hubbabubba123

New Member
Joined
Feb 27, 2020
Messages
2
I am currently a high school student attempting to plan out my general career education plan. I have been interested in military service for several years now, and am also looking to have tuition paid for through programs of the US military (air force).
While I am not opposed to serving some years in the military, I definitely to not see myself pursuing a military career, hoping to attend medical school and work in a hospital.
I've heard that it can be difficult to get right into medical school after ROTC, and vice versa for a military college. I would much prefer to complete my years of service as a doctor, being able to use my skills for my career in the military.
Those who have gone through this process, could you outline your experience? Thank you!
 

Herman_Snerd

Member
Joined
Nov 27, 2017
Messages
651
You may wish to explore the AFHPSP scholarship. Air Force ROTC cadets can also apply for the Armed Forces Health Professions Scholarship Program (AFHPSP) that allows students to attend a civilian medical school of their choice. Students must apply and be accepted to 1. medical school on their own and 2. for the AFHPSP scholarship separately. If accepted to both, students will be granted an educational delay to finish their active duty service commitment after finishing medical school. Here is a link: https://www.airforcemedicine.af.mil/Media-Center/Fact-Sheets/Display/Article/425437/hpsp-fact-sheet/

Hope that helps/ good luck and thank you for your willingness/ interest to serve.
 

AROTC Parent

10-Year Member
Joined
Nov 3, 2009
Messages
624
I am currently a high school student attempting to plan out my general career education plan. I have been interested in military service for several years now, and am also looking to have tuition paid for through programs of the US military (air force).
While I am not opposed to serving some years in the military, I definitely to not see myself pursuing a military career, hoping to attend medical school and work in a hospital.
I've heard that it can be difficult to get right into medical school after ROTC, and vice versa for a military college. I would much prefer to complete my years of service as a doctor, being able to use my skills for my career in the military.
Those who have gone through this process, could you outline your experience? Thank you!
Related thread
hubba - read the related thread.

Currently AFROTC and HPSP with Family Medicine puts you at age 37+ when finished with your commitment if you pass all 'gates' the first time with no delays. The minimum time on Active Duty would be 11 years after Medical School if you do AFROTC (4 yr obligation), HPSP (4 yr obligation), and Family Medicine (3 yr residency on Active Duty). There are many variables that can increase the timeline and few that decrease it. I'm not sure if 11 years meets your criteria of '... serving some years in the military, ...'

Participate in AFROTC if you want to serve in the Air Force regardless of career field.

Keep your options open - it's a long commitment to be an AF Physician through ROTC. The service obligation for scholarship programs like AFROTC and HPSP could increase too.
 

Impulsive

Member
Joined
Feb 4, 2019
Messages
785
I am currently a high school student attempting to plan out my general career education plan. I have been interested in military service for several years now, and am also looking to have tuition paid for through programs of the US military (air force).
While I am not opposed to serving some years in the military, I definitely to not see myself pursuing a military career, hoping to attend medical school and work in a hospital.
I've heard that it can be difficult to get right into medical school after ROTC, and vice versa for a military college. I would much prefer to complete my years of service as a doctor, being able to use my skills for my career in the military.
Those who have gone through this process, could you outline your experience? Thank you!

It sounds suspiciously like you want the military to fund your college and med school education but aren't so sure you really want to serve in the military other than medical fields? If that is the case, get a scholarship to a top ranked college, pass your med boards, go to medical school, then Direct Commission into the armed services as Reserve Commissioned Officer. You can then serve in the military, do pretty much as much AD as you want and not have to commit 12 years of your life after college graduation to the military. If you want to really serve, attend ROTC, or a SA, do your obligated service, attend med school on the military's dime and commit to a career in the service. Please don't say you want to serve, but only as a doctor, VERY few get that opportunity. Be realistic, if you want the services to pay for your education, expect to serve in a line or combat unit, THEN apply to USUHS and be prepared to serve additional obligated service. Having the military pay for college and med school requires a "career" type of individual, not someone who wants their schooling paid for without career service goals. JMHO, but do not plan to get med school directly upon graduation from college, not many billets are out there, and those that are require 10+ years AD commitment to get there..:)
 

Devil Doc

Teufel Doc Boot BGO
Joined
Apr 25, 2018
Messages
4,767
It sounds suspiciously like you want the military to fund your college and med school education but aren't so sure you really want to serve in the military other than medical fields?...Be realistic, if you want the services to pay for your education, expect to serve in a line or combat unit, THEN apply to USUHS and be prepared to serve additional obligated service. Having the military pay for college and med school requires a "career" type of individual, not someone who wants their schooling paid for without career service goals.

