For undergraduate students looking to pursue a career in medicine, medical school can be a daunting financial endeavor. The Health Professions Scholarship Program is a military scholarship offered by the Army, Navy, and Air Force that covers all tuition and fees for one to four years at any accredited medical school or other qualifying professional program. The scholarship also gives the student a stipend for living expenses. In return for the aide, students incur an obligation to the military; students must serve one year of active duty and one year of Inactive Ready Reserve for each year they receive the scholarship. The student will also have to apply for a military residency, and this also incurs an obligation for those that are chosen, but the two obligations and not necessarily additive and can be served concurrently. The financial benefits are enticing to prospective students, but many find themselves questioning whether the scholarship is actually worth the work that comes with spending several years in the military. This is a vital question that each student should thoroughly consider and answer for themselves based on what he or she is looking for personally, but examining the quantitative and qualitative factors for each choice closely can provide clarity to those struggling to decide.
There are multiple benefits that come from accepting the HPSP scholarship; the most obvious being the ability to graduate from medical school debt-free. This advantage may be touted by recruiters most often, but there are plenty of others, financial and otherwise, that should be considered. One financial pro that most people overlook is that students ...
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...rmidable to an orthopedic surgeon earning an average of nearly $500,000 a year than to a family physician making around $130,000 (doctorshadow.com). Another exception where the HPSP is not profitable is when a student can graduate from medical school with a minimal amount of debt. Students that graduate with less than $100,000 will make enough money early in their career to easily offset their loans, voiding the most appealing aspect of the HPSP. Without medical school debt to account for, the other financial benefits of the scholarship can not compete with civilian salaries (doctorshadow.com, whitecoatinvestor.com).
Although the quantitative compensations are the most obvious advantages of the HPSP, there are many qualitative benefits as well. Usually, these are the ultimate, deciding factors between whether a prospective student accepts or denies the scholarship.
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