MCLB Albany Community
NY Army National Guard offering bonus payments to physicians assistants who sign up
Story by CPT Jean Marie Kratzer on 01/11/2019
ALBANY, N.Y.- Physician assistants who join the New York Army National Guard will get $60,000 up front to repay college loans and a $25,000 annual bonus for four ears, New York’s deputy state surgeon told 40 students at Albany Medical College on Jan. 10.
The New York Army National Guard needs PA’s in its units and in its Medical Command, explained Lt. Col. Luis Garcia, a physician’s assistant and New York’s deputy state surgeon.
So he’s out touting the benefits of Army National Guard service to any newly minted physicians assistant who will listen, Garcia said.
As part of the recruiting efforts Garcia and Maj. Stephen Carson, the medical standards officer for New York’s Medical Command, answered questions from students finishing up their PA programs at Albany Medical College.
Medical professionals in the military ensure that Soldiers receive the best healthcare possible on and off the battlefield and enjoy extra benefits too, they said.
“Today was a success, we received a lot of great questions and interest and we also had several students seriously considering joining,” Garcia said.
The final semester students will be graduating in May with high hopes to pass their physician assistance national certifying exam, find jobs and start paying off their student loan debt.
Several great options for these students if they joined the Guard; a retirement pension plan at the completion of 20 years, a monthly drill check, health care benefits and an additional incentives for Medical Specialists Corps officer, which is a loan repayment of $60,000 and also $25,000 bonus each year for four years.
The deal looks pretty good to her, said student Bayly Anderson.
Anderson, who has several family members in the military, said the offer to help pay off student loans is a great benefit.
Physician assistants receive direct commissions as Medical Specialist Corps officers with the Army Medical Department (AMEDD) and serve as the primary medical provider to Soldiers in battalion and division level units.
They are responsible for unit medical readiness and training medics. They can also provide garrison healthcare to Soldiers, family members, and other eligible beneficiaries.
After the forty five minute presentation with the students three New York Army National Guard recruiters were available to speak to the Soldiers.
“We need to go out and continue speaking to physician assistant students. We need to go to more schools and bigger schools, the contacts we made today will make going to other schools in the future worth it,” Carson said.