Dr and in the military?

I am wondering, does anyone here know anything about getting into medical school while in the military OR know anyone that has gone that route?


Is anyone reserve military and get help with post bach?

  • dkclayton Said:
I am wondering, does anyone here know anything about getting into medical school while in the military OR know anyone that has gone that route?

Is anyone reserve military and get help with post bach?



dkclayton,

I am prior active duty & am now in the Navy HPSP. I have a few questions for you. Do you ultimately want to be a military doctor or are you just looking for a way to pay for your post-bac? Also, how old are you and do you have prior service?

There is a military scholarship (HPSP) to pay for med school once you get in to med school, but there are no military scholarships for post-bac/SMP/pre-med programs. If you go into the military prior to med school, you will have to finish your period of obligated service before they'll let you go to med school. Going into the military for the sole purpose of paying for your post-bac will only delay your entry into med school by many years and you could be miserable unless your only motivation is to serve.

Veterans can use the post-911 GI Bill to pay for post-bac or any other college courses as long as they use the funds within 10 years of their discharge. You must serve a minimum of 3 years active duty or 6 years in the guard/reserve to qualify for this benefit.

Even the guard/reserves usually have an initial active duty commitment that can range from a minimum of 6 months to as much as 2 years while you train in your MOS (Military Occupational Specialty). You can also be activated & deployed for up to 2 years even as a reservist.

There is a tuition assistance program for the National Guard (my brother was in the Guard), but I don't think it will be enough to cover half of the cost of a post-bac program even at a state college.

Your best bet is to get into med school first, then explore your options with the military if milmed is really what you want to do.

Thanks for response


I have been interested in the military. I did JROTC in high school and since then maintained the interest for the discipline, physical and patriotic aspect of it. Originally I thought ROTC while in college would be a good idea but for reasons you have already mentioned and others I did not. So you pretty much answered my question. I was wondering if the best thing would be to first get into med school and THEN possibly do reserve.


Oh yeah I am 28.

  • dkclayton Said:
I was wondering if the best thing would be to first get into med school and THEN possibly do reserve.

Oh yeah I am 28.



Based on your age and prior JROTC you have plenty of time to make this work.

ROTC is really a program for obtaining a bachelors degree for those interested in becoming line officers.

HPSP is your best bet if you already have a bachelors degree and are seeking a health professions degree. HPSP student = reservist. You get the same annual reserve pay the ready (regular) reservists get, but you don't have the same commitments the ready reservists have: you are not assigned to a reserve unit; you serve your 45 active duty days a year in 1 shot rather than spread out over 1 weekend a month & a 3 week tour per year; you cannot be recalled or deployed while in school; you get a stipend of $2088/mo the remaining 320 days/year you're in school + $20,000 bonus (which commits you to 4 years active duty post residency regardless of scholarship length); plus all tuition, books & medical equipment reimbursed. Your only mission is to do well in school. You don't get any of those benefits in the ready reserve.

There are other programs too. HSCP is a Navy only program where you go through school on active duty as an E-6 (E-7 if your prior service E-6 or above) with full pay & benefits including tuition assistance. It is like HPSP except there is no scholarship component to it and no reimbursables. The National Guard also has a health professions program, but I don't know the details of it. I believe there is some recruiting work involved.

Finally, the military has its own medical school at USUHS in Bethesda, MD. You get full active duty pay & benefits as an O-1 and every aspect of your schooling is free.
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well this is great help. I will look more into all of this. thanks a bunch!

TicTacDoh gives good info above. The $20k bonus is new since I signed up for HPSP in 2002. Some things I would add.


– Only sign up for the military if you want to be in the military. You will be compensated as a practicing doc to pay back your loans. That said, I definitely work with docs who are doing their 4 years then separating to return to civilian practice, and the vast majority are great physicians (there are bad apples in every large population)


– Military medicine has many practice options available. Traditional clinic practice is the most common. There are also academics. Then there are unique opportunities such as flight medicine in which you work side by side with the pilots that you provide care for. There is also the command track, in which you serve as hospital leadership. I am currently debating between the latter two.


