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  1. #21
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    One of DHís fellow residents during residency was in the military. He was older though and had already done one residency and fulfilled his commitment. So he was able to do a different (more lucrative) residency while getting paid at his higher military pay grade.


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  2. #22
    Zansu is offline Platinum level (1000+ posts)
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    There's also the National Health Service Corps, which will wipe out $120,000 of debt in exchange for three years of service.

  3. #23
    heatherlynn is offline Platinum level (1000+ posts)
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    Has he considered being a PA? My ex is a physician. It's a looong, expensive, exhausting process. My older daughter had planned to go to med school, but just couldn't wrap her head around the timeframe and expense of undergrad, med school, residency, possible fellowships, etc etc.
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  4. #24
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    Yes--DON'T!! Go to PA school or be an NP. Seriously. If someone wants flexibility, a decent work/life balance, and not to overloaded with debt--then that's the way to go. Talk to older and younger MDs. The older ones will tell you how much change they have seen and how tired they often are by 50-55. DH is an MD and I really don't know that he would recommend that our kids take that path. We both work with PAs and NPs who are bright and motivated. I would say it is a better lifestyle with so much more flexibility in schedules, places to work, etc.
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  5. #25
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    JBaxter is offline Pink Diamond level (15,000+ posts)
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    Quote Originally Posted by StantonHyde View Post
    Yes--DON'T!! Go to PA school or be an NP. Seriously. If someone wants flexibility, a decent work/life balance, and not to overloaded with debt--then that's the way to go. Talk to older and younger MDs. The older ones will tell you how much change they have seen and how tired they often are by 50-55. DH is an MD and I really don't know that he would recommend that our kids take that path. We both work with PAs and NPs who are bright and motivated. I would say it is a better lifestyle with so much more flexibility in schedules, places to work, etc.
    This is the exact reason my older 2 went to PA school vs med school. They both also did a fellowship and Doctorate of Medical Science
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  6. #26
    NCGrandma is offline Emerald level (3000+ posts)
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    Quote Originally Posted by Liziz View Post
    My DH is a military MD so I just wanted to throw out a couple comments related to that. I'm using a "you" here to refer to all your DCs that are considering this:

    My DH did both ROTC (in undergrad) and had the military pay for med school - he graduated medical school with $0 debt, and then was paid much better than most civilian residents (training post-med school) are paid. It's a great option for those interested in avoiding debt for medical school. BUT - be aware, it's not just a trick to get free education. The military will then "own" you, and you will NOT get the same choices a civilian will get. Sometimes it's for the better, sometimes it's for the worse!

    Be aware that if you look into ROTC for undergrad, you will have a commitment to the military. You will have to apply for and be granted an educational delay (of your required service) to be allowed to go to med school. If you don't get the ed delay, you won't be allowed to go to med school, even if you get it. If you get an ed delay, but DON'T get into med school, you don't just get to take a year off and go do your own thing and try again the next year. The military will assign you a different role you'll be expected to do. You can certainly apply again for an educational delay in the future, but the choice isn't exclusively yours. If you do ROTC then also have the military pay for medical school, you will owe the military 8+ years of service. That's 8+ years of being an officer in the US military, and all that comes with it (moving every few years, deployments, assignments for things you'd rather not do, etc.).

    If the military pays for medical school -- you will be expected to do your residency at a military hospital, unless you get an exception (which were rare when DH did it, I hear they're even more rare now). If you want to specialize (do a fellowship) after residency, again, you're expected to do it at a military hospital, unless you get an exception (again, rare). The military has very limited fellowship spaces and specific needs for their medical corps. Just because you're interested in something doesn't mean you'll be able to do it. For example, the specialty my DH wanted has *1* spot each year -- and some years they've had *0* spots. Most of the doctors we know eventually were able to do what they wanted (fellowship-wise) but many had to spend several years doing something else first. Options and training sites are just much, much more limited, especially recently, as the military has started to really focus on a few key areas they want physicians (i.e. - they want specialties that are most needed on the battlefield, and by their young, mostly healthy active duty corps) -- and farming out the areas that don't fit that. For example - you'll have a much easier time studying something like primary care, emergency medicine, general surgery, trauma surgery, etc. But if you want something like dermatology, rheumatology, pediatrics, etc. -- there are going to be less opportunities.

