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  • Thinking about it....Psychologist? Psychiatrist?

    I am recently entering my internship year as a School Psychologist and will be fully credentialed and graduated with my Master's and counseling credentials. However, I am a go-getter and would also like to go after my doctorate. I have lots of loans to pay off and I know the military would alleviate a lot of that and allow me to get my doctorate while providing me with work experience in the field. I feel that it would be a good opportunity, but not sure if it's the right decision. I like the fact that I could still work in the civilian world in my industry. Also, I am have been specifically after working for the DoD when my education is complete, so I suppose it would be good experience?

    Special note: I am 30 years old and would like to start a family, but feel like full time active duty isn't the right choice which led me to the Guard.

    Does anyone have any thoughts (positive or negative) about this potential decision?

  • #2
    Re: Thinking about it....Psychologist? Psychiatrist?

    Originally posted by bmdelreal View Post
    Does anyone have any thoughts (positive or negative) about this potential decision?
    I'm not sure why your title mentions Psychologist and Psychiatrist. I assume you just mean Psychologist, yes?

    You'd just need to do a PsyD or PhD program from this point in your career. The Guard will give you $4,500 in tuition waivers while you're in the Guard pursuing this degree plus whatever benefits your individual state give. Once you've gotten your PsyD or PhD, you'll be eligible for up to $75K in tuition reimbursement from the Healthcare Professional Loan Repayment Program (spaced out over 3 years of service). You will also be eligible for up to $75K in Special Pay (also spaced out over 3 years, can't be taken at the same time as HPLRP, only before or after).

    If you're actually considering Psychiatrist, consider it long and hard. You'd need to essentially start over. You'd need to make sure you had a year of biology, chemistry, physics, and organic chemistry before you can even apply to medical school. Assuming you get in, you'd have 4 years of medical school training you to be a physician, of which psychiatry is only one small part. Then you would have four years of a psychiatry residency before you could practice independently. If you started the process now, the soonest you'd be a psychiatrist would be in about 11-13 years. You'd owe $150K-$300K in loans. On the upside, your HPLRP would be extended to $240K (spread over 6 years).

    Keep in mind that the Guard has limited availability for mental health professionals. Find out if there are open slots in your state. If there aren't, there is a lot more mental health oppportunity in the Reserve.

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    • #3
      Re: Thinking about it....Psychologist? Psychiatrist?

      I met a few months ago, an active-duty Major with no deployments. We struck up a conversation and I found out he was a direct commissioned because he had a MSW degree. He spent a few days as a Lieutenant and was promoted to Captain. He has been in the Army for seven years and leaves soon to Austin since he was accepted to the educational program which will pay for his PHD. It is a three-year program.

      This Major has been given a great opportunity and then some. Just an idea if you have some doubts on coming on AD.

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      • #4
        Re: Thinking about it....Psychologist? Psychiatrist?

        I thought TA only went up to the Masters level not PhD?

        there is strap but not sure if psychologists qualify or a specific emphasis of psychology qualifies.

        There is also this: DEDNG scholarship which can be used if you recieve it for your last two years of graduate school. I think this scholarship requires smp with ROTC.
        Last edited by MichaelPC; May 27th, 2011, 05:25 PM.

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        • #5
          Re: Thinking about it....Psychologist? Psychiatrist?

          Originally posted by fmcityslicker View Post
          I met a few months ago, an active-duty Major with no deployments. We struck up a conversation and I found out he was a direct commissioned because he had a MSW degree. He spent a few days as a Lieutenant and was promoted to Captain. He has been in the Army for seven years and leaves soon to Austin since he was accepted to the educational program which will pay for his PHD. It is a three-year program.

          This Major has been given a great opportunity and then some. Just an idea if you have some doubts on coming on AD.
          This was the understanding that I had. I could only hope I would be able to get the same opportunity as the Major you met.

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          • #6
            Re: Thinking about it....Psychologist? Psychiatrist?

            Originally posted by fmcityslicker View Post
            I met a few months ago, an active-duty Major with no deployments. We struck up a conversation and I found out he was a direct commissioned because he had a MSW degree. He spent a few days as a Lieutenant and was promoted to Captain.
            That makes sense. A master's level direct commission will get you O-2. You also get a 1:2 credit on years of professional experience, so if he's been doing it more than a few years, he could be made eligible to Captain once the paperwork was in.

            The record I heard of was someone who came in as a LTC. She was nearing 30 years of professional experience, or some crazy thing.

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            • #7
              Re: Thinking about it....Psychologist? Psychiatrist?

              We had three LTC's in my OBLC class, a half dozen or so MAJ, then on down.

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