J-Rad

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Dunno. But I have to say, if you have done research into the HPSP and you feel that it might be right for you, you should 1) not only apply to one (i.e. apply to all three) and 2) not presume that AF would be the best one to choose.
 

addo

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Its not too late. You can start your application even before being accepted to med school, but I dont think many people do this. If youre going to take an HPSP this would be the time to do it.

However, I agree with the post above- make sure it really is what you want to do. I got my application in really early, everything was moving smoothly, but realized this wasnt for me just 2 weeks before I got it. Had it not been for SDN I probably would have made a really big mistake. All the stuff you read about military medicine on here is sad, but apparently true.
 

Kris1

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Had it not been for SDN I probably would have made a really big mistake. All the stuff you read about military medicine on here is sad, but apparently true.
So you have no military medicine experience to speak of but you are able to say that assertions made on SDN are "apparently true"? Do you realize that many military docs are happy with their careers and that it's usually the unhappy ones who are prone to vent on public forums such as SDN?
 

addo

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So you have no military medicine experience to speak of but you are able to say that assertions made on SDN are "apparently true"? Do you realize that many military docs are happy with their careers and that it's usually the unhappy ones who are prone to vent on public forums such as SDN?
The fact that I have no military experience to speak of is the reason that I say they are apparently true. Im not sure for a fact that they are, but not many people seem to contradict the bad experiences.

I know for a fact I was misled by my recruiter. Also, true or not, I was simply blinded by the money. Apart from the negative posts about it here, I ran the numbers and with an $11K tuition for the school that I am going to attend, it makes no sense financially to take the scholarship. And lastly I had the wrong idea of what military medicine would be like. I could go on, but I didnt decline it just because some miserable military docs come here to vent. I have heard the positive stories as well, which are outnumbered.
 
Dec 14, 2010
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I applied during my 1st year of med school for AF HPSP. I got a 3 yr deal with a 3 year payback. If you are single, doing family practice or desire GMO, then go for it. If not, then be very, very cautious on choosing this. I wanted FP early on but then decided on Neuro in med school. When it came to applying for residency: 1) I had no choice but apply to AD spots first. 2) being able to do neurology was not a guarantee. That was a frustrating and worry-filled time.
I got married in my civilan-deferred residency and then entered AD. I enjoyed the hospital, the people I worked with, and the fact that I can pretty much order anything FDA-approved and a few not-- for my patients. That was very satisfying.
I knew neuro people in the AF did not get deployed. But now they do. Deployment is not the issue for me; Wasting 90% of your neuro skills and utility (EMG, Sleep studiess, reading EEGs, movement disorders, epilepsy, etc.) so that you can "eval" TBI for 6 months is poor use of a neurologist.
Incurring debt and then getting a job with loan forgiveness and a salary paying at least 100k more than the AF ever would give you is better than joining HPSP.
Just some more food for thought.
 
Sep 20, 2010
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The Airforce HPSP scholarship goes to a review board twice a year for the Air Force. The first Board has been pushed back to the end of February. All your paper work which comprises a physical must be completed and submitted by a Health professions recruiter no later than January 28th 2011. If there are scholarships left over after the board in February then there is another board that will meet in March to Hand out the last few scholarships.

I currently just received the Army scholarship but was thinking about the Air-Force. I would suggest making sure you have a grasp of what military medicine is like. Its not for everyone. Feel free to PM with any other questions about Military Medicine.
 

61November

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@ Easy C

What is your experience with Military Medicine?

@ Trauma12

I would caution against accepting the HPSP "scholarship"

In my mind, as an operational GMO Flight Surgeon type with a few years in (and thankfully only 2 left in my ADSO) people should only accept this scholarship if:

1. They value being an Officer more than a Doctor

2. They are prepared to have their training delayed in order to serve as a GMO. Keep in mind that if you do a GMO tour, and knock 3 yrs off your commitment, but then do a 3 yr residency, you owe another 3 yrs on active duty following residency completion. So your GMO years avail you nothing.

