I. Armed Forces Health Professions Scholarship Program
The HPSP is offered through the Army, Navy, and Air Force (the Marine Corps is part of the Department of the Navy and is served by Navy doctors, and the Coast Guard is staffed by doctors from the Public Health Service).
Military Scholarships are highly competitive and are based on excellence of grade point average (GPA) and Medical College Admissions Test scores (MCAT). Decisions do not take into account financial need. Basic requirements for the HPSP are that the student is a US citizen and meets the qualifications for commissioning as a military officer. An application and interview are required during the time the student is applying to medical school, and for those accepted to the scholarship program, paperwork is activated at the school where the student is accepted.
The Armed Forces Health Professions Scholarship Program (HPSP) is a scholarship between two and four years in length offered to students in health professions schools. HPSP students receive full tuition, school-related expenses, and a stipend as benefits. The stipend (fall of 2008) was approximately $1,900 per month. Expenses are reimbursed by the submission on an itemized form with receipts and a signed approval letter from the school stating that the expenses are reasonable. Tuition is paid directly to the school.
HPSP students owe as many years of service to the military as they receive support. Residency does not count toward the payback. Salary during residency is about $20,000 greater than non-military (~$60,000/year). Senior residents earn roughly $70,000. Many patients are retirees and dependents.
HPSP students upon entry to medical school become an ensign in the Navy, 2nd lieutenant in the other two branches of the service, and upon graduation from medical school become a lieutenant/captain. Military residencies are quite good, and they must go through the same standards of accreditation as do civilian residencies. Board pass rates for military residency graduates have been uniformly excellent, and many have been able to obtain excellent fellowship opportunities.
Important issues to consider:
There are some important issues to consider. A flexible mindset and willingness to compromise will enable a graduate to get a good posting. Internship and residency are relatively separate entities and require separate applications, and where the preliminary year and advanced years can be separated at the military’s discretion. This is probably truer in specialties that require a number of years of training than perhaps primary care choices such as medicine, pediatrics and family medicine. Each year there are a small number of senior medical students in the HPSP who defer their commitment to do civilian residencies, although the needs of the military are given the highest preference.
For further information contact the appropriate service representative:
United States Air Force
TSgt Thomas Doyle
14241 East 4th Avenue
Denver, Colorado 80011-7188
United States Army Medical Recruiting
SFC Gregory Craft
14001 East Iliff Avenue, Suite 403
Aurora, Colorado 80014
John L. Turner, Jr. HMC (FMF)
Hospital Corpsman, Chief Petty Officer
II. National Health Service Corp
To obtain information about this program, please visit the following website: http://bphc.hrsa.gov/nhsc or call them at 1-800-221-9393.
The National Health Service Corp is a program of the Federal Health Resources and Services Administration’s Bureau of Primary Care. The mission of the NHSC is to increase the access to primary care services and reduce health disparities by assisting communities through site development and by preparation, recruitment and retention of community-responsible, culturally competent primary care clinicians.
The program pays for tuition and fees, books and supplies, equipment and monthly stipend for up to four years of education. Upon completion of residency or training, students serve a year for year commitment, based on the number of years of support, with a minimum of a two year commitment in a federally designated health professional shortage area of greatest need.
III. Indian Health Service (HIS) Scholarships for Native Americans:
To obtain information about this program, please utilize the following contact:
Indian Health Service Scholarship Program
801 Thompson Avenue, Suite 120
Rockville, Maryland 20852
The number of awards on a yearly basis is dependent upon availability of funds. The application deadline is normally in March of each year.
In fulfilling its mission to ensure that American Indians and Alaska Natives have maximum involvement in meeting their own health needs, the HIS offers scholarships. Scholarships are not limited to certain schools. Expenses covered include: tuition, books, fees, incidentals, tutorial services, and equipment. A monthly stipend of approximately $1,250 was provided for academic year 2008-2009. Professional scholarships funds are available up to four years, minimum service obligation is two years, but students are obligated year for year of service for the requisite years of funding.