flatearth22

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With tuition costs creeping up pretty much everywhere coupled with increased interest on federal loans and decreased physicians' salaries I'm surprised there isn't more attention brought to attending USUHS for monetary reasons. Especially considering that this forum is extremely debt-averse and will almost always opt for the cheaper option unless there is a vast difference in ranking/prestige.

At USUHS the COA is free and they pay you $50k per year for 4 years to attend. So compared to a typical school with $50k COA that's a $400k profit you would make attending USUHS not even counting interest on your loans + the money you make putting part of your salary in a Roth-IRA while at USUHS at a young age and watching it balloon as you get older. During the duration of med school alone you could very easily make over $600k attending USUHS vs a typical med school. During residency you also get paid more than civilians (~$65k per year) so there's even more profit there. Yeah there's the 7 year minimum military requirement where you aren't paid as much as your civilian counterparts but having absolutely zero debt + $$$ to spend during your 20's when you can actually enjoy it and not when you're an old fart makes up for that IMO.

Looking at old threads the saying is "don't do USUHS/milmed for the money" but that was when COA at med schools was half of what it is now and with interest rates half of what they are now. Not to mention the slashing of salaries across the board in everything besides primary-care (which is low-paid anyway) and the looming effects of Obamacare (if it doesn't get repealed) makes USUHS seem like a fantastic option for those of you who are debt-averse and want to make a decent living while attending medical school

Thoughts?
 

notbobtrustme

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Yeah there's the 7 year minimum military requirement where you aren't paid as much as your civilian counterparts but having absolutely zero debt + $$$ to spend during your 20's when you can actually enjoy it and not when you're an old fart makes up for that IMO.

You just answered your own question. You lose money by sacrificing 7 years of big bucks.


In fact, most of these debt avoidance programs end up costing you money relative to simply powering through the entire process and paying it off with earned income.

USUHS has other great reasons to attend, but being better off financially to other students is not one of them.
 

dd128

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What is the salary in the years following residency? I'm just curious. Is it the same across the specialty board, or is there some difference based on what you do like in the civilian world.
 
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Barcu

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You just answered your own question. You lose money by sacrificing 7 years of big bucks.


In fact, most of these debt avoidance programs end up costing you money relative to simply powering through the entire process and paying it off with earned income.

USUHS has other great reasons to attend, but being better off financially to other students is not one of them.

This. In the military, you may make a fraction of what you make in the civilian world, so in the long run, you will lose money for most specialties.

Now, having money upfront is nice, so it may be worth it, but there are other factors. The military owns you. Wanna be forced to live in Minot, ND or a tiny base in Alabama? Want to be deployed for 6 months away from your family?

The reason people say don't do it for the money isn't just about the money. People who do it for the money will hate their lives, even if it is worth it financially. People are forced to live away from friends and family, they get divorced, etc. There are also other little things about being in the military that people complain about (PT tests, training sessions, etc). These things all add up. Only go if you want to be an officer in the military.

Same thing applies with HPSP. It's shorter payback, so more people would be willing to do that over USUHS. Still, it has pretty much all the same issues.
 

LizzyM

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I know of a USUHS grad who ended up with the Army in the sandbox about 2 yrs ago. It was a life changing experience and not for the better.

If you want to be a member of the US military as serve the military in the role of physician then go to USUHS or accept a military scholarship to the medical school of your choice and train for that role. If that is not your cup of tea, don't do it.
 
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gatorade848

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because there are "better" options for civilians wanting to become military physicians, mainly FAP or direct commission. with FAP you get stipend during your civilian residency and with direct commission you go in after completing residency. both options gives you more freedom in your personal/medical career (mainly the ability to pick civilian residencies and its location) and they both result in significantly less military obligations than USUHS
 

mvenus929

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Because the military already had 21 years of my life. I don't like the military lifestyle at all, and I'm one of the people that knows it better than most. My mom's been to Kuwait, Afghanistan, and Iraq in the past 10 years. She had to go to Saudi Arabia during the first Gulf War as well.

It's not fun to not know where you're going to be in 2 years. It's not fun to have to pick up and move all your things and resettle in a location you may never have been before. It's even less fun when you have a family to move with you.

Two of my friends from college are graduating from USUHS this year, and I greatly admire them for it. Several people in my class have gone the HSPS route, and I admire them for it. It's not worth it, emotionally, financially, or logistically to me.
 
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With tuition costs creeping up pretty much everywhere coupled with increased interest on federal loans and decreased physicians' salaries I'm surprised there isn't more attention brought to attending USUHS for monetary reasons. Especially considering that this forum is extremely debt-averse and will almost always opt for the cheaper option unless there is a vast difference in ranking/prestige.