3. They go to a DO school. The Military is inundated with DO's and there is little or no active discrimination.

4. They are willing to accept the realities of Military Medicine: low acuity, incredible bureaucracy, +/- Nurse corps/MSC domination (AF >> Navy > Army), active outsourcing of dependents to the community, closing/consolidation of Medical Centers (AF > Navy > Army) many dangerous/incompetent senior "physicians" who would be unemployable on the outside.

I've had some truly great experiences, especially now as I come to the end of a 1 yr hitch in Afghanistan. For me, it was the right choice. But my disgust with the Military Match process, the aforementioned buraucracy, and the substandard training convinced me early on to go "Four and Out." For me, as a single, young physician this was a realistic plan. For many others, it is not.

Be very careful about accepting this scholarship. I think that the trends mentioned above will only get worse as time goes on. Finally, the AF is the absolute worst when it comes to bureaucracy and limited training opportunities. Read some of the other posts on here by ex- AF types and savor their understandable bitterness. The Navy almost mandates a GMO tour post-internship (65-75%). The Army still uses GMO's extensively, though substantially less than Navy, and you will deploy for a year at a time.

Think very carefully about this decision.

61N
 
Sep 20, 2010
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@ Easy C

What is your experience with Military Medicine?

@ Trauma12

I would caution against accepting the HPSP "scholarship"

In my mind, as an operational GMO Flight Surgeon type with a few years in (and thankfully only 2 left in my ADSO) people should only accept this scholarship if:

1. They value being an Officer more than a Doctor

2. They are prepared to have their training delayed in order to serve as a GMO. Keep in mind that if you do a GMO tour, and knock 3 yrs off your commitment, but then do a 3 yr residency, you owe another 3 yrs on active duty following residency completion. So your GMO years avail you nothing.

3. They go to a DO school. The Military is inundated with DO's and there is little or no active discrimination.

4. They are willing to accept the realities of Military Medicine: low acuity, incredible bureaucracy, +/- Nurse corps/MSC domination (AF >> Navy > Army), active outsourcing of dependents to the community, closing/consolidation of Medical Centers (AF > Navy > Army) many dangerous/incompetent senior "physicians" who would be unemployable on the outside.

I've had some truly great experiences, especially now as I come to the end of a 1 yr hitch in Afghanistan. For me, it was the right choice. But my disgust with the Military Match process, the aforementioned buraucracy, and the substandard training convinced me early on to go "Four and Out." For me, as a single, young physician this was a realistic plan. For many others, it is not.

Be very careful about accepting this scholarship. I think that the trends mentioned above will only get worse as time goes on. Finally, the AF is the absolute worst when it comes to bureaucracy and limited training opportunities. Read some of the other posts on here by ex- AF types and savor their understandable bitterness. The Navy almost mandates a GMO tour post-internship (65-75%). The Army still uses GMO's extensively, though substantially less than Navy, and you will deploy for a year at a time.

Think very carefully about this decision.

61N
I have received the Army HPSP and plan on taking it.

Ive shadowed a doctor for over a year in the USUHS family clinic, he is Airforce (And he went HPSP having attended Duke). I also work at WRAIR, the research building not the Hospital, and have shadowed a DO, Army Doc HPSP, at Fort Meade in his OMM clinic. I work in the behavioral biology and have helped quit a few doctors in WRAIR's clinical trials, these doctors being Army, 2 Colonels and one Lgt Colonel (One USU Grad, 2 HPSP).

My number one choice was USUHS but I got rejected. I've made friends with a few people on their admissions and I have spent the last year learning the ups and downs about practicing medicine in the military. I have one friend thats a second year there and an acquaintance that is a fourth year, both Army.

The beauty about the Army is they have done away with GMOs. I have not seen anything that talks about a GMO. This is coming from my own current talk with the Army, a current friend that is a first year on the Army Scholarship, talking with the USU people that happen to also deal with the HPSP guys and the one Colonel in clinical trials that sits on the HPSP review board. The Army guarantees me an intern year if I dont match civilian side or Army side and I get more points when applying the second year to the military residency match.