Great post and advice. If I help pay for one's education I want some payback.

Doing it with a happy heart; not required.
 
Joined
Feb 7, 2020
Messages
21
My spouse did the Army ROTC Scholarship to pay for his undergraduate degree at a civilian college, then again did the Army ROTC scholarship to attend medical school, again civilian. For residency, he did 5 straight years at an Army Medical Hospital. He was active duty during that time but could not be deployed since he was in training. Once he finished his residency, he was stationed at another Army Medical center for an additional 8 years as payback for his 8 years of ROTC scholarship. During that time, he was deployed 3 times. It is a long road no matter how you go about it. You need to consider if you want to spend all that time paying back the military, or do you want to have thousands of dollars in loan debt to pay back from medical school? He was almost 40 when he was completely finished his military service payback.
 

eastcoastdad

Member
Joined
Dec 28, 2019
Messages
34
I know this is extremely premature and almost an impossible question for a kid in high school but you need to consider what type of training you might be interested in because the subsequent training after medical school is vastly different for medical versus surgical sub specialties. Medical school is the first step but it really doesn't matter that much where you go as long as you do well. By far the most important differentiating factor among doctors is where you did your residency. The complex surgical subs will require almost a decade of residency training which typically encompasses a year or two of basic science research within the specialty. After that is complete it will take at least 3-5yrs as a junior attending operating before your "competent" to handle all types of cases. Something to think about while going through the process.
 

Devil Doc

Teufel Doc Boot BGO
Joined
Apr 25, 2018
Messages
4,767
My spouse did the Army ROTC Scholarship to pay for his undergraduate degree at a civilian college, then again did the Army ROTC scholarship to attend medical school, again civilian. For residency, he did 5 straight years at an Army Medical Hospital. He was active duty during that time but could not be deployed since he was in training. Once he finished his residency, he was stationed at another Army Medical center for an additional 8 years as payback for his 8 years of ROTC scholarship. During that time, he was deployed 3 times. It is a long road no matter how you go about it. You need to consider if you want to spend all that time paying back the military, or do you want to have thousands of dollars in loan debt to pay back from medical school? He was almost 40 when he was completely finished his military service payback.
That's the payback I'm talking about.
 
Joined
Nov 16, 2019
Messages
130
Do as much research about the ROTC and HPSP scholarships if you're iffy on your service obligation. For med school, you could also attend the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences (USUHS)-2nd LTs from all branches attend there for a more military focused medical school. The following is information I researched when planning out my education/career goals.

Some differences in HPSP and USUHS include:
  • Commissioning as a 2nd LT and getting paid as one at USUHS vs a stipend similar to ROTC with HPSP
  • 7 year service commitment at USUHS vs 4 years with HPSP (with a 4 year AD/4 year IRR additional commitment from ROTC for a total of 15 years USUHS and 12 years HPSP)
    • Anyone correct me if I'm wrong, but I do believe service obligations begin once your residency is over/when you're board certified

Doing HPSP/USUHS can actually put you well ahead of the civilian world in terms of pay. The hypothetical 3 year residency at Walter Reed would look like this:
  • Yr 1: $89,904, $37,308 of which would be non-taxed
  • Yr 2: $89,904, $37,308 of which would be non-taxed 3
  • Yr 3: $96,924, $37,308 of which would be non-taxed
5 year residency would keep going up:
  • Yr 4: $101,652, $37,308 of which would be non-taxed
  • Yr 5: $114, 216, $39,324 of which would be non-taxed (would be O-4 this yr)
Another plus side to HPSP/USUHS is not having to deal with the ridiculousness of insurance companies and billing. You wont be up late after seeing patients dinking around with insurance companies and wont have to worry about denying people a specific test because they're not covered. It is however a double edged sword because when you get out you won't have the medicine as a business experience like your civilian peers.

The following were great videos I found too-check them out:



Like already mentioned, service shouldn't be a make or break for applying to ROTC/HPSP/USUHS. Look forward to the life experiences made at AMEDD BOLC (or AF equivalent), or the little to no debt after all your education. I know I will. I mean, sh*t, the government could potentially be spending a half-a-million dollars on your education! Hope this helped.
 
