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Navy HPSP PA / Air Force HPSP PA award winners

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If you are either a Navy PA HPSP award winner or a Air Force PA HPSP award winner could you please share some of your experiences on your 3 year active duty requirement after graduating PA school. Please answer some of the questions below or if you want to just share your experience that would be much appreciated. Thank You :) 

1.) After graduating PA school how fast did you get deployed?

2) How SAFE are the clinics or stations where you were deployed to?

3) Have you ever experienced a combat situation? 

4) Do you have any choice as to where you get stationed?

5) How many hours do you typically work each week?

6) What are some of the benefits? 

7)How much autonomy do you have? 

8) Overall what is the pros and cons of your job?



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I wouldn't reply to this thread, but I see that its been nearly two months with no reply, so I'll give it my best shot! I am not an award winner for this scholarship. That being said, I have been in the Army for 5 years as a combat medic. I've spent extensive time with military PA's and I think I can answer a few of your questions until a Navy PA can! 

*Again, I can only speak for the Army, but I do know that Navy PA's can be attached to Marine units (thats what I plan to do after PA school if I get this scholarship)

1) That depends on the unit that you go to. There are many different types of units in the Navy. You could get attached to a fleet marine force, though thats unlikely right out of school without prior experience in emergency military medicine. You may get attached to a unit on a ship or sub and be deployed within a year of graduating school. It depends on when you get sent officer candidate school (OCS or whatever its called for the Navy). 

2) This, again, depends on the unit you go to. Just because you join the Navy doesn't mean that you are always on a boat on the ocean (or sub in the ocean). You may get attached to a marine unit and get deployed to Iraq/Afghanistan. The bases over there are not "safe", but they are as safe as they can be. There are intermittent mortar/artillery rounds that are fired at random, but not ALL the time. There are vehicle born improvised explosive devices (VBIED's) that are sometimes detonated near the gates. Being in country in general is dangerous, and its dangerous when you go outside the wire. 

3) I haven't heard of any PA's going outside the wire on patrol or on mission, but that doesn't mean that a firefight is impossible. If you convoy anywhere, there is always a possibility of getting into a firefight, or being hit by an IED or VBIED. If you are a PA in country, you WILL have a weapon. Most likely a M9 that you carry and an M4 that you'll keep locked up and rarely ever touch unless you go outside the wire. 

4) This is possible, yes.

5) Depends on the unit and if you are training or deployed. In a clinic, you'll work 8-4ish with a lunch break. If you are with the fleet marines, there is no telling. 

6) Several!

- You serve your country

- BAH (Basic allowance for housing) depends on your rank and is a stipend for housing. 1-5k ish a month on top of your base pay

- Healthcare for you and your family

- Several others

7) The military PA's i've worked under are extremely autonomous. I can only speak for my experience as a combat medic in the army working in an infantry unit and having a PA attached to our headquarters company. 

8) Not a PA (yet), so I can't speak for that!


I wish you the best of luck! Please message me personally if you have any other questions! I haven't proof read this, so please excuse any grammatical errors. 

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