At USUHS the COA is free and they pay you $50k per year for 4 years to attend. So compared to a typical school with $50k COA that's a $400k profit you would make attending USUHS not even counting interest on your loans + the money you make putting part of your salary in a Roth-IRA while at USUHS at a young age and watching it balloon as you get older. During the duration of med school alone you could very easily make over $600k attending USUHS vs a typical med school. During residency you also get paid more than civilians (~$65k per year) so there's even more profit there. Yeah there's the 7 year minimum military requirement where you aren't paid as much as your civilian counterparts but having absolutely zero debt + $$$ to spend during your 20's when you can actually enjoy it and not when you're an old fart makes up for that IMO.

Looking at old threads the saying is "don't do USUHS/milmed for the money" but that was when COA at med schools was half of what it is now and with interest rates half of what they are now. Not to mention the slashing of salaries across the board in everything besides primary-care (which is low-paid anyway) and the looming effects of Obamacare (if it doesn't get repealed) makes USUHS seem like a fantastic option for those of you who are debt-averse and want to make a decent living while attending medical school

Thoughts?

You're required extra time of service i believe... 8 years or something.


The way to do military medicine is to join while in residency. You get paid 40k on top of your salary (can be used towards loans), yes you have 1 year of service per year of benefit, however many of those years will be spent as a reserve physician. You'll only really do probably 2 tours of duty, so be gone for 2 years.
 

plumhill

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I talked to an orthopedic surgeon who spent a long time as a surgeon in Iraq, and he personally enjoyed the experience (well, I guess as much as you can)...but he said that if you're only doing it for the money, you're going to hate your life. Any sort of military scholarship for medicine is really only for people who actually want to serve in the military. As a physician in the military you will be as safe as is possible since you're their best asset, but at the same time...it's the military. Now don't get me wrong, I have a tremendous amount of respect for those who do serve, but I personally know that I would NEVER be able to enjoy or endure a military lifestyle, and I think it's the same for a lot of people on SDN.
 

Whiskeypunch

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USUHS or taking a military scholarship should only be done if you REALLY want to serve in the military. Even then it makes more sense to join after you finish residency.

The military is absolutely not a winning move financially.

Especially if IBR and PSLF work out.
 

kautionwirez

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I'll take the scholarship if I want to become a Ranger/Special Forces. But I'm leaning towards surgery so it is highly unlikely.
 
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AirForceMD

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I agree. You lose financially by joining the military. Your only motive should be service, and as an Air Force physician, I will tell you that you will do far more for your country by NOT joining the armed forces. Military physicians are an increasingly incompetent lot, with poor staffing, no support, frequent deployments, and increasing administrative responsibilities and roles. We are decades behind in care and management! You will learn to be a mediocre doctor amongst this milieu. Rather, get loans and pay them off quickly. Choose a specialty of your liking and treat the military with the greatest respect as the clueless general medical officers refer to you incessantly for things a board-certified family care physician with average support would be able to treat definitively. Give the military exemplary care and excellent attention and you will do far more than any military physician ever has.
 

Ironmandoc

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Don't go USUHS or even an HPSP scholarship for the money. If you read what people in or have gone through the programs say, the overwhelming majority will strongly advise against it. Chances are you'll lose money and get stuck in a GMO for a while. Only do it if you want to be a military doc. Otherwise it is NEVER worth it.

P.S.- never listen to recruiters. They get paid to get you to sign your life away on papers...
 

gatorade848

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isnt direct commission after residency just 2-3 years active duty with no reserve time? try that if you want, but military residencies appears kinda iffy to me based on my research
 

BigBlueBear

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Don't go USUHS or even an HPSP scholarship for the money. If you read what people in or have gone through the programs say, the overwhelming majority will strongly advise against it. Chances are you'll lose money and get stuck in a GMO for a while. Only do it if you want to be a military doc. Otherwise it is NEVER worth it.

P.S.- never listen to recruiters. They get paid to get you to sign your life away on papers...

Same reason you should never listen to your teachers. Man, those guys will say anything for a paycheck!
 

xXIDaShizIXx

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Because HPSP seems to be the better option, especially if you have a girlfriend, wife, or kids already living with you.
 

KnuxNole

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Exactly. Teachers actually mean something.
 

starsworld

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I personally would rather graduate 250,000 or 300,000 or even 500,000 in debt before joining the military and there are others who feel that way. Some people just don't want to go into the military for whatever reason (moving, not liking the military, not agreeing with the military, etc.) and would much rather take on that debt load.
 
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