    My DH (and our family) have had an excellent experience with the military paying for DH's school. We (so far, lol!) have zero regrets, and there are many, many positive things our family has experienced because of DH's military service. It was absolutely the right choice for DH and it is an excellent choice for lots of people. So please be clear that although I have a lot of cautions listed above, I am not trying to talk anyone out of considering the military. However, I often hear people talking about using the military to pay for med school like it's just "free money" (not saying anyone here was doing that, just in general), and I always feel the need to correct that notion. There is absolutely commitments and sacrifices much beyond civilian life if you choose that route. It's an EXCELLENT way to pay for medical school....but only if you truly want to (or trust you can handle it) be in the military!
    Excellent summary! I was unfamiliar with military medicine until I started teaching in a (civilian) academic fellowship that attracted med school faculty from all types of residency programs including all branches of the military. Our fellowship used a part-time on-campus/at-home model which appealed particularly to military faculty and leadership. Because of the obligations that Liziz spelled out, most of them planned to stay in the military until retirement since that was not that much longer.

    I met many impressive young faculty members that way, who taught me a lot about the advantages and drawbacks of their lives. Yet it was clear that they were participating in our fellowship as long as it worked with their primary obligations. (We had one fellow submit his final project by email from Afghanistan.)

    In any case, while the military medicine route may be worth considering for some, it's definitely important to understand the full picture.


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  7. #27
    NCGrandma is offline Emerald level (3000+ posts)
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zansu View Post
    There's also the National Health Service Corps, which will wipe out $120,000 of debt in exchange for three years of service.
    A number of our family medicine residency graduates went into the NHSC and had a good experience (in addition to the loan repayment!). However, it is geared to primary care and to practicing for three years in specified types of medically underserved areas. Some of them were in quite isolated locations with limited resources. It was definitely easier for the younger single docs than for those with family responsibilities.

  8. #28
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    Married to physician- my advice- donít ! I would discourage my kids from going to medical school & most physicians I know wouldnít choose the same path again. Itís sad but true. Hoping things change for the better but itís gone downhill fast. Some kids are graduating with half a million dollars in debt , time value of money is huge for retirement & they wonít be able to save until likely their 30s.

    My dh had doctors tell him not to go to medical school & we were so bright eyed & naive.

    If they want to be in the medical field I would recommend being a pa

  9. #29
    hellokitty is offline Pink Diamond level (15,000+ posts)
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    Quote Originally Posted by Octobermommy View Post
    Married to physician- my advice- don’t ! I would discourage my kids from going to medical school & most physicians I know wouldn’t choose the same path again. It’s sad but true. Hoping things change for the better but it’s gone downhill fast. Some kids are graduating with half a million dollars in debt , time value of money is huge for retirement & they won’t be able to save until likely their 30s.

    My dh had doctors tell him not to go to medical school & we were so bright eyed & naive.

    If they want to be in the medical field I would recommend being a pa
    I agree with this. I'm a daughter of a doctor and have a lot of family and friends who are doctors, plus lots if friends married to docs and do and I are also in the healthcare industryand work alongside docs. Medicine has changed so much in the past 10 years. It's gone corporate... gone is the independent doc because so much is network and insurance dependent now. Doctors don't have the same freedom that they may have had before, and I know many doctors whose contracts don't get renewed for a variety of reasons, some not their fault at all and they become somewhat nomadic, and these contracts are short contracts.

    Going the NP or PA route at least guarantees a safety net. I have one teen who is interested, but we are pushing him more toward an allied med field and he can still double major in another interest (political science) as well.
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  10. #30
    California is offline Sapphire level (2000+ posts)
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    Our state schools, once you count in room and board, are $25-$35K per year to attend. Are you in an area where the state schools are cheaper than that? If they are around the same price, you may find that private schools offer enough merit to match the public tuition. That would widen up your DS' choices.

    Many colleges have net price calculators on their websites, some post their merit scholarship requirements, and you can also look on the CollegeConfidential website to get an idea of what past merit a college has offered.

    DS researched the premed programs at all the schools he was most interested in. He asked about their premed advising programs, the number of students who start on the premed track vs the number who go on to a med school, and asked about premed opportunities for research and clinical work. This helped him get a good feel for what he wanted at a school. I think he also looked up schools on Reddit and found groups on there to get some insights from current students. This would be something your DS could look into once he identifies a few colleges that he's interested in.

    I have two close family members who are doctors in their mid 30's, and they love their jobs. One works at a UC, and the other is at an innovate private practice. They've talked with my DS about their professions and he did adjust his plans a bit on their recommendations. He also has identified a backup career path and is not a biology major. So, we'll see what happens! It's hard that teenagers have to decide early on if they want to be on a premed track, to make sure they get in all the required courses.

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