Wondering what your life would look like if you go the HPSP route into the Veterinary Corps? This post describes the timeline of 12+ years of your life!
The commitment you make in the HPSP comes with seeing new places, meeting new people, doing and learning new things constantly.
The military lifestyle favors the adaptable, the optimistic, and the adventurous, and the Veterinary Corps is simply unlike anything civilian veterinary medicine has to offer.
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As soon as you get accepted to veterinary school, you are eligible to begin your application. As I've said before, the HPSP application is the most intensive and exhausting application ever- moreso than the VMCAS! Start as early as possible! Find out who the AMEDD Recruiter is by your school and give their office a call. You can start writing your personal statement and reach out to letter of rec writers over the summer. Note- do NOT just talk to any recruiting office- make sure they are an AMEDD Recruiting office. Regular recruiting offices only recruit people who want to enlist, NOT health professionals!
During first semester of vet school, you need to focus on getting the best grades you can. You will meet with your AMEDD recruiter multiple times over the semester to get all your forms, testing, fingerprints, etc. done. You should complete your HPSP application by December so that they can submit your packet to the Board.
You will be notified if you were chosen for HPSP around late February/March and you will have your commissioning ceremony in April.
You will attend Direct Commissioning Course in the summer between your 1st and 2nd year (4 weeks).
You will attend Basic Officer Leadership Course in the summer between 2nd and 3rd year (6 weeks).
(***Note- alternatively, you might attend DCC between 2nd and 3rd year, and BOLC either between 3rd and 4th year OR after graduation prior to Vet Track.)
During your clinical year of veterinary medical school, you are expected to use your externship weeks to complete two Active Duty Trainings, which you get to choose from a list of military installations.
You submit your ranking for your internship year locations in the Fall of your senior year.
You should hear about your internship assignment in January of your senior year.
After you graduate, you will go straight to Vet Track (6 weeks) and then to your internship!
Your internship will last 11 months - you get to practice veterinary medicine and surgery autonomously, but with the presence of experienced veterinarians to mentor you!
In the fall of your internship year, you will find out about which assignments will be open after your internship, and you will rank them by your preferences. The first assignment may be either the domestic or the international, depending on what is are available and what you prefer.
You hear about your first assignment in January of your internship year!
After completing your first and second assignments, you come to a fork in the road. You can either decide to leave active duty and begin your remaining 3 years of Reserve Service Obligation (meaning being a civilian veterinarian, but train/work with a Reserve unit throughout the year) OR if you want to stay active you must do LTHET (Long Term Health Education Training), which can be a Clinical Specialty Residency, PhD, MS, MPH, or MPVM. You will promote to Major upon completion of your LTHET and be placed in an active duty role according to your LTHET area of expertise.
If you stay in after serving back your LTHET obligation, you will promote to LTC and your administrative responsibilities will increase, but you can still do medicine/surgery here and there. By that time, you probably are nearing 20 years of service, and are eligible to retire.