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HPSP (Navy or AF)

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Has anyone on here applied for or received the health professions scholarship from either the Navy or the Air Force? If so, I'd love to hear about it. Stats, branch, school, pay, anything relevant

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I am actually going to a recruiter this week to speak to someone about exactly this. After they pay for your education you owe them 3 years I believe (could be 2, but I don't think so). I'll get back to you when I have more information. They also give you a living allowance once you are signed up/before you have graduated.

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I'm a Navy HPSPer. I can't remember my undergrad GPA but it was a High 3.6. GRE=1120 and I had roughly 2000 hrs of HCE working in the OR and working with developmentally disabled. I think what helped me the most was my personal statement. There was know doubt that I REALLY want to serve in the military, not just get school paid for.

 

Let me know what specific questions you have.

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Metallicat

 

I have 8 years prior service Army (infantry with the 82d and as an SF Medic with 5th Group). I have been out since '96 but I am heading back to PA school and looking at the Navy to pick up the tab. Yes, it is a bit mercenary. But, I can't stand debt.

 

That being said, I want to get a good idea of what being a PA in the Navy entails in the current operational environment.

 

Specifically:

How often and how long are deployments

How well does the navy take care of families

What type of patient mix do you see on a usual basis

What are the overall pros and cons that you have found

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I just completed the AF HPSP. I graduated in August and am about to go on active duty in October. Some of the specs:

 

- there were only 5 scholarships in the country when I commissioned, but I think that is up to 10 now

- the process with take at LEAST 1 year to be complete - you will have to get a physical at MEPS with all of the enlisted personnel, letters of rec, interviews, and then there is the scroll that will be the longest - that is when you get approved, and is only done once a year

- once you get approved, the AF scholarship is for 1 year and you owe them 3 in return

- costs covered include full tuition, stipend of about 2000 per mo, insurance if you need it and books etc.

- I also got a $400 allowance for uniforms, but have since bought them and they are costing me closer to $1500

 

overall, going through AFIT/HPSP was very easy, satisfying and left me with much less debt. so, yes I think it was worth it, but you have to be absolutely sure that you would be ready for the military lifestyle and all that comes with it, not just getting a scholarship. Feel free to personal message me if you have any more questions

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So if you're wanting to go into a 2 years program, you will owe them 6 years?

 

I'm currently looking in the Air Force, Army, and Navy. My dad was in the military for 26 years. I enjoyed the military life a lot. But I wonder how it would work out with being a single parent. I personally knew a few who were single parents and active duty military. I'm guessing I would have to create a solid and dependable care plan for my kids? Dad is totally not in the picture BTW.

 

I just completed the AF HPSP. I graduated in August and am about to go on active duty in October. Some of the specs:

 

- there were only 5 scholarships in the country when I commissioned, but I think that is up to 10 now

- the process with take at LEAST 1 year to be complete - you will have to get a physical at MEPS with all of the enlisted personnel, letters of rec, interviews, and then there is the scroll that will be the longest - that is when you get approved, and is only done once a year

- once you get approved, the AF scholarship is for 1 year and you owe them 3 in return

- costs covered include full tuition, stipend of about 2000 per mo, insurance if you need it and books etc.

- I also got a $400 allowance for uniforms, but have since bought them and they are costing me closer to $1500

 

overall, going through AFIT/HPSP was very easy, satisfying and left me with much less debt. so, yes I think it was worth it, but you have to be absolutely sure that you would be ready for the military lifestyle and all that comes with it, not just getting a scholarship. Feel free to personal message me if you have any more questions

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The scholarship (thru the Navy at least) covers 2 years of school. Upon completion of school you owe 3 yeas of service, not 6.

