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Preview: Comments on: So, you want the Navy to pay for your Med School

Comments on: So, you want the Navy to pay for your Med School

Ramblings of an Emergency Physician in Texas

Last Build Date: Sat, 02 Dec 2017 13:18:31 +0000


By: GruntDoc

Fri, 23 Sep 2005 22:56:00 +0000

Vacation / Best Of My gift to you is that I'm taking a vacation, so all those wasted hours refreshing to see if I've posted yet can be used to a more productive purpose, but only for a week. I'll be back early next...

By: GruntDoc

Fri, 30 Apr 2004 04:15:54 +0000

Matt, thanks for including your pet peeve in this discussion. I'm certain this is the forum to change this policy.

By: Matt

Thu, 29 Apr 2004 20:10:10 +0000

If there is ANY rational basis for preventing someone from giving medical and surgical treatment to our nation's soldiers on the basis of his **sexual orientation** (as opposed to physical or mental ability), I'd really like to hear it. "Standards" are supposed to HAVE A PURPOSE, to make a more capable workforce, not needlessly exclude. We're at war, for God's sake, time to stop screwing around. Gay doctors and nurses deal with the civilian populace day in, day out, to no ill effect.

By: maura

Sun, 25 Apr 2004 15:59:24 +0000

What a tremendous opportunity, to learn and to serve. Thank-you for the info. I may just take 'em up on it.

By: CHenry

Sun, 25 Apr 2004 00:24:13 +0000

For another view of the costs and benefits of the HPSP and USUHS pathway to funding a medical education, you can read Admiral Koenig's column in U.S. Medicine of November, 2003: The view from the top, no free lunch here either.

By: GruntDoc

Fri, 23 Apr 2004 10:05:38 +0000

CHenry: Nice additions, and thanks. Graham: Good: they have standards and tell you what they are up front. You are not required to agree, you are required to conform.

By: Graham

Fri, 23 Apr 2004 05:07:43 +0000

Bad: If you're gay, you can't apply unless you're in the closet!

By: CHenry

Fri, 23 Apr 2004 02:36:50 +0000

I went the same route, HPSP for 4 years, internship (NAVHOSP PORTSVA), flight surgery, then out. Your observations are correct. I would add a few more: The program is a good way to avoid big school debts, and that is really important, especially now. You might like the service and want to stay for the length of a usual full career, but most scholarship recipients do not do this. If you are interested in a desirable and highly competitive residency and are yourself a good candidate, you may still have to wait several years to get an available slot. Or not. Opportunity can disappear with one budget cycle in the military; they can and have closed whole, thriving residency programs in one year when projected manning in a particular specialty dictated that they did not need the number of specialists they were training. Remember this if you want dermatology, orthopedics or ophthalmology. Don't count on outservice funded training for residency or fellowship. It exists, but oportunities can appear and disappear almost at random. You have to be persistent and lucky. The U.S. Air Force is the best service to go through if you want a deferment to do a civilian residency. There is no guarantee you will get this, though, and if there is a need for a GMO, they have your number. Remember also that you are on orders when you go to outservice training, and those orders can be changed. You might not get to finish what you started the way you planned. On the other hand, you are far more likely to be assigned to a GMO billet out of the Navy or Army program, especially if you ultimately want a surgical residency spot. Most recruiters really don't have a clue about the finer points of the HPSP program, or the follow-on experience. They are out to get competitive applicants and to fill their quotas. They won't necessarily lie to you, but you won't necessarily get the whole story, either. The big downside, in my opinion, is that the services often treat graduate medical education less as a necessary requirement to the complete formation of a trained physician and more as a reward that can be withheld in order to compel doctors to do work that should in this point in time be done by physicians who have completed their residency training. The reason the services do this is because they can and because they do not face the level of medicolegal scruitiny that civilian clinics and hospitals do, where complete training to at least the level of board eligibility if not board certification now almost universally the standard. It is a shame things still work this way, and anyone going into the HPSP programs really ought to know about this. I know the Navy always liked to wave their JCAHO accreditations around (another rant) and would say, truthfully albeit disingenuously, that all its doctors were fully licensed, counting on the ignorance of their public to not understand that this didn't necessarily mean that all their doctors were fully trained or board certified. I don't regret my decision to go the military route; many of my classmates from medical school are writing big checks every month to repay school loans and I am not. But the scholarship does come with a debt of service to be repaid, on the government's terms, and that is not necessarily pain-free.