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  • Joining as medical student, PA, dentist, doctor

    This is a long shot, but I'm a medical student in the California Army National Guard. I help out with recruiting doctors, PAs and dentists in my state.

    If you're one of these (or are a student in one of these three fields), feel free to post or PM questions, and I can try to answer. The recruitment process, standards for joining, and benefits offered can be very different between AMEDD and the rest of the National Guard. It's sometimes confusing, but I'd be happy to clarify things if anyone's curious.

  • #2
    Re: Joining as medical student, PA, dentist, doctor

    Army Reserve just increased the health professions loan repayment to 40k/year 250k max, what is it for NG?

    what is minimum time of obligation if one takes no incentives and already completed initial MSO?

    Are they now accepting us residents (green card, non-citizens) physicians? There was a program, I'm not sure if it still exists.




    Please edit and add to your original post, instead of creating additional ones in a span of 2 minutes. -Steve
    Last edited by SteveLord; June 2nd, 2010, 06:51 PM.

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    • #3
      Re: Joining as medical student, PA, dentist, doctor

      I am a Active Duty nurse when I finish I want to go to PA or NP school using the New Jersey National Guard free state tuition program. Are there any other programs that will help with cost of living expenses? I notice the AMEDD recruiter program is only for PA or MD/DMD students, how long do you think this will last as I still have 2.5 years on my ADSO? Also, do you think it will ever be extended to NP students?

      Thanks

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      • #4
        Re: Joining as medical student, PA, dentist, doctor

        Originally posted by BoopMD
        Army Reserve just increased the health professions loan repayment to 40k/year 250k max, what is it for NG?
        Yeah, I saw that. The Guard is still $40k/yr with $120K max. There is talk of the Guard going up to $250K max with the new fiscal year (which starts in October). It's not confirmed yet, but if they didn't, it would be one of the few times a national program like that didn't match between the ARNG and the Reserves.
        Originally posted by BoopMD
        what is minimum time of obligation if one takes no incentives and already completed initial MSO?
        I've heard of docs signing up for 2 years if they're in a desired specialty. Age waivers are often granted as well.
        Originally posted by BoopMD
        Are they now accepting us residents (green card, non-citizens) physicians? There was a program, I'm not sure if it still exists.
        The Army requires U.S. citizenship for commissioning and all Army doctors are required to be commissioned officers. The program you're talking about is for active-side only, so far as I know.

        It's a small and relatively new program and is actually quite clever. They take a legal but non-citizen and take them in during their residency and ENLIST them. This fasttracks them to citizenship so that by the time they're board certified, they're citizens and eligible for commissioning.

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        • #5
          Re: Joining as medical student, PA, dentist, doctor

          Originally posted by 2ltjones
          I am a Active Duty nurse when I finish I want to go to PA or NP school using the New Jersey National Guard free state tuition program. Are there any other programs that will help with cost of living expenses?
          Do you still have GI Bill benefits? Those can obviously be applied. You should also be eligible for STRAP, depending on your state. This is a $1900/month program that incurs a 2:1 obligation for each year you're on it.

          Keep in mind that if you're getting free tuition, you might be best to just take out the guaranteed loans you have for living expenses for the two years, then pay it off with the bonuses you'll get after graduation. You get $60k (payable $20K/year) for three years of service after graduation. You can get an additional $60k (payable $20k/year) payable towards your student loans. These might be better options.
          Originally posted by 2ltjones
          I notice the AMEDD recruiter program is only for PA or MD/DMD students, how long do you think this will last as I still have 2.5 years on my ADSO?
          The ASR program (AMEDD Student Recruiter) is no longer taking applicants. It was a three year program and this fiscal year was its last year. There is hope that they may start it up again, but at this time they haven't done so. As you get closer to your separation date, you can see what's in play.
          Originally posted by 2ltjones
          Also, do you think it will ever be extended to NP students?
          Doubt it. Because of the way Army milmed is currently organized, PA's are often used as physician-replacements in some settings, whereas Nurses (including NPs) are typically not. So right now, the recruiting funds I'm seeing are more lucrative for PAs than NPs. But that's not to say it couldn't change by the time you get around to looking at your next career step.

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          • #6
            Re: Joining as medical student, PA, dentist, doctor

            Originally posted by notyetdead
            Do you still have GI Bill benefits? Those can obviously be applied. You should also be eligible for STRAP, depending on your state. This is a $1900/month program that incurs a 2:1 obligation for each year you're on it.

            Keep in mind that if you're getting free tuition, you might be best to just take out the guaranteed loans you have for living expenses for the two years, then pay it off with the bonuses you'll get after graduation. You get $60k (payable $20K/year) for three years of service after graduation. You can get an additional $60k (payable $20k/year) payable towards your student loans. These might be better options.

            The ASR program (AMEDD Student Recruiter) is no longer taking applicants. It was a three year program and this fiscal year was its last year. There is hope that they may start it up again, but at this time they haven't done so. As you get closer to your separation date, you can see what's in play.

            Doubt it. Because of the way Army milmed is currently organized, PA's are often used as physician-replacements in some settings, whereas Nurses (including NPs) are typically not. So right now, the recruiting funds I'm seeing are more lucrative for PAs than NPs. But that's not to say it couldn't change by the time you get around to looking at your next career step.

            Thanks so much you truly answered all of my questions. I will just wait until I am closer to the end of my ADSO and look at what the Guard is offering. The STRAP program seems extremely promising in addition to my GI benefits that will be enough money for living expenses. Along, with the free state tuition, I will be able to complete my Master's degree.

