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      08-26-2013, 01:26 PM   #23
MattMD
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Comparison for you:

A friend and I went through UW undergrad together. Both of us were prior service enlisted. He went to USUHS while I went to a private med school. He got paid over 40k annually while I paid 40k annually and lived on 8k alternative loans to eat.

After graduation he did his medicine residency followed by a GI fellowship. Now he is paying back his 4 or 6 years or whatever it is while working in Western WA. He makes around $200k last I heard. The GI partners I have make double that. If Uncle Sam wants him to go to Afghanistan, he's going to Afghanistan.

I graduated a quarter million in debt but it's at 2.25% so I'm in no hurry to pay it back. I'll be debt free when I'm 67 but at that age, a hundred thou might by a Prius. I'm an ENT and jobs are relatively abundant. I make double what he does. He's still technically ahead of me financially and we'll probably end up even down the road but I have my freedom. I have great issues with getting blown up by some suicidal asshole and our war on terror is far from over. Freedom trumps the money for me. Besides, if you get some help with tuition it will be even less of an issue for you.

And regarding the post about the person struggling through the bio stuff in med school: most struggle. You cover more info in the first year of med school than you'll cover in undergrad. As long as you get the prereq's, which include biochemistry, you should do fine. Getting a Chem degree will help a little with the first year stuff but that's it.
You guys are really helpful!

I think your post echoes everything I was thinking. It isn't a financial advantage to do the HPSP scholarship so you should only do it if you want to serve in the military. I don't want to be shipped over to Afghanistan, Syria, Korea...etc wherever the next war is 10 years from now either.
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      08-26-2013, 01:44 PM   #24
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      08-26-2013, 03:34 PM   #25
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      08-26-2013, 04:16 PM   #26
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Now that's well rounded. Medical schools would love an applicant like you
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      08-26-2013, 04:26 PM   #27
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And to add on to what 1fastdoc said (weighing the pros and cons of working in the military), one of the big draws for going into the military is the generous pension benefits but it's a little deceptive with military doctors.

With 20 years of service, your pension will be 50% of your base pay (well, to be clear you take the average of the 3 years in which you received the highest base pay of your career). With 40 years of service, you get 100% of your base pay. And there are percentages in between for services in between 20 and 40 years. This is all guaranteed for life.

So, for a physician if you want 100% of your base pay as a pension, you're looking at practicing in the military well into your 70s.

The caveat here is that it's base pay that determines your pension benefits, and military doctors are often given a pay structure that might look something like this:

$100k base + $50k bonus = $150k/year

That might be typical for an average internist in the military. The problem is that for the purposes of determining pension benefits, only that $100k counts. So, with 20 years of service, you'll get $50k/year as a pension. With 40, you'll get $100k/year (plus cost of living adjustments).

That's just something to keep in mind. I know when I was interviewing a military representative really stressed the generous pension benefits but it's not as good as it seems.

On the other hand, remember that it takes around $1M to generate $40k-$50k/year in retirement income. A $100k/year pension is equivalent to letting $2M generate investment income for you. And, of course, you'll likely have retirement accounts above and beyond just your pension.

So military pensions for doctors aren't as good as they seem, but in some ways they aren't as bad as I'm making them out to be either. The TC might be a little young to worry about money right now but it's just something to consider.


Edit: And to round out the discussion, let's say you're making $200k/year at as a specialist. To maintain that standard of living during retirement, you'll need about $4M in retirement accounts. Assuming you start earning $200k/year at the age of 35, let's say, and assuming an average ROI of 4.5%, you'll need to put away approximately $5k per month to achieve that.

Thankfully, 4.5% is really conservative and in all likelihood you'll either need to save considerably less than $5k/month or you'll have something like $6M-$8M by age 65 if you faithfully saved and invested that amount.

And even $200k/year is a little conservative for certain specialists, so there's a lot of wiggle room in this assessment.

Last edited by NemesisX; 08-26-2013 at 07:56 PM.
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      08-26-2013, 05:03 PM   #28
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Quote:
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Now that's well rounded. Medical schools would love an applicant like you
Yeah, I did a lot of school. Of course going to school back then didn't cost a brand new M3 every year like it does now.
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      08-26-2013, 09:57 PM   #29
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East Carolina. It was a very expensive vacation. The school gets a bad rep but if you can keep your head straight it is a good school. The city of Greenville is getting rough though. One big plus is everywhere you turn there are beautiful women.
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      08-26-2013, 10:35 PM   #30
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Currently a sophomore at UMass Amherst and I'm majoring in computer engineering. Our school has a really good engineering program. And yes I would go here again.. The school is amazing!

