I recently wrote an article about some of the misconceptions that medical students have regarding military medicine. I want to drive home the point about having a lifetime net loss of income by taking the HPSP scholarship, working for four years as a flight surgeon, and then getting out to pursue residency training. I created the pretty graph below to illustrate just how much money you will lose by taking this scholarship.
Don’t blow off money as if it’s no big deal. Many of the premeds who read this blog are 21-years-old or younger, single, and have been living in student poverty for the past few years. Granted, $95,000 a year as a flight surgeon will enable you to do pretty well if you’re single and living in an area like Texas where housing is cheap. If you’re married to a housewife, have two children, and are stationed in San Diego, $95,000 a year isn’t going to get you very far. Realize that many things change during medical school and residency. Your priorities at the age of 21 are going to be vastly different than your priorities at the age of 27.