In today’s episode, Ryan talks with TSgt Stephanie Satinsky to discuss the Health Professions Scholarship Program (HPSP). Stephanie is the Air Force HPSP recruiter for the New England area. Ryan could have gone through this topic by himself, but he wanted to bring in someone who can discuss the program as it is at the present moment.
Today, Stephanie talks about what the HPSP is all about, what the Air Force is looking for during the application process, the minimum scores involved, the maximum age, the money involved, and everything in between.
And by the way, know that the Air Force, Army, and Navy all offer scholarships under the same Department of Defense (DOD) guidance with some variations on what each service offers. If you are interested in the scholarship, or even just starting to gather some information, please take a listen above!
What is the Health Professions Scholarship Program (HPSP)?
- Benefits to the Air Force: Educating their own physicians and forecasting their healthcare network
- Benefits to medical students: Relieving them of the financial burden of medical school
What the scholarship covers
- Monthly stipend
- Books and fees
[Related episode: National Health Service Corps Scholarship Info]
Obligations for Recipients of HPSP Scholarships
- 4-year scholarship = 4 years of active duty after residency
- 2-year or 3-year scholarship = 3 years of active duty after residency
- 1-year scholarship not offered
The HPSP application process
- 350-450 scholarships given a year (Air Force)
- Rolling admissions process
Benefits of the scholarship program
Students receive a signing bonus ($20,000) for a 4-year scholarship.
[Related episode: Shadowing a Military Physician, HPSP, and More]
When to apply to HPSP
- Apply early but not so early that you still don’t have your MCAT score yet and you’re running the risk of your physical exams getting expired.
- It takes 3 months to get a physical exam completed and cleared.
Google 48-123. Go to chapter 5 and see all the restrictions.
Once you take and accept the scholarship
- You’re commissioned as 2nd Lt. right away.
- Commissioned Officers Training (COT)
Commissioned Officers Training (COT)
- A 45-day basic training in a leadership school (Ryan calls it bootcamp with maids)
- An opportunity to introduce yourself to the Air Force
- Gaining a better understanding of what you’re wearing the uniform for and what you’re doing this for
[Related episode: Will the HPSP Scholarship Be Too Hard with a Family?]
Requirements to qualify for HPSP
- You must apply prior to your 35th birthday (although they can sign a waiver for older applicants)
- Finishing medical school by 39 years old
- Minimum GPA: 3.0
- Minimum MCAT: 500 with a minimum score of 124 on each of the subsections. (The requirement is slightly higher for the 3- and 4-year scholarships.)
[Related episode: Medical School Scholarships: Get Paid to Study]
Matching for residency as an HPSP recipient
- HPSP recipients apply to the military match before the civilian MD/DO matches and apply concurrently as well.
- Once accepted into a military facility, you need to pull out of the civilian match.
- Applying for 1-2 specialties
- 80-85% of people will match (specialty and location).
- 15% who don’t match do internship year and reapply to the match next year.
- Reapplying the 2nd time and not matching results in a GMO tour (flight surgeon).
Some advice for premed students:Don't apply to HPSP for the money. At the end of the day, if you're not interested in being a member of the Air Force, you're going to be unhappy.Click To Tweet
It might not be for everyone, but you won’t know until you start looking into it and ask questions. This could open up a whole different career for you, as you’ll be touching lives not only in the US but around the world.
Links and Other Resources:
- Listen to Ryan talk about this subject on the Lost in Premed Podcast
- Health Restrictions on Chapter 5 of 48-123
- Medicine and the Military
- Air Force HPSP Fact Sheet / Air Force Commissioned Officer Training
- Medical Requirements: Air Force Instruction 48-123 (Search for “5.3. Standards”)
- Related Episode: National Health Service Corps Scholarship Info
- Related episode: Will the HPSP Scholarship Be Too Hard with a Family?
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