Last edited:

AROTC Parent

10-Year Member
Joined
Nov 3, 2009
Messages
624
Doing HPSP/USUHS can actually put you well ahead of the civilian world in terms of pay. The hypothetical 3 year residency at Walter Reed would look like this:
  • Yr 1: $89,904, $37,308 of which would be non-taxed
  • Yr 2: $89,904, $37,308 of which would be non-taxed 3
  • Yr 3: $96,924, $37,308 of which would be non-taxed
5 year residency would keep going up:
  • Yr 4: $101,652, $37,308 of which would be non-taxed
  • Yr 5: $114, 216, $39,324 of which would be non-taxed (would be O-4 this yr)
Like already mentioned, service shouldn't be a make or break for applying to ROTC/HPSP/USUHS. Look forward to the life experiences made at AMEDD BOLC (or AF equivalent), or the little to no debt after all your education. I know I will. I mean, sh*t, the government could potentially be spending a half-a-million dollars on your education! Hope this helped.
JBfortunecookie1
Please do the math beyond the training period - to include the payback period - look at civilian orthopedic surgeon salaries in comparison. I used ortho because you used a 5 year residency in the example. It is rarely (ever?) a net positive financially over civilian training and practice. The financials shouldn't be a significant factor to choose the military. You have to want to serve.

AMEDD is getting smaller with less need for many medical specialties and the transition to DHA. If ROTC is the starting point you must be willing to accept the risk of not getting into medical school and serving as a 'line/staff' officer. Probably the worst risk is committing yourself to service as a physician and not having complete control over your residency training type (military, civilian sponsored, civilian deferred) or specialty of choice.

You can't just say I want to train in a civilian residency program - needs of the service will prevail. You can't just say I am going to be an orthopedic surgeon - there has to be sufficient need projected in the year you will finish training. The numbers are very small for each specialty compared to those having no AD military commitment and applying through the regular match. Army orthopedic surgery for example trains about 19 per year with about 30 applicants. EM trains about 32 per year with about 46 applicants. You might get lucky. You might not.

Entering the service later as a licensed physician with loan repayment and accession bonus is also an option. AMEDD incentive pay and retention bonus numbers for this year changed for many specialties - not for the better compared to civilian salaries. Go into this with facts and keep your options open. If you want to serve - go for it.
 
Joined
Nov 16, 2019
Messages
130
JBfortunecookie1
Please do the math beyond the training period - to include the payback period - look at civilian orthopedic surgeon salaries in comparison. I used ortho because you used a 5 year residency in the example. It is rarely (ever?) a net positive financially over civilian training and practice. The financials shouldn't be a significant factor to choose the military. You have to want to serve.

AMEDD is getting smaller with less need for many medical specialties and the transition to DHA. If ROTC is the starting point you must be willing to accept the risk of not getting into medical school and serving as a 'line/staff' officer. Probably the worst risk is committing yourself to service as a physician and not having complete control over your residency training type (military, civilian sponsored, civilian deferred) or specialty of choice.

You can't just say I want to train in a civilian residency program - needs of the service will prevail. You can't just say I am going to be an orthopedic surgeon - there has to be sufficient need projected in the year you will finish training. The numbers are very small for each specialty compared to those having no AD military commitment and applying through the regular match. Army orthopedic surgery for example trains about 19 per year with about 30 applicants. EM trains about 32 per year with about 46 applicants. You might get lucky. You might not.

Entering the service later as a licensed physician with loan repayment and accession bonus is also an option. AMEDD incentive pay and retention bonus numbers for this year changed for many specialties - not for the better compared to civilian salaries. Go into this with facts and keep your options open. If you want to serve - go for it.
I was just presenting the OP with the information I had researched regarding a medical path in the military. Whether from the internet or an AMEDD recruiter (the one out of Milwaukee, WI specifically), the information I presented was absolutely valid to the data available, and my points of interest in pay and the service obligation in no way states that he should JUST do it to get his education paid for, but that there are advantages to choosing the military over not.

Also, why wonder if OP doesn't get into med school? If he's planning his future out in high school, I'm sure there's a commitment there to work his butt off to get into a med school or USUHS. Lastly, I was technically correct in a sense with the pay structure. The student doesn't have any education-based debt to deal with, and is getting paid at the same time. Compare that to civilians with six figure debt 10 years after their own education is over. Sure, some civilian doctors will generally have a higher salary when practicing, but they'll have to deal with that debt.