I fully understand the time they expect from you in accordance with the time you put in.

For me Military Medicine helps cut out some of the BS that is running through civilian health care. And helps me avoid some of the crap that will be problematic once all this new health care crap hits the fan.

I dont mean to undermine the fact that Military Medicine has its downs and some of the new health care crap will affect Militar Medicine also, I just feel that the Army does provide an amazing opportunity!

But as everyone is talking someone SHOULD NOT, repeat SHOULD NOT, go HPSP just for the monetary benefit. ONLY go HPSP if military medicine and more specifically a specific branches medicine fits your plans, aspirations, and goals in being a physician.
 
Sep 20, 2010
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So your experience with MilMed is shadowing a few Docs and taking the HPSP scholarship? I'm underwhelmed.

[Do more research than me] in reference to Military Medicine

61N

So besides shadowing and building relationships with half a dozen military Docs and working at an Army research facility for a year I must not be able to make any sort of educated decision about the HPSP scholarship and what my personal goals are in reference to me practicing medicine.

Please read the whole post before flaming my friend.

I have not only shadowed but talked with the people on the boards that decide who gets into USU and receive the HPSP scholarships. Shadowed for a year so that normally translates into something more than just a casual relationship with a doctor and those around him.

Working for a year at an Army research institution must not count as "research" into Army medicine in your eyes.

As I also stated military medicine is not for everyone. I feel it is right for me. Out of all the Army doctors I have talked to none are as sour as you. Some I've talked to are only doing their 4 years and they are out others have decided to stay in, hence the Colonel's I've had the privilege of associating with.

Obviously from your viewpoint/experience you didn't get what you were hoping for, sorry to hear that but that can happen inside or outside the military.

Again I in no way listen to what a recruiter tells me. I've gotten my facts from the guys that make the decisions for the HPSP recipients.

I repeat someone should do their research before heading in the direction of Military medicine and not take what a recruiter says for face value. I have decided that Military Medicine is a great route for me and I am personally excited about heading in that direction. If a year with Military Docs and a year working at a Military Research facility isnt enough exposure then please expound and tell us how one can become so well informed about Military Medicine without going that route.

I found the Army to be a great resource in my desire to be a physician.

61November if you are serving a tour right now thank you for your service to our country. Sorry it hasn't been all that you wanted it to be, but thats life. You just have to roll with the punches and fly over the speed bumps.
 

61November

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@ Easy C

I did read your entire post. The sagacity of your advice regarding MilMed, already low given that you are an incoming Medical Student, is completely discredited when you cite such well known canards as

"The beauty of the Army is they have done away with GMO's"

This is completely false, although it is commonly cited by recruiters and other apologists for MilMed as a lure to prospective students.

Who should you have talked to in order to get the real dirt on HPSP?

Junior Physicians working as GMO's, or as staff at MEDDAC's just out of their residency, Surgeons struggling with low case volume, IM residents at MEDCENS dealing with low Ward census numbers etc. This would have given you a more rounded perspective. Above all, this board, which I discovered late in the game, after I already signed up.


USUHS admissions committee personnel, especially Senior Bureaucrats, have a vested interest in getting you to join. Current USUHS students have absolutely no perspective on Military Medicine. WRAIR personnel rarely deploy, do little to no patient care, and are in a sheltered cocoon.

You infer that I'm unhappy with my choice. This is not the case. My experiences in combat this past year have been unforgettable and life changing. Serving as an operational physician, taking care of those on the front lines, is the most rewarding thing I have ever done. I love the Military, but I despise Military Medicine as an institution built on false advertising, hamstrung by needless red-tape and reliant on antiquated practices such as the use of GMO's.

