Navy scholarship

I was just wondering if anyone else around here had applied for/accepted one of the military scholarships. A couple years ago I contacted the Navy because I was interested in their program. Boy do they know how to keep in touch. They have tracked my phone number through two moves and a housesitting gig. I actually appreciate their persistence, and because of that I am still planning to apply and am really quite interested. Of course there is no telling whether I will get offered a scholarship or not, but anyway I thought I’d ask around.
As a medical school applicant I am pretty non-traditional. As a NAVY RECRUIT??? I have no experience whatsover with any branch of the military. I wonder if anyone here with military background or who has applied for one of these scholarships could share some of their experience? I don’t even know what questions I should be asking, aside from the factual ones about the scholarship. I know this request is vague, but I’ll be interested in anything people have to say, and if anyone’s interested in the topic, I’m sure I’ll have more specific questions later too.

I always give this advice to anyone considering the military route (having served in the Army and married to a soldier I can offer my insight) if you are joing do it because you want to serve your country. Never consider this route for the scholarship and less debt because it may bite you in the arse. Remember first and foremost you will be a soldier/sailor/marine/airman then you are a physician. The needs of the military will always COME first period. So if you truly want to join to serve it is an excellent option with great training but remember you will be deployed, you may end up in Iraq, you may get shot at, and you may die serving.

Thanks efex! I posted a response to this last week, but it didn’t go through. I am trying to think over exactly the thing you mentioned. Today I am having lunch with the scholarship recruiter. Hopefully he will give me the low-down, although I get the feeling he’s trying hard to sell the program.
There are lots of aspects of the navy that really appeal to me. I am more ambivalent about serving my country. I have to give this more thought I guess.

In addition to the horrible reality of death of you are sent to a forward area to serve, also check into the amount of time required to serve in order to “pay back” your scholarship. If I remember correctly, every year you serve doesn’t “count” and you actually spend more time in the military (year wise) than number of years they paid for your education. If you don’t have plans to retire from the military, that may be a consideration as well.

A very good friend of mine did the navy route for his medical education (thoracic surgery), ended up doing a residency in a Bethesda, MD Navy Hospital. His first assignment was in Japan. He has no regrets, but he was also a military brat and knew what military life would be like for his family.

I am currently on an Air Force scholarship for med school, spent five years on active duty in the Army after college, and am married to an active duty Army officer. I’ve seen the military from lots of perspectives. I never thought I would miss it when I got out in 2000, but I ended up missing the esprit-de-corps and sense of mission that comes with serving in the military. I have accepted the fact that as a physician, there is a good possibility that I will be underpaid compared to my civilian counterparts. However, money can’t make up for the satisfaction of serving those who serve, especially the enlisted kids. I know it sounds cheesy, but it’s true.
All three services work differently, but if you have any questions about the scholarship in general, throw them my way and I’ll try to answer them.

Tara thank you so much for staying with the military! it is folks like yourself that kept my husband alive…I cannot thank you guys enough! BTW some of the best physicians that I have met are military doctors…never think that because you are going HPSP or USHUS that you will get subpar training. Some of these guys are really amazing and can do procedures while the bullets are flying…

Thanks for the perspectives! I think it’s going to be a really tough decision if it ever comes to where I’d have to decide about this. I had lunch with the Navy rep yesterday and he was super helpful. No pressure, but lots of info.

The specifics are that you basically have to work for the Navy one year for every year they support you in med school. This would start after residency. I was really psyched to learn more about the opportunities in the Navy–living overseas, flight medicine, underwater medicine. The thing that’s holding me back is the idea of making a long term commitment to something that wouldn’t even start for another ten years. I know so little about military employment opportunities that I’m not sure how it would effect other interests of mine, such as eventually working for the World Health Org. or Docs w/o Borders. (I do have to keep age in mind a little bit.) The thing is, the Navy appeals to me for some of the same reasons as these groups, although of course they are very different.

I would love to serve. It’s just that I might want to serve more than only the United States. That is the hard part. I will keep thinking about it (the application process is slow), and keep people posted with questions I might have later on. I am sorry if I sound really naive about this subject–but I am interested and want to learn as much as possible. I really admire the people that have done this. Thanks everyone!