 

I'm sure there are a number of single parents on Active duty. Get with a recruiter for more information

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nvs mom - when I did the HPSP through the AF, they would only pay for one year of school, not two. so you fund your first year and they pick up the second in PA school and then you owe 3 after that. you should go talk to a recruiter for more up to date info on what they are doing this year or next depending on when you get into school, but like i said in my previous post, the process takes quite a while, so make sure you give yourself ample time. if you have any more questions, please let me know

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So, I am Navy Independent Duty Corpsman currently in Afghanistan. I work with a PA here and in the US that are HPSPers and both did 2 year schools. Both were also previously enlisted so the military life transition was easy. Being in the Military as a single parent is tough no doubt but not impossible if you have family willing to support you at a momnets notice. I am hoping to finish my degree soon and start the application process for HPSP. I am way behind the power curve and have been enlisted for 12 years. I have been an IDC for over 4 years and if you guys have any questions about military life as a PA or in general I can try to help. Most of the PAs I have worked for are either working at clinics or hospitals or deployed with the Marines which consist of a 7 month tour to Iraq, Afghanistan or depending on your unit Southeast Asia. generally you see everything from Musculoskeletal injuries, Derm, Psych, trauma(especially out here), wide range of things.

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Ho much time do PA's that come from civilian life, and take advantage of the hpsp for PA school, spend outside the wire? Or are they generally deployed to work in hospitals or clinics on base?

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As much time as PAs from any other background unless they pursue special ops backgrounds. There simply aren't a lot of "outside of the wire" PA jobs outside of the Army and Spec Ops. The AF PA's may get tagged for an Army deployment here and there but that is not the norm among the service nor is it a common recurrence (2nd and 3rd deployments are rare) especially as the Army is finally coming on line with manning requirements for PAs. Expect that to decrease more and more. They have a couple FST jobs but those are "inside the wire". The Navy gets tagged for Marine deployments (outside the wire) but the bulk of the PA demand in the Navy is "Navy" which does not largely involve "outside of the wire" work. There are some short (by Army standards short) deployments On Provincial Readiness Teams and some odd and end stuff but again not the norm. The Navy has a huge maritime mission and not to mention that they also make up a lot of governmental infrastructure when it comes to medicine so there are those jobs as well. I've seen a lot of MARSOC in my time but I have not seen a lot of MARSOC PAs. They are a Battalion asset and MARSOC elements deploy in company size bits usually as they aren't geared toward providing their own life support. So if there are MARSOC PA's they can't claim large scale deployments, at least up until 2008 that is. I'm sure the Seals, Task Force such and such, Special Ops Detachment such and such have PAs but I'm sure they aren't regularly convoying because those units don't regularly convoy. PAs aren't assigned kicking down doors though some want to get their John Wayne on here and there. The AF PJ's have PAs assigned but hell, their Medics were pulling hat-tricks to get time on fire bases let alone outside the wire. If a bird isn't going down, they don't regularly go out. With that said, they will come and get you or your guys when theater says "no". I love PJs. I don't know if JTAC/TAC-Ps have PAs but they don't deploy as a unit.

 

Dude, I'm probably a middle-of-the-road Army PA and I don't do movement to IED (patrolling). I'll go on company+ size hits or missions that have a good possibility of taking more casualties than my assigned medics can handle. If I don't trust my medics to patrol the answer isn't patrolling, the answer is training medics and saving lives by proxy. I'll get my gun on here and there but even an Infantry Bn PA isn't by design supposed to be patrolling outside the wire. When dudes get hit somewhere else, who are they going to bring casualties to if the PA is pretending to be a medic? Some PAs refuse to go outside the wire. They are scum. Some PAs are pretending to be medics and they are just screwing their units...scum. Some PAs get bullied into functioning as a medic by their bosses....weak.

 

The simple answer to your question, unless you volunteer for something, your chances in the Navy/AF are always there but aren't great. A year ago, I could tell you that in the Army it was a sure thing to find yourself trusting the 20 people around you to keep you alive and they'd be looking at you for the same. The gap is closing quickly on all of that. With Iraq going away and withdrawal plans laid for Afghanistan "outside the wire" occurrences will decrease each week that passes. Unless Korea kicks off, the exposure will dwindle from the writing I see on the wall. I'm all about it dude. It's cool to say, "get you sum!" and all but who in the hell really wants to spend more time away from their family and watch their friends and fellow Americans die? I don't! I'll go with my unit because it's my privilege to deploy with such patriots but you wont see me chomping at the bit to go unless it's in the cards. You knock on the devils door long enough, someone will answer you. Call me a punk if you want but I've been to Iraq twice and Afghanistan twice and I signed on for more service so I've got nothing to prove. Don't let me deter you because being a military PA is an awesome gig but its at a cost my man. It's worth it, but at a cost nonetheless.

