Uncle Sam Wants Psychologists and Social Workers

uncle samAttention psychologists and social workers: Uncle Sam wants you! The U.S. Army is making a concerted effort to take care of the psychological and emotional needs of its personnel, and it's staging a major recruiting campaign to attract specialists in the field.

The Army is on the lookout for psychiatrists, clinical psychologists, social workers -- even graduate students entering those fields. And they're putting some exceptionally attractive offers on the table, which include substantial signing bonuses, competitive pay and generous benefits. Then there are the educational perks, which can include medical scholarships, loan repayment, internship programs and financial assistance to medical residents and post-graduate students.

This could be a dream come true for those graduating with a psychology degree who are worried about job opportunities, or licensed practitioners whose workload is being released due to budget cuts. Or maybe for those who would like to make a real difference and give something back to the men and women who serve our country.

"Behavioral health continues to be an area of strong emphasis for our medical recruiting mission," said Col. R. Scott Dingle, the Army's Medical Recruiting Brigade commander. "The number of soldiers has increased in the past decade, and we must keep pace with recruitment of therapists and behavioral health professionals to optimally support our soldiers and their families."

It might come as a surprise to you to know that the Army is one of the largest health care organizations in the world, with more than 90 career paths for health care professionals. They also offer one of the best scholarships around, the F. Edward Hebert Armed Forces Health Professions Scholarship Program, that covers the complete cost of tuition, school fees and books, and provides a monthly stipend of more than $2,000.

Lt. Col. Millard Brown, M.D., a psychiatrist with 12 years of military service, believes that joining the Army was the best career move he could have made. "The Army gave me the opportunity to combine diverse interests in my career path," he said, after just completing a five-year term as the director of psychiatric residency training in Hawaii.

The Army is also interested in recruiting practicing physicians and health professionals for the Army Reserve. You are eligible at any time in your career, up until you turn 60.

If you would like to find out more, check out its website at www.goarmy.com/amedd.

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