust in the Army at all. I was walking out of the YMCA yesterday, and I realized how fortunate I am NOT to have signed up to do this everyday on the advice of this forum. An analogy is that they're basically saying that they want me to buy them a Ferrari (my skill set after accruing $250,000 med school debt) while paying for a Kia (drill pay and $4500 fed. tuition reimbursement).

    AGAIN, THANKS TO EVERYONE FOR SPREADING THE WORD AND PREVENTING A STARRY-EYED MED STUDENT FROM SIGNING AWAY ALL THE HARD WORK I'VE PUT INTO THIS SO FAR AND WILL DO IN THE FUTURE.
     
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  3. Dr.HessD.O.

    2+ Year Member

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    What State are you from and what is BLOC II? I have been in the National Guard for 6 years as an Enlisted soldier. Now I am considering the program to avoid my second tour in IRAQ. IS our OBC 2 weeks or 7?
     
  4. Tiger26

    Tiger26 Senior Member
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    BOLC II is for ROTC commissionees. It's between ROTC and OBC. You shouldn't have to go if you direct commission.
     
  5. SeminoleFan3

    SeminoleFan3 Senior Member
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    I'm sorry, but I'm not sure I entirely get your point. You didn't take the HPSP "scholarship," and you got screwed anyway. So? You could have taken it, still gotten screwed, and at least had no debt.
    I might be missing the point, which is entirely possible.
     
  6. Bubblehead-to-MD

    Bubblehead-to-MD Emergency Blow!
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    I must say, I was thinking the same thing. :confused:
     
  7. Tiger26

    Tiger26 Senior Member
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    For a little clarification for those not familiar. I had two choices coming out of ROTC. 1) I could either take the HPSP scholarship and go active duty after med school or 2) I could do the Guard program and do 2 days/month for less of a stipend.

    Right now, the guard is bending me over during this whole process, so I'm just thankful I didn't take HPSP because from what everybody says it's even more of a gagglef$ck.
     
  8. SeminoleFan3

    SeminoleFan3 Senior Member
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    Maybe after med school. Sounds like your time in school is sucking big time. While I know HPSP folks don't have the best time ever in their payback period, the majority of what I've heard about their time in school was great.
     
  9. moralityjustice

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    I also want to express my heartfelt thanks to everyone on this military medicine forum. I'll be starting college this fall. I've had an early interest in military, and was offered scholarships from all three branches to MIT. This year, I had an interview in Houston with Baylor College of Medicine's 8 year bac/med program. Before my interview, I shadowed a ob-gyn/professor. I enjoyed the experience, and I look forward to specializing, possibly to pursue a maternal fetal medicine fellowship after my residency. Your insights and advice have shown me that if I pursue ROTC route, I'll, pretty much, screw myself. Thanks again!
     

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