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Question about Physician Service Requirement

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  • Question about Physician Service Requirement

    Hello,

    I am currently finishing up my Family Medicine Residency and am trying to learn more about joining the Guard. I had a question about the length of Active Drilling (I'm not sure if that's the correct term, I am non-prior service). For a commissioned Officer, it appears the length of Commission is 6 years + 2 IRR. Is this also the case for Medical Officer?

    The reason I ask is that on the Guard website it lists Medical Officer Special Pay for 1, 2, and 3 year contracts. Are these essentially 1, 2, or 3 years contracts for Active Drilling followed by the remainder in IRR or, as I asked above, is the contract for a Medical Officer also at least 6 years drilling + 2 IRR.

    Thank you for your help. I apologize if this question has already been answered. I could not find it by searching this forum nor by Google.

  • #2
    Re: Question about Physician Service Requirement

    Please contact your state's National Guard AMEDD (Army Medical Department) recruiter. The rules regarding physicians change yearly (sometimes more often), and are complicated greatly by numerous incentives with overlapping service requirements. Thus, the correct answer to your question in a merely technical sense will only confuse you, since your experience will vary greatly based on what incentives you accept.

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    • #3
      Re: Question about Physician Service Requirement

      Doc Ock- I'm a doc in the Guard, so maybe I can help.

      So any officer commission in the Guard incurs an 8 year military service obligation (MSO) of which 6 years are in drilling status and 2 years can be IRR. This is true for doctors too.

      Most of the special program perks they use to recruit docs incurs an additional service. HPLRP (a student loan repayment program that takes care of $40K/year in student loans up to $250K) keeps you in for each year you take the benefit. Special Pay gives $25K/year for each year you stay in after you're BE/BC. HPLRP and Special Pay can not be taken concurrently, by the way. What's nice is that these programs are paid back the same time you're burning off the 6 years of drilling.

      In other words, you could take Special pay for 3 years and then HPLRP for 3 years and by the time you're done you'd have satisfied your 6 year requirement. I'm not suggesting you'll want to get out necessarily (I've been in for 4 years and plan on staying in), but just that your hands aren't tied for too long a time in case you're apprehensive.

      As LTC Ritchie mentions, the best way to get started is to contact your recruiter. The quickest and best way to do this for a branch like Medical Corps is to call 800-Go-Guard and ask for the AMEDD Officer Recruiter for your particular state. Don't contact anyone else as they're likely to be full of ideas, but lots of bad info in their attempts to help. The conditions and benefits of a physician contact are very specific.

      Good luck with your decision, and feel free to post more questions if you have them.

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