The United States Navy Medical Corps is faced with a problem that confronts the nation as a whole: a shortage of medical personnel. According to analysis conducted for the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) in 2019, the United States is projected to face a shortage of between 54,100 and 139,000 physicians by 2033. For its part, the Navy says that the recruitment of medical officers is a “significant” challenge, partly due to the higher income doctors can receive in civilian practice.

To ensure that all Navy personnel, including those in the Navy Reserves or veterans, receive top-notch medical care, several programs have been created that offset the lure of higher civilian pay by giving medical students the opportunity to earn their license without incurring monumental amounts of debt along the way.

For those already attending medical school, the Navy Health Services Collegiate Program (HSCP) offers a monthly salary, a housing allowance, and a health-care benefits package that is extremely attractive in today’s marketplace. Depending on where the medical school you attend or will attend is located, these benefits can add up to somewhere between $157,000 on the low end to upwards of $270,000.

Another option for those seek to become members of the Navy Medical Corps is the Health Professions Scholarship Program (HPSP). Available to those either planning to attend or already attending medical or dental school or a health-care-related postgraduate program, HPSP allows you to join the Navy while you’re still in school. In return, you are eligible to have up to 100 percent of your tuition paid for by the Navy, as well as receiving monthly stipend ($2,200) for living expenses and a signing bonus that can be as high as $20,000. According to the AAMC, annual tuition and fees at a medical school run average over $54,000 in 2021, which makes the HPSP an outstanding option for those with a passion for the healing arts but who are understandably taken back at the prospect of starting a practice already hundreds of thousands of dollars in debt.

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