Thursday, January 29, 2009

Army Scholarship Finances Graduate Medical, Dental & Veterinary Education

(BUSINESS WIRE)--In the coming months, many undergraduate students who have applied for medical and dental school will receive letters notifying them that they have been accepted for the fall semester. For some, the excitement of the news will be tinged with anxiety as they wonder how they will finance their education.

The United States Army Medical Department (AMEDD) through its F. Edward Hebert Armed Forces Health Professions Scholarship Program (HPSP) is one option for students seeking a way to pay for their graduate medical, dental, veterinary or nursing degree. HPSP provides students with the full cost of tuition; school related fees and books; as well as a stipend of more than $1,900 per month during the school year. In addition, HPSP recipients are eligible for a one-time $20,000 (less tax) sign-on bonus.

For Sara Michael, a second year medical student at the University of Maryland School of Medicine, the scholarship enables her to stay focused on her education, “I’d say I’m less anxious about the future because my financial situation is more stable. That’s a huge perk.”

According to a 2007 study by the American Association of Medical Schools, the average student loan debt is more than $150,000 after graduation and is a barrier for many students. The report estimated that physicians who are on a standard 10-year loan repayment plan would see half of their after-tax earnings go to their loan payment.

“In a time of economic uncertainty and difficulty obtaining loans, the prospect of mounting debt is daunting,” said Colonel Rafael Montagno, commander U.S. Army Medical Recruiting Brigade. “Army Health Care provides students with a first rate education, advanced training and experience – and many students will be surprised to learn that they can specialize in forty-seven practices ranging from anesthesiology to vascular surgery, and have access to research opportunities that can take them around the world.”

The scholarship is available in 2, 3 and 4-year increments and provides benefits during school and after graduation for those planning a career in health care or who are currently enrolled in a graduate medical or dental program. In addition to a full tuition scholarship to the medical or dental school of choice, the program pays for required books, non-expendable equipment, other academic fees and a monthly stipend that is adjusted annually for cost-of-living increases. Upon graduation and entry onto active duty, AMEDD Officers receive increases in salary and new opportunities for a broad range of residencies, fellowships and special pay incentives. Acceptance of the Critical Skills Accessions Bonus includes a four-year active duty and four-year Reserve service obligation, which can be fulfilled concurrent with service obligations related to HPSP upon completion of residency programs and becoming licensed to practice.

For more information about HPSP and the Critical Skills Accession Bonus, please visit www.goarmy.com/amedd/hpsp.jsp or phone 800-USA-ARMY (800-872-2769).

Graduates of the HPSP program receive all the benefits of active duty Officers including:

* Paid continuing education courses, seminars and conferences
* No-cost or low-cost medical and dental care for you and your family
* A comfortable home on-post or a generous housing allowance if you live off-post
* Opportunities to travel throughout the world
* Attractive retirement benefits with 20 years of qualifying service
* A flexible, portable retirement savings and investment plan similar to a 401k
* 30 days of vacation earned each year
* Rank and privileges of an Army Officer
* Low-cost life insurance

ABOUT THE ARMY MEDICAL DEPARTMENT (AMEDD)

From nurses and entomologists to veterinarians, dietitians and physicians, Army Health Care offers more than 90 professional health care career paths – more than any other military service.

Army Health Care annually employs more than 73,500 active-duty professionals and 72,000 Reserve Soldiers who interact with more than 200,000 patients in an average day. The Army’s Health Care system is an $8 billion per year venture, employing 145,000 people and managing the care of three million beneficiaries. The active Army Medical Team is augmented by a Reserve Component, comprised of health care professionals in Reserve units throughout the United States and abroad.

One of the largest health care networks in the world, AMEDD operates more than 600 world-renowned hospitals, clinics and facilities around the globe. AMEDD encompasses six corps: Dental, Medical, Medical Service, Medical Specialist, Nurse and Veterinary.

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