Unique situation - what to do?

Discussion in 'Military Medicine' started by trinityalumnus, Dec 18, 2005.

  1. Monty Python

    10+ Year Member

    Apr 5, 2005
    Likes Received:
    I'm a reserve O-4 (DOR 1 Apr 03) over 16 NC officer. Converting my reserve points to active duty equivalent yields 5 years active duty time.

    I'm accepted to med school starting 8/2006. I'm 49.

    Based on the above, can I take HPSP and not be forced out due to age limits, before hitting 20 years for retirement eligibility? Usually non-flag line officers must retire at 60. I know there are waivers/exceptions for medical officers, but for how long?

    I don't want to take HPSP and be told in 13 years "sorry, goodbye" when I'm still months short of the 20.

    Or do I do as many on this forum suggest: pay my own way, and come back in via FAP, or simply back into the reserves to get my "reserve 20" with some possibility of student loan repayment?

    All options and opinions for my unique situation welcomed. Thanks.
  2. island doc

    island doc Senior Member
    5+ Year Member

    Jul 24, 2005
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    The biggest inherent flaw with the HPSP programs is the fact that one is obligating themselves at the very beginning of their medical education, before they have even begun their career in medicine. There are a world of wonderful opportunities out there in medicine, and by "signing up" for HPSP prior to medical school one severely limits those opportunities. You need to ask yourself one very important question, "Am I willing to completely sacrifice my free agency (freedom of choice) in regards to choice of specialty, training location, and then practice location to someone else to decide?" If being in control of your life is not important to you, then HPSP might just be the ticket for you.

    However, if you prefer to "keep your options open", then you should consider finishing medical school and residency as a civilian, then if you still desire to complete a military medical career the opportunity to do so will still be there, but with you having more control over it. As for loan repayment, there are plenty of opportunties for that both in the civilian and military sectors.
  3. Two-Bit

    Two-Bit New Member
    5+ Year Member

    Dec 14, 2005
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    I would recommend you talk to the HPSP folks in Bethesda and address your specific questions to them. They, or some other source, should be able to provide you with the Navy Intruction that addresses your specific questions. I would not leave it up to chance. They must follow the instructions. There are even instructions for waivers, so get that info as well.

    I agree with island doc, in that there are many options for med school funding now or when you are nearer to graduation. Obviously things like cost of school, your personal financial situation, your comfort with having student loans and your willingness to commit to the Nav are important.
    My only question is how many years as a reservist do you have left to retire? You may consider FAP or a Navy Reserve option after you graduate to complete your time and get the Reserve retirement in your 60's.

    Hope that helps. Two-bit

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