When choosing a major, choose one you won't mind doing day in and day out
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      08-26-2013, 11:24 PM   #31
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Another UC Berkeley grad here. B.S. Business Administration, B.A. Political Science
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      08-27-2013, 07:40 AM   #32
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Georgia Institute of Technology: BS Electrical Engineering

5 or 6 in the nation in EE when I graduated. My fiance is attending Emory University Law and it's a Tier 1 law school. Pick a school with a good reputation for what you are majoring in, it helps.
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      08-27-2013, 08:38 AM   #33
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I go to Drexel University here in Philadelphia, PA. Graduating senior 2014.
Mechanical Engineer. Drexel's co-op program as well as good recognition as an engineering school (at least here in the Northeast) is what got me to go.
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      08-27-2013, 11:14 AM   #34
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Cornell BSME who actually stayed in engineering career. A lot of my friends went to NYC & DC doing Financial Engineering stuff making sh!t ton of money. I'm thinking Masters in FE myself in a few years.

Do it again? Yea, b/c tuition was free. But would change major to Economics/Finance or something. Surprised how far the school name (and friends I made there) got me through my career, but pretty much nothing else remotely as valuable was learned. And everyone complains about the crappy weather and ugly girls etc..
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      08-27-2013, 11:41 AM   #35
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Cornell BSME
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      08-27-2013, 01:27 PM   #36
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I think school helps with initial impressions but to get that first meeting its really who you know... it's all about who you know. Period. Then it's hard work that opens doors.
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      08-27-2013, 03:36 PM   #37
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1996 Grad of Washington State University BSEE.
My condolences.
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      08-27-2013, 04:29 PM   #38
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OP, go to a community college and get your associates. Live at your parents home and work as a pizza delivery boy or some minimum wage type paying job and save, save, save! When you graduate with your associates degree and a few semesters of college under your belt you will have a vastly different mind set of what you want your future to consist of. Your idea of what school you want to go to will be more accurate and the degree plan you want to pursue will be more applicable to what you want out of life. Go the school you've chosen and be involved as you can academically and socially. Also, do all you can to find an internship that coincides with your degree plan. I wish someone would have given me this advice before I went off to college.
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      08-27-2013, 07:39 PM   #39
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My condolences.
You must have gone to the school with all the dogs
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      08-27-2013, 08:16 PM   #40
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bahasad
I go to Drexel University here in Philadelphia, PA. Graduating senior 2014.
Mechanical Engineer. Drexel's co-op program as well as good recognition as an engineering school (at least here in the Northeast) is what got me to go.
I'm an incoming senior at Drexel majoring in biological sciences with a concentration in organismal physiology. I'm planning to apply to dental school after I graduate also. Good luck bud

As with Bahasad, the co-op here at Drexel really helped me to get my foot in the door be able to work with multiple specialized dentists as well as spend some time with the labs (on my own time) but that's with the northeast
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      08-27-2013, 08:27 PM   #41
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SAM135iAM
OP, go to a community college and get your associates. Live at your parents home and work as a pizza delivery boy or some minimum wage type paying job and save, save, save! When you graduate with your associates degree and a few semesters of college under your belt you will have a vastly different mind set of what you want your future to consist of. Your idea of what school you want to go to will be more accurate and the degree plan you want to pursue will be more applicable to what you want out of life. Go the school you've chosen and be involved as you can academically and socially. Also, do all you can to find an internship that coincides with your degree plan. I wish someone would have given me this advice before I went off to college.
I don't disagree, but am thinking the 4year schools are on to this, and not allowing many of the credits from a JC to transfer in for credit. Also, much of the scholarship money is only available to incoming freshmen, so you may miss out on that.
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      08-27-2013, 08:51 PM   #42
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I'm currently at Florida International University (FIU) doing Business Adminstration: Management. I'm a pilot and wanted to have my degree in something unrelated to aviation in case I am one day no longer able to fly. I entertained the idea of going to Embry-Riddle and went as far as doing orientation and picking my classes before changing my mind. It was so expensive for a degree that wouldn't serve me any good unless I was in an airplane. No offense to any Riddlers on the forum, I sometimes wish I would have stayed there. It's an awesome school.

I've been entertaining the idea of transferring to the University of Miami but we'll see....
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      08-27-2013, 09:56 PM   #43
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I'm an incoming senior at Drexel majoring in biological sciences with a concentration in organismal physiology. I'm planning to apply to dental school after I graduate also. Good luck bud

As with Bahasad, the co-op here at Drexel really helped me to get my foot in the door be able to work with multiple specialized dentists as well as spend some time with the labs (on my own time) but that's with the northeast
Do you bring your E90 to campus? Were you in the commuter car show?
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      08-27-2013, 09:57 PM   #44
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bahasad
Quote:
Originally Posted by shazzy04 View Post
I'm an incoming senior at Drexel majoring in biological sciences with a concentration in organismal physiology. I'm planning to apply to dental school after I graduate also. Good luck bud

As with Bahasad, the co-op here at Drexel really helped me to get my foot in the door be able to work with multiple specialized dentists as well as spend some time with the labs (on my own time) but that's with the northeast
Do you bring your E90 to campus? Were you in the commuter car show?
Nah bro not me haha.
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