March 4, 2024

Health Professions Scholarship Program: Understanding the requirements and application process will help you know what to expect and how to best prepare for a career in the Military as you start to think about the path to becoming a military physician.

Health Professions Scholarship

About Health Professions Scholarship Program

Being a doctor in the military presents a significant challenge, but there is also plenty of support available to you to guide you along the way.

Military doctors attend medical school in addition to receiving training in leadership and military culture because they join as officers.

This does not boot camp; rather, military doctors are receiving specialized training that will help them succeed in the future.

Eligibility General Requirements

No matter your age, you must obtain a physical to verify that you are fit to serve in the event of a deployment. Learn which medical issues may disqualify a potential applicant by reading this resource.

The program you want to enter will determine where you get your physical. Uniformed Services University of the Health Services (USU) applicants will have their physicals performed by the Department of Defense Medical Examination Review Board, while Health Professions Scholarship Program (HPSP) applicants will have their physicals performed at a Military Entrance Processing Station (MEPS) close by.

  • You must also successfully complete a security check and exhibit the high moral standards needed of a doctor and a military commander.

The Military screens for certain conditions that may be incompatible with military medical practice. Waivers for certain health-related issues are available on a case-by-case basis. Depending on the program, you may want to apply early to give the Services enough time to process your waiver.


To join the Military, you have to be at least 18 years old (17 with parental consent) or granted a waiver. As for the upper age limit, it depends on the Service and the program:

  • Army, Army Reserve, and Army National Guard: 42
  • Navy and Navy Reserve: 42
  • Air Force: 48
  • Air Force Reserve: 47
  • Air National Guard: 47

Health Professions Scholarship Program (HPSP): 36 (for the Navy, you can be no older than 42 at the time you enter Active Duty, following your degree completion unless you were granted an age waiver when you were recruited)

Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences (USU), F. Edward Hébert School of Medicine: 36 (Note: waivers have been granted for applicants up to age 42)

Age waivers are available, but they depend on your skills and the Military’s needs.

For more Eligibility

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Scholarship Tuition

As part of the HPSP, the Military will cover your tuition, give you a stipend for living expenses, and pay for any necessary textbooks, equipment, or supplies.

Your Service branch will get in touch with your medical school and begin paying your tuition as soon as you are approved for the HPSP.

Your stipend will start accruing on the day your benefits start, and it will be paid to you via direct deposit on the first and fifteenth of each month.

Keep thorough notes of everything you spend money on for school so you may file expense reports.

You get the same active-duty salary and benefits as a second lieutenant in the Army, Air Force, or Navy, or an ensign during your 45-day annual training period.

Interview Process

It is important for applicants to think about and be able to describe their true purpose for pursuing a career in military medicine.

Additionally, candidates ought to be aware of what it entails to serve as both a medical professional and a military commissioned officer.

Know and be able to articulate your key strengths, shortcomings, and teamwork readiness. Even whether the call is virtual or visual, present yourself professionally, and don’t be hesitant to ask questions of your interviewer. You want to learn about their military experiences as well as discuss your potential career as a military physician.

Service Commitment

In some cases, rather than entering a residency right away, you can complete your service commitment as a general medical officer after completing at least a year of post-graduate training and getting your medical license (GMO).

Being a specialized unit, air wing, ship, or submarine connected has some similarities to being a general practitioner.

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