Air Force Reserve

I have been considering Air Force Reserve to have them pay for my post-bac education because I have about a year until I apply to medical school and having a part-time commitment with a monthly stipend sounds great right now because I do need another paycheck coming in to pay bills, you know how that is… I am hoping to go in as an officer because I have a bachelor’s degree already and in the next two years or so I would be able to apply for military HPSP(?) scholarship where they pay for medical school. Is it easier to get accepted into HPSP scholarship program if you are in the service already? I have spoken to my friends who are in the Navy Reserve at the moment and their feedback was negative. I need more opinions and guidances because recruiters have reputations to feed you lies.

Opinion only, with the following disclaimer: I am neither a medical school student nor a vet.

I have been told by military friends that the tales of lying recruiters are overblown. Recruiters certainly try to portray the services in glowing terms, but are instructed never to lie and apparently face very harsh penalties/reprimands if they do.

My opinion on this issue is similar to my opinion on those who want to become an RN before applying to med school: Go into the Air Force Reserve ONLY if you want to serve in the Air Force Reserve. Sure, it can be a great option for paying for school – but YOU WILL BE MILITARY PERSONNEL. If you don’t want to be military, whatever money you “save” by letting them pay for your training will be lost ten times over by your lifelong military commitment.

Not trying to discourage you. On the contrary, if you can get it I think it’s a great idea, but only if it’s really what you want. The US military is far more than a method to pay for schooling and should always be viewed as such. When you marry the prettiest girl in the class, you’re marrying the whole girl, not just the pretty face, so make sure she’s the one for you. (Change pronouns and/or subject matter of the comparison to suit your situation. )


My opinion, with the following disclaimer: I am BOTH a medical school student (MS-I) AND a vet (prior Air Force enlisted & current Navy Reserve officer).

I totally concur with spoxjox above.

Thank you for your opinion. I think it will be good to serve the country if one can because it is something that not everyone gets to do in their lifetime. I have some friends who have gone through intensive rehab after coming back injured at Walter Reed and want to be the one to help. I would also love to have my education paid for as well if possible. Did you always want to go to medical school while you were enlisted? How and why did you go from Air Force to Navy? Did you apply for HPSP(?) program to have medical school eduation paid for? I would appreciate any feedback.



It sounds like you’ve adequately thought this through. To answer your questions:

I did always want to go to medical school while I was enlisted, though at that time in my life I was pre-undergrad. Medical school was way too far off in the future – I had to get into college first.

I applied first to the Navy HPSP because, in the event I do a tour as a General Medical Officer (GMO), the Navy has some unique options relative to the Army or Air Force – serving aboard a command ship or submarine, for example. In the military, a GMO is a doctor (MD/DO), has completed an internship (PGY-1) and all 3 steps of their national licensing board exams (USMLE for MD/COMLEX for DO), but is serving as a de facto PA. If you don’t match into a military residency (or a civilian residency in a specialty the Navy needs), a GMO tour is how you serve your active duty time while waiting for a residency spot in your choice of specialty if you’re not willing to take just any specialty. You do get bonus points in the military residency match for a GMO tour, however.

Speaking of internship and residency, the Navy had programs much closer to where I have family (San Diego, Bethesda, Portsmouth) than the Air Force. That being said, I did apply to Navy, Air Force, and Army HPSP; Navy HPSP came through first.

Plus the uniforms are cooler!