This is all somewhat academic, as you have already signed on the dotted line, and are committed. But do not mislead potential applicants by citing outright lies like the one above about Army GMO's. Stay in your lane and watch out for those speed-bumps along the pock marked thoroughfare of MilMed. They might not be so easy to fly over.

61N
 
Sep 20, 2010
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Just backing up a bit.

I should have been a little more specific in my comment about Army GMOs. From what I have seen,read, been told and seen in recent years the Army no longer has MANDATORY GMO tours. If you match then great! If you dont then thats when a GMO tour could become a reality for you. I completely agree that people should look into how the Military Match works, because it is a point system and previous military and guys who have done research get extra points. People should also look into how much time they might need to pay back if they take a civilian residency. AND people should realize where they can do their Residencies at. Some guys think they can be a resident at whatever Hospital in the Military but thats not right, certain residencies are at specific Military Hospitals.

Im guessing you went GMO because you didnt match Military where you wanted to and since you didnt want to add on more by taking a Civilian residency you opted for the GMO tour instead to pay back your time. I could be wrong but things do change in the Military on a whim, another reality people looking into the HPSP scholarship must realize. But the way the Army is doing things now HPSP recipients will not be required to do a GMO tour.

So you are right I should have stated my comment differently:

The beauty about the Army is that there is no Mandatory GMO time.

As for the other services it seems that you will get atleast one year being a GMO, but thats is just a skimmed over the surface observation.
 

J-Rad

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I'll be a little less gruff and say that you probably have done more research than most. And you are right, for some people-maybe you-milmed can be a reasonable choice.
But to nitpick a few things: Broadly, your thoughts on GMO across the services are overly simplified. Each service utilizes GMOs. On the front end, the Navy forces the most GMO tours with the AF trailing pretty far behind. Obviously, forced GMOs may be much less common in the Army now. But that isn't to say the Army doesn't use forced GMOs. That just put it back later. In all of the medical fields, it's pretty common, from my understanding, for people to deply as GMOs after residency. The positive is that you've gotten your uninterrupted training, but you are going to spend time doing algorhithmic urgent care for generally well adults, no matter what your specialty (one the posters here who is a pediatrician deployed as a GMO; I've known of pediatric gastroenterologists doing the same). The time away from your specialty is as concerning for some as interruption earlier in the pipeline.
To further round out your perspective I would also recommend talking to a significant number of people who have been staff (ignore all medical students who have nothing valuable to offer other than technical info related to the program. Take residents and trainees [I am one of these-finishing fellowship] with only a hair more value) at the community hospitals and clinics. Talking to only people who have been medcen staff will skew your view.
I am curious if you could explain this statement better:
for me Military Medicine helps cut out some of the BS that is running through civilian health care. And helps me avoid some of the crap that will be problematic once all this new health care crap hits the fan.
I am not sure I see anything in milmed that would validate this sentiment, but maybe you have a convincing explanation for this.

@61N:
3. They go to a DO school. The Military is inundated with DO's and there is little or no active discrimination.
While I understand this statement, and partially agree, I would add that there are probably enough DO freindly areas/programs in civilian-land to offset the benefit of this. While I have seen DOs in competetive specialties (ENT, Ortho, Ophtho) in the Navy and AF, at least one poster here (whom I believe would be in a position to know) states that anti-DO bias runs strong in the Army, esp. in the competetive specialties (A1qwerty, if you read this and think I am mischaracheterizing your previous statements, please chime in. I cannot claim to speak authoritatively on someone else's thoughts). This would further offset the .mil advatage for DO students. I think those coming from an expensive new DO school might benefit more than someone coming from one of the older schools. That might be splitting hairs, but my $0.02.
 
Oct 21, 2009
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I contacted the recruiter today and was told that 3 yr scholarships are all filled. Now I'm going to apply for 2 yr scholarship proram next year. However, I was told that AF doesn't give out 2 yr scholarship every year.

Anybody know how oftenf AF gives out 2 yr scholarship? Anybody thinks that it will be available next year? I should have made my decison earlier