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Thoughts on Army HPSP, residency, and future

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by GoVols1998, Sep 22, 2014.

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  1. GoVols1998


    Sep 22, 2014
    I am going to be applying to medical school within the next year. If everything goes as planned and I am accepted, I am debating on doing the Army's HPSP program to receive funding for my medical school. I know there are many different threads on this topic, but I wanted to give my personal background and goals to see if this is truly what I should pursue.

    I have always been interested in becoming a doctor, and also interested in giving back to my country. I would hope to one day become an orthopedic surgeon, as well as become involved in health public policy in politics eventually. I do not have the money to afford medical school, so this situation sounds prefferable to being able to do everything that I want.

    IF I receive the HPSP and do the Army's 5 year Ortho residency, how long of active duty do I have to perform and what does the job entail? Will I be stationed somewhere near a "potential" battleground and perform medical duties as well as potentially go into combat? Or is my active duty more of US hospital based instead? I believe this will also help me with the understanding how to lead, so I personally feel doing this will definitely help me in public office-but I want other perspectives on this as well.

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  3. Flashfan

    Flashfan 5+ Year Member

    May 22, 2010
    It will depend on if we are at war, tbh. I shadowed a guy that did HSPS in orthopedics and he was stationed in both Afghanistan and Germany for most of his years. He really liked his time in the service but is making a lot more money as a civilian.
  4. SkipJunior

    SkipJunior I'm Your Butler Account on Hold

    Aug 19, 2014
    Lior, Amastris
    There is a high chance you will be positioned in a battle field. If you are serious about HPSP, don't expect to complete your active requirement state-side, expect to complete it in a active war zone. Be ready to die or worse, have your legs and hands blown off through an IED. Not saying it has to happen but those are the risks of working in a battle field.

    There is no such thing as a free lunch. The Army will expect you to do your part. Why don't you just take out loans like every other medical student?
  5. xffan624

    xffan624 2+ Year Member

    Jan 6, 2013
    Most doctors never leave the base. They hang out on the base at the hospital (where they can actually do more than the average medic unlike out on the field) so the likelihood of a doctor being injured or killed by an IED on a convoy is minuscule (even moreso than the average soldier which is small to begin with). OP already stated a desire to serve his country which IS a valid reason for doing HPSP. The military medicine forum will be able to give you a better perspective on this than a pre-med forum where most of them are going off what read on this site and what they see on TV or movies.
    lumpyduster likes this.
  6. SkipJunior

    SkipJunior I'm Your Butler Account on Hold

    Aug 19, 2014
    Lior, Amastris
    Yes OP, feel free to go to the military medicine forum. You will find many people who are disillusioned by the HPSP program, the restrictions with matching into a residency etc. OP, do your due diligence before signing any major life altering contract. You can serve your country in many different ways.

    P.S Army bases in war zones can be bombed and are often targeted by enemy forces. Don't downplay the danger of being in a active warzone.
  7. mvenus929

    mvenus929 10+ Year Member

    Jul 6, 2006
    1) If you join the Army under HPSP, there is no guarantee that you will get the specialty you want. One of my classmates wanted to do Emergency, but had to do a intern year before doing a GMO rotation.
    2) You're probably better off taking out loans like everyone else, and then joining the Army after finishing residency, because then you don't have to worry about the obligation and you get to choose the specialty you want.
    SkipJunior likes this.
  8. xffan624

    xffan624 2+ Year Member

    Jan 6, 2013
    Yes. I am aware of the risks. I have deployed. They are real, but honestly there are far more likely problems for the OP to worry about than deploying to a combat zone and getting killed or injured when a considering military career.
  9. alpinism

    alpinism Give Em' the Jet Fuel 5+ Year Member

    After reading the first 2 paragraphs, absolutely not.

    Read the milmed forums and you'll know why.

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