 

Be well.

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I was selected to be commissioned at the beginning of November. I will be commissioning sometime in Jan. It was a long process to get where I am (over 6 months) but well worth it in my opinion. I will try to answer any questions about the application process, but i cannot answer any questions about the function of a PA in the Navy as I am not a prior service and only know things from what I have read and heard from others.

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Do you happen to know anything about the difficulty of being accepted into the Enlisted Commission for the P.A program. I went to base Education and pulled up the paperwork, but I'd really like to know how competitive the program is.

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Hey Geranimo,

Thanks for the feedback. I see what you're saying about medics vs. PAs. I wouldnt enter the military with the desire to 'get my gun on'. My goal is to help those who are in a situation that I wouldnt necessarily want to be in. But if I was ordered to, would. I know that my training as a PA will have me better serve my country in a hospital or clinic, not in the field. I also think that the discipline, experience and Quick thinking I will learn in the AF will set me up to be a great PA. At this point I am most likely going to serve my 3 years, and return to the civilain world, yet who knows. I appreciate all that you do, and like you say family comes first. We only get one life to live, I would much rather spend it with those who love me. But if I can become a more well rounded professional, I will sacrafice loved ones for a few years. It is my understanding that the benefits are great, and not worrying about $$ is another huge perk!

Again thank you and stay safe!

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nibor, no issues brother. Your comment, "I wouldn't enter with the desire to get my gun on but if I was ordered to, would" is a good mentality to have should you join up. I have 40 medics I am responsible for training and 17 are directly assigned to Infantry platoons and will be going into houses and killing Taliban if they have their way. There was a time when I was one of them but the sun has set on that. Now I can both save lives in person and save lives by proxy through them. It's rewarding. Some of the AF PAs I have seen deployed have worked in FST(Forward Surgical Teams)'s and have saved lives! Talk about gratification, dude you have no idea the feeling you'll get when you talk to some surgeon who tells you that your interventions saved a Troops life. Those PAs are doing more trauma than most PA's and most docs outside of Emergency Departments or Trauma Centers will ever get to see. If you ever decide to do remote medicine or wilderness medicine in the future, you'll be better equipped than most Docs for the task. As far as the decision making, I think the military in general "Task Orients" people better than any other possible career choice. We are a "get it done quick and effective" bunch and I think the military brings that out in people. There is nothing wrong with serving your 3 and moving onto something different. Your simple willingness and desire for service is awesome and will change yours and many other people's lives. We need PA's that want to be in. The benefits are great and the money is constant and actually is on par with our civilian counterparts. I hope you join up. You may do your 3 years in the Air Force and think, "I could do this for 17 more years and nab a retirement". It goes by quick. If the deployments aren't as frequent as times past and your family is up for the task, you can't find a more rewarding place to do medicine. Take care and God Bless.

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Should I start talking to the Officer Recruiter about HSPS as soon as I start sending out PA applications? ( Since both take a whole year to process) Or should I wait to get acceptance letter(s) then contact the recruiter?

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It wouldn't hurt to contact them before to see what's available, weigh your options etc. Then once you get accepted you can call them again and get the application going. That's more or less what I did.

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I'm also considering the military as a means to help me tuition and getting through PA school without relying on crazy loans to cover my living expenses. Right now I'm talking with the National Guard and AF. I'm going to try to shadow a PA on a local base if that's possible to talk with one and get their feedback... I did the physical now I'm waiting for my recruiters to get back from leave.

 

The guard, as I understand, offers $75,000 [taxed of course] paid back over the course of 3 years. That's great but doesn't help while I'm in school, so that's why I looked into the AF.

 

So can anyone tell me what are the three years of commitment like, either in the Guard or AF? I'm thinking they are going to want you to gain some more healthcare experience as a PA in one of their hospitals state-side before they deploy you? What are the chances of deployment in the AF or Guard?

 

I assume the Guard is not going to adhere to that one weekend a month 2 weeks a year thing for a PA since they invested so much $$...

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