No student loans for dental school
Money for books
Money for dental school supplies - drills, hand pieces, everything you need to practice
Money for rent each month
The Army network. 10% Of the US populations joins. You have joined another fraternity, the Veteran’s fraternity.
Health Care is free while on active duty for you and your family!
Great on the job training. An easy transition to becoming a professional dentist.
State of the art dental facilities.
Patients that always pay. The best patients in the world. Young, healthy, polite.
You get to serve your country. The true American way.
You might be thinking skeptically, "This sounds great... but what's the catch?"
One year of paid tuition = One year of Active Duty service
For every year of Dental School the Army pays for, you will serve one year of active duty as a captain. A lot of people assume that the army life means shooting guns and playing soldier. The last time I fired anything was almost four years ago. It's true that you will have some opportunities to do fun stuff like ruck marches, obstacles courses, and self defense training, but the reality is that a majority of your time is spent chair-side treating soldiers. Your number one priority is the health of others.
There are some responsibilities you have to consider before deciding to join. When you join you are a full time solider. You are property of the U.S. government and they want to make sure you are fit and accounted for at all times. You need to meet a standard height and weight as well as pass a physical fitness test twice a year. The government likes to know where its property is at all times, so you have to be okay with being accessible. Consider yourself owned by the Department of Defense. However, the Army is very good to you; they pay you a salary, give you health care, and you get a paid government holidays almost every month.
Some things to think about before you choose to do the Army route. You cannot openly criticize your commander and chief. You cannot end up on the nightly news doing something dumb or bad, and you have to conduct yourself in a way that represents the Army in a good light. The media loves to hate dentists, so if you choose to become active duty or work as a civilian dentist you have to present yourself in a professional manner, the media loves to scrutinize dentists. Remember Cecil the lion? Just don’t get in trouble it can cause a big mess.
If you are not one of the lucky ones that has dental school tuition paid for, you will most likely take out student loans. The way I saw it, I was going to be owned by debt or the Army. I joined the Army because I honestly felt that it would take care of me. After serving, I can positively say that the Army has met my expectations. I would do the HPSP scholarship again, if I could go back in time.
Disclaimer: My posts reflect my own opinions and thoughts alone and do not reflect the policies or opinions of the Army, DoD, or US Government in any way