            Thanks again

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            • #7
              Re: Joining as medical student, PA, dentist, doctor

              Originally posted by 2ltjones
              I will just wait until I am closer to the end of my ADSO and look at what the Guard is offering.
              Good call. With the shortage of healthcare workers, I think incentives to join and stay in the Guard for nurses and PAs will only increase by the time you get closer.
              Originally posted by 2ltjones
              The STRAP program seems extremely promising in addition to my GI benefits that will be enough money for living expenses. Along, with the free state tuition, I will be able to complete my Master's degree.
              Good stuff. And keep in mind, if you go the NP route (a great career path) that you can still take the $60K for student loans, which can be put towards loans taken out for living expenses, even going to a tuition free school.

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              • #8
                Re: Joining as medical student, PA, dentist, doctor

                bonuses you'll get after graduation. You get $60k (payable $20K/year) for three years of service after graduation.
                are the bonuses taxed?

                also it seems strange they are using pa's to replace docs when in the civilian world they can't work independently while nps can, but I guess the army can do what they want. NP is more practical out of the army in most states. I'll go to medical school if I get the chance though.

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                • #9
                  Re: Joining as medical student, PA, dentist, doctor

                  Originally posted by RandyB
                  are the bonuses taxed?
                  Yes. Bonuses are taxed.
                  Originally posted by RandyB
                  also it seems strange they are using pa's to replace docs when in the civilian world they can't work independently while nps can, but I guess the army can do what they want.
                  They're not really using PAs to replace docs, they're using PAs because they don't have docs to fill those slots. Since it's a slot designed for a physician, a PA makes a lot more sense, as they're a physician-extender by definition, whereas a nurse isn't. Totally different fields.

                  Training is pretty different for NPs and PAs. In some practice settings, a doc would much prefer to hire a PA. In others, an NP. Great fields, both.
                  Originally posted by RandyB
                  NP is more practical out of the army in most states.
                  Disagree. NP is more practical if you want to work as an NP. PA is more practical if you want to work as a PA. They don't fulfill interchangeable roles.

                  You'll find that NP, PA, and MD are three distinct fields, and since it's a pretty significant time investment, there's not a lot of switching between them. It's a different job, knowledgebase, approach, and skillset. You meet very few nurses who become MDs, very few PAs who become NPs, etc. They make pretty poor stepping stones to one another.
                  Last edited by notyetdead; June 9th, 2010, 04:24 PM.

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                  • #10
                    Re: Joining as medical student, PA, dentist, doctor

                    Originally posted by notyetdead
                    Yes. Bonuses are taxed.
                    You wont see but maybe half of it then. My dad got a $30,000 bonus but only saw 15,000 of it after taxes.

                    . They make pretty poor stepping stones to one another
                    true, most premed students do a biology degree but I would prefer to have nursing to fall back on if I don't get into medical school.

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                    • #11
                      Re: Joining as medical student, PA, dentist, doctor

                      caveat, not a medical person at all here:

                      Could a person who is already a Nurse become a NP for civilian life, and take different courses to become a PA for the military? Don't they both see patients, I don't understand how they are so much different.

                      I ask because at the practice where I go, I never see a PA, kinda like she said, I see a NP.

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                      • #12
                        Re: Joining as medical student, PA, dentist, doctor

                        Originally posted by 49thadband
                        Could a person who is already a Nurse become a NP for civilian life, and take different courses to become a PA for the military? Don't they both see patients, I don't understand how they are so much different.


                        I ask because at the practice where I go, I never see a PA, kinda like she said, I see a NP.
                        A PA gets a medical degree while an NP gets a nursing degree, the difference is philosphy mostly between nursing a med. You would never go to PA and NP school, takes too long and too expensive. PA's also tend to have more choices in specialty from what I heard.

                        An NPs choices are pysch, adult, gyno/womens health, and peds.

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                        • #13
                          Re: Joining as medical student, PA, dentist, doctor

                          Originally posted by RandyB
                          PA's also tend to have more choices in specialty from what I heard.

                          An NPs choices are pysch, adult, gyno/womens health, and peds.
                          NPs have a lot more choices than that. Both NPs and PAs can work in a lot of different environments. PAs tend to more often be seen as physician-extenders, such as in an office in which the doctor will delegate to the PA certain patients within the PAs scope of practice. NPs often operate in a similar capacity, but also have a role in the nursing hierarchy as well.

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                          • #14
                            Re: Joining as medical student, PA, dentist, doctor

                            Originally posted by notyetdead
                            NPs have a lot more choices than that. Both NPs and PAs can work in a lot of different environments. PAs tend to more often be seen as physician-extenders, such as in an office in which the doctor will delegate to the PA certain patients within the PAs scope of practice. NPs often operate in a similar capacity, but also have a role in the nursing hierarchy as well.
                            what are the other np specialties I missed? Nurse anesthetist are a different degree all together.

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                            • #15
                              Re: Joining as medical student, PA, dentist, doctor

                              In your second to last sentence did you really mean ENLIST? Wow, that is wild.

                              I was actually in my medic course (Ft Sam Houston 1990) and their was a very quiet unassuming PVT Bell. He fell asleep in class one day. The instructor, had him stand up and really threw a slew of questions at him in rapid fire succession to embarass him and teach him a lesson. Lil Private Bell answered no less than 20 esoteric questions correctly. (He was a Dr. who went enlisted to get his citizenship faster) That was so funny. Of course, we couldn't laugh. I'm glad they have a formal avenue for that type of talent now.


                              The Army requires U.S. citizenship for commissioning and all Army doctors are required to be commissioned officers. The program you're talking about is for active-side only, so far as I know.

                              It's a small and relatively new program and is actually quite clever. They take a legal but non-citizen and take them in during their residency and ENLIST them. This fasttracks them to citizenship so that by the time they're board certified, they're citizens and eligible for commissioning.[/QUOTE]
                              Last edited by BoopMD; June 9th, 2010, 10:02 PM.

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