There are specific health care recruiters for all services. While you can talk to them about the programs, you can’t apply for the scholarship until you have been accepted to med school.


One thing to consider is specialty selection. Each of the branches of service will publish a list each spring of the specialty slots that are needed for them. For example, my 4th year, there were 4 slots for neurology-- 2 for military residency and 2 for civilian residency. I was given one of the civilian residency slots. If there were more than 4 people applying for those slots, then they would have been given an internship slot with the option to apply for a few PGY-2 slots or work as a GMO (general medical officer). That happens a lot with competitive specialties such as derm. In the AF, you only do a derm residency after serving a 3yr tour as a GMO. My point of all this is that you have to consider the impact on your specialty selection as well as where you will do your residency.


There is also the FAP (financial assistance program) that is a loan repayment program. The other neurologist that I worked with entered service this way. He signed up for FAP around match time of his 4th year. I know he has a 4year commitment. I don’t know how much money he was given. He was able to pick his specialty, then go to the Air Force and see if they needed him.


Hope this helps. Let us know if you have more questions.

I am currently in the AFMS and I am considering utilizing HPSP to finance med. School, however, will more than likely opt not to, unless I can find feedback from the other services that outweight the following cons that I’ve witnessed in outpatient clinics (majority of the AF): Extensive inefficiency, ALHTA, extra duties, nurse-run Ops squadrons (which can be oppressive, i.e. Having to make up appts for attending mandatory mtgs, etc…) and the artificial constraints imposed by leaders or commanders who are not clinicians or providers, same Docs & extenders getting tagged for deployment every cycle, while some (profile hoarders) scate

I am currently in the AFMS and I am considering utilizing HPSP to finance med. School, however, will more than likely opt not to, unless I can find feedback from the other services that outweight the following cons that I’ve witnessed in outpatient clinics (majority of the AF): Extensive inefficiency, ALHTA, extra duties, nurse-run Ops squadrons (which can be oppressive, i.e. Having to make up appts for attending mandatory mtgs, etc…) and the artificial constraints imposed by leaders or commanders who are not clinicians or providers, same Docs & extenders getting tagged for deployment every cycle, while some (profile hoarders) skate by and do not deploy even after “being in” for 16 yrs. Please note that experience is purely based on outpatient clinics in the AFMS, I would therefore like some feedback from anyone w/experience in AFMS in-patient facilities/specialty care, Army or Navy Medicine. Also, I have been consistently told that being a GMO is an unavoidable component of Navy Medicine, i.e. the majority of graduates perform a GMO tour, is that accurate? At last, where can I find the list of residency slots published each Spring by the services? Thx for all and any feedback. (sorry for the previous and incomplete post).


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I’ve used several EPRs, including AHLTA, and each has their strengths and weaknesses. AHLTA sits in the middle. As for nurses commanding ops squadrons, that is primarily because the vast majority of docs want to remain in the clinic and not command. I am planning on going down the command “vector,” but that won’t be for another 4-5 years that I will put my name on the squadron command list.


As for demands on my time, I see about the same number of patients daily that someone in academic practice sees (but they only have clinic 1-2 days per week whereas I see pts 5 days. I see nowhere near the number of patients I would have to see if I were in private practice. Yes, there are extraneous demands such as writing performance reports, but that comes with being in leadership positions and accepting that responsibility.


The one thing that I can say is the area I am least happy with is call. I am in a section with only 2 of us, therefore, it is expected that you be on call 15 days of the month, requiring you to limit your activities to a 30 min response radius. In private practice, I could choose a situation with limited call. Guess I am ofthe new generation of docs that wants a life outside of the hospital,


The patient population is equivalent to the civilian population in Iowa and much better than the inner city population in Baltimore.


Being in a socialized medicine situation, I don’t have to worry about arguing with insurance companies.


Hope these random thoughts help.

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