NHSC and military scholarships...anecdata?

Hello, everyone. Inspired by another poster’s successful loan repayment via NHSC, I have a couple of questions. I am FWIW very interested in primary care.

  1. I am assuming that if I wouldn’t go to a rural area if it came down to it, the NHSC scholarship is not for me. (Personally I could…my long-term partner wouldn’t, for particular concrete reasons that aren’t going to change. And I wouldn’t want to start my “personal life” over at age 44 from Panna Maria, TX.)

    I know that people can and do get jobs in underserved urban areas (my venue of choice) or small towns that are far from rural. I know that it is possible to persuade a clinic to do the paperwork to become an NHSC site. I am quite aggressive when it comes to job hunting, etc. I just wouldn’t want to bet on this. Does anyone have stories to make me think again? Or are my instincts correct?

  2. All this makes me think I’d be a good candidate for NHSC loan repayment. Is it possible thereby to pay off ALL one’s educational loans, or just medical school? Any general thoughts on NHSC loan repayment?

  3. Students to Service is in beta–does anyone know anyone who’s trying it out?

  4. I had ruled out the various military scholarships a priori because I am 35 now (36 when starting school, God willing) and couldn’t pass a physical (read between the lines). Is there an angle here I’m overlooking? Whether or not the lifestyle/culture would work is another matter.

    Thanks, everyone! I’ve read the fine print on the NHSC and would be prepared to read it for the military programs if I had a shot. What I’m looking for are personal stories or close secondhand stories. Thank you!

My mentor started out under the Navy HPSP and then was able to switch to the NHSC. His plan was to go full active duty in the PHS but that didn’t work out…HOWEVER he was able to get two jobs working at NHSC sites. This qualifies him for the loan repayment but he doesn’t have much of a loan. Neither location is rural nor suburban but urban. From what he told me there isn’t a problem finding sites in urban underserved areas. Most people don’t want to work in the “ghetto.” However he works 3 weeks per month and made $400k last year in IM.

Find a doctor in NHSC or “in the system” and go buy them a coffee and see if they’ll mentor you. I’m told that there are pleny of oppurtunities and money with of course having to deal with working out in the boonies or avoiding getting shanked in the hood.

I am against HPSP. If you must go into the military then do so AFTER matching into your residency or once you’re board certified after residency. Now I say this as a 10 year Navy vet and having spent 12 years as a military contractor. I’ve met toooo many physicians who had zero interest in serving the military and only did so because they took the scholarship. I opine that it is far better to go into the military after you’re fully trained and have more of a chip to play than from HPSP.

I agree with crooz with respect to HPSP. Go get the specialty training of your choice, then evaluate options if still considering the military.

If you are still considering the possibility of becoming a military doctor, don’t count yourself out so easily on age; the military is always short on doctors, especially for service units that deploy. Perhaps the immediate demand has decreased since our presence in Iraq has done the same, but the Commandant of the Marine Corps wants the Marines back in the Pacific front as a maritime presence, and that requires doctors, i.e., when they pull from posts then vacancies open and that’s when the waivers and incentives start rolling out.

I can tell you that those who join on the premise of receiving a due benefit are usually sorely disappointed, with the exception of a few. One of the first Navy doctors I took orders from joined for the scholarship money, was in for a minimum of 13 years at the height of Haditha, and ended up loving his job as a general medical officer with a deploying Marine infantry battalion. The people who tended to love serving, despite all of the garbage that you have to put up with every day, were people who joined just for sake of joining, i.e. with little expectation and knowing that would get little in return. That and the guys who were lucky enough to make it to special operations battalions.

If what interests you most is the cash, then it is probably a terrible idea. If it lines up with the goals that you have for yourself, then it is probably an awesome idea with a great benefit. There really isn’t an in between for many.

NHSC paid every penny for me. In return, I am giving them 2 years of service at a HRSA site. I am NOT out in the woods. I am in a small city ( Albany) - There are sites in New Haven, etc. I think the commitment for doctors is 4 years. Community healthcare is highly rewarding - in my opinion. Check our website - Whitney M. Young Health Services - or to see another view - Cornell-Scott Hill in New Haven.

Thanks to everyone for their thoughts!

Vicki, to clarify, you did the NHSC scholarship, not loan repayment, correct? As an LMSW?

Loan repayment…as a LCSW-R. Got hired at a HRSA site, 6 months later, ( when my probation was over) applied for loan repayment. Got approved and made a member of the NHSC. Woke up one day in December of last year to find the FULL amount of what was owed on my student loans deposited to my bank account. Forwarded it over to the Student Loan company immediately. Paid off. My service commitment ends on 9/27/2013.

Thanks, guys and gals, for your thoughts. This is confirming my suspicion that NHSC loan repayment is the way to go. I am keeping an open mind about the scholarship. But in addition to reaching a certain age myself, my long-term SO is SIGNIFICANTLY older than me. He will almost certainly (with good reason) not feel like doing a third stint in ANOTHER random place after (God willing) following me to med school and residency.

I especially appreciate the military-related feedback. My old family friend, chuckle, was funded by the Army and cheerfully served as a pathologist at Walter Reade in the '70s. He does not understand why I don’t go this route without thinking twice. I keep trying to tell him that the deployment outlook for a general internist in the '20s(!) is a little different.

Onward! Thanks again.

Could anyone share a list of terms for getting a scholarship here? I am interested in this opportunity but I am already a student someplace else and I think I fall under different terms because of it. I am familiar with some details about scholarships from " title=“http://www.bestcustomwriting.com]” target="_blank"http://www.bestcustomwriting.com] writing services at BestCustomWriting.com but I know I need to do some more research about it.