May is Military Appreciation Month, culminating in the May 25 Memorial Day holiday during which we remember the thousands of Americans who made the ultimate sacrifice for our country while serving in the armed forces. We here at WOLFPACC have the utmost respect for our nation’s military members and veterans. Among the ways we love to give back is by helping them prepare for careers as military or civilian physicians.
For those considering medical careers, the timing couldn’t be better. Here’s why.
· The VA is on a hiring spree: The Department of Veterans Affairs is actively urging America’s medical school and nursing students to consider careers in the VA. The agency aims to hire a significant number of new doctors, nurses and other medical staff in the coming years to better fill veterans’ healthcare needs, greatly reduce wait times and achieve system-wide improvements. This comes after revelations of critical backlogs in treating America’s veterans.
· New debt forgiveness law: In an effort to help boost the number of future VA physicians, legislators passed a new law that allows the VA to pay up to $120,000 in debt forgiveness for medical professionals – a significant portion of the average medical school debt of $180,000.
· Military-friendly programs: If you have at least 90 days of aggregate active duty service performed since Sept. 10, 2001 and are still on active duty, or if you are an honorably discharged veteran or were discharged with a service-connected disability after 30 days, you may be eligible for the Post-9/11 GI Bill and its Yellow Ribbon Program. If so, and if the medical school you plan to attend participates, you may be eligible for higher levels of tuition and fees coverage.
· Coming physician shortage: The civilian world is facing a coming shortage of physicians in all specialties, particularly as Baby Boomers hit retirement age. But make no mistake – competition will remain fierce. Military experience can be huge boon to your med school applications, as veterans are regarded as being highly disciplined, dedicated, respected and respectful workers with experience in high-stakes, life-and-death situations – all of which translates to working in the medical field.
If you’re a med school-minded veteran, call 904-209-3140 to find out how WOLFPACC can help you prepare for a challenging, rewarding and honorable new career.