OP is also considering Air Force, not Army AMEDD. I know the Air Force generally has larger numbers for the medical field. That is why OP needs to do research on his options. I never said he shouldn't want to serve, however, there are some significant advantages to taking that route for his education. It's good that OP is thinking ahead, and so am I. These "what if" scenarios shouldn't make or break an individual from choosing the military path into medicine. Should bumps in his road of life occur, it'll be up to that individual to "adapt, improvise, and overcome" his situations. Thanks for reading and good luck OP!
 

AROTC Parent

10-Year Member
Joined
Nov 3, 2009
Messages
624
I was just presenting the OP with the information I had researched regarding a medical path in the military. Whether from the internet or an AMEDD recruiter (the one out of Milwaukee, WI specifically), the information I presented was absolutely valid to the data available, and my points of interest in pay and the service obligation in no way states that he should JUST do it to get his education paid for, but that there are advantages to choosing the military over not. Your data is valid for a limited time view. Look at the whole picture. The data is available online for pay during service for a physician. My point is that there is not a financial advantage to accepting ROTC and HPSP when comparing the entire payback period to a civilian physician.

Also, why wonder if OP doesn't get into med school? If he's planning his future out in high school, I'm sure there's a commitment there to work his butt off to get into a med school or USUHS. Because a large percent of students change their goals, especially premeds. A large percent of medical school applicants are not accepted - 40%?. It's a crap shoot - even good applicants don't get accepted. Go look at the WAMC posts on med school websites like Student Doctor Network. Lastly, I was technically correct in a sense with the pay structure. Good work! Correct for residency pay - it might even be higher if you didn't include incentive pay for PGY2+. The student doesn't have any education-based debt to deal with, and is getting paid at the same time. Compare that to civilians with six figure debt 10 years after their own education is over. Sure, some civilian doctors will generally have a higher salary when practicing, but they'll have to deal with that debt. Compare the civilian physician pay 7 years out from residency compared to that of an AD physician. If a civilian physician (with the exception of low paying specialties like Pathology, Peds, FM, ..) lived on the pay scale of an AD Physician they could pay down the debt earlier than the 10 year mark - some choose not to.

OP is also considering Air Force, not Army AMEDD. I know the Air Force generally has larger numbers for the medical field. Source? Really I would like your source. That is why OP needs to do research on his options. Agreed. I never said he shouldn't want to serve, however, there are some significant advantages to taking that route for his education. What advantages? Financial is not one of them. Serve because you want to serve not because you will be a physician serving. It's good that OP is thinking ahead, and so am I. Agreed. But don't believe everything the AMEDD recruiter or YouTube HPSP student present. These "what if" scenarios shouldn't make or break an individual from choosing the military path into medicine. It should if you are unable to practice medicine or your specialty of choice is not available the year you apply. Should bumps in his road of life occur, it'll be up to that individual to "adapt, improvise, and overcome" his situations. You are absolutely right. Thanks for reading and good luck OP!
 

Humey

5-Year Member
Joined
Jun 21, 2016
Messages
1,842
I guess the issue is you want your college and or Medical school to be paid by the Military. As others have mentioned there ways to do this. I would assume it isnt easy and there will be lots of people who have the same idea. I think by doing it this way and then paying it back by doing service seems like a win win for everyone. However, as other have mentioned, it is a risk going that path. Now the better path is go to civilian college and medical school and then join the military. My client's son did that although he did it with the law. He finished his law degree, passed the bar and joined the Marines (crazy guy). You go do the same although my impression is that the end goal isnt military service but rather you are using the military service as a way to do medical school. I have no problem with that, but it is a risker path
 

hubbabubba123

New Member
Joined
Feb 27, 2020
Messages
2
I know this is extremely premature and almost an impossible question for a kid in high school but you need to consider what type of training you might be interested in because the subsequent training after medical school is vastly different for medical versus surgical sub specialties. Medical school is the first step but it really doesn't matter that much where you go as long as you do well. By far the most important differentiating factor among doctors is where you did your residency. The complex surgical subs will require almost a decade of residency training which typically encompasses a year or two of basic science research within the specialty. After that is complete it will take at least 3-5yrs as a junior attending operating before your "competent" to handle all types of cases. Something to think about while going through the process.
You actually nailed it: At the moment I'm looking to go into a surgical specialty. Thanks for the advice!
 
Top