Air Force AEGD Application Process

The aim of this article is to provide valuable insight into the Air Force AEGD-1 Application process, for HPSP students to use as a reference as they approach their final year of dental school. The information provided in this article is only meant to be a resource in helping Air Force dental HPSP students prepare for the AEGD-1 application process. This information was current for the 2018 application cycle (dental students graduating in 2019) but there is no guarantee that the information provided in this article is completely accurate for future graduating classes. In no way is this information intended to be official or represent the official views of the United States Air Force. Current Air Force dental HPSP students who have questions about the AEGD-1 application process should contact the Air Force Graduate Dental Education Section directly.

Any black text in this article NOT in italics is the opinion of an Air Force AEGD-1 applicant, and not to be considered information provided by the U.S. Air Force. Any blue text in italics represents passages directly from the 2018 AEGD-1 application, and is subject to change from year to year.

As an Air Force dental HPSP recipient, the first few years of dental school can often leave a student wondering if there will ever come a time that they are required to do anything related to their scholarship. From the first day of school, a stipend is deposited in the bank twice a month, but otherwise, the Air Force dental HPSP student seemingly doesn’t do anything different than any other dental student. All Air Force dental HPSP recipients know, however, that some time in their final year of school, they will need to apply for an Air Force Advanced Education in General Dentistry (AEGD-1), but when exactly that happens and how it happens isn’t common knowledge. Applying for the AEGD-1 is the biggest step for dental HPSP students after accepting the scholarship and commissioning into the Air Force. However, most students don’t have a clue how this process works, and therefore aren’t able to prepare for it in advance.

In the past, it was required by all Air Force dental HPSP students to apply for an Air Force AEGD-1, but if selected, students were allowed to decline it, and go straight into active duty to fulfill their payback requirement. However, the graduating class of 2019 is the first class of dental HPSP students entering the Air Force required to apply for an Air Force AEGD-1, and accept it if selected. This policy change is clearly outlined in the contract Air Force dental HPSP scholarship recipients sign prior to commissioning. It is reiterated in the AEGD-1 application itself, with the following statement:

“Per your Health Professions Scholarship Program (HPSP) Contract, you are required to apply for an AEGD-1 Residency. In addition, students who signed the HPSP contract in Fiscal Year 2015 or later are required to attend the AEGD-1 if selected. There is no guarantee of selection for the AEGD-1.”

Successful completion of an AEGD-1 is also required for HPSP students who would eventually like to be considered for an assignment outside of the continental United States (OCONUS).

The year spent in an AEGD-1 does not count towards the payback requirement HPSP students must fulfill, however, it does not add any extra time to the payback either. Essentially, it is a “neutral year”. Fortunately, unlike many civilian residencies that offer very little compensation, residents in an Air Force AEGD-1 program will receive the same pay they will receive in the years they are fulfilling their payback requirement.

In addition to applying for the AEGD-1, students may choose up to ONE additional specialty program to apply for such as: AEGD-2, Periodontics, Prosthodontics, or Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery. If a student chooses to apply for one of these specialty programs, they must still apply for the AEGD-1, in case they are not selected for one of these specialty residencies. In order to be considered for a specialty residency, students must meet the following requirements:

1. Must be in top 50% of graduating class. (Waivers may be considered)

2. A personal interview must be conducted with the Special Consultant (or their designee) for the specialty to which you are applying.

3. GRE: Request scores be sent to U.S. Air Force Base Health Science

4. Must attend Commissioned Officer Training (COT).

  • You must finish COT in time to begin training on 1 July. Due to the start date of the specialty training programs, senior AF DC HPSP students may be selected to begin specialty training in the next calendar year. Waivers are not permitted.

Specialty Programs

Program Length

Location

Comprehensive Dentistry (AEGD-2)

2 years

Lackland, Keesler

Periodontics

3 years

Lackland

Prosthodontics

3.5 years

Lackland

Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery

4 years

Lackland

4 years

Travis

The table below shows the expected amount of time on active duty depending on the residency an Air Force HPSP dentist completes:

HPSP Length

Additional Training

Total Time on Active Duty

(Time spent in training plus time spent for payback)

1 or 2 year HPSP

 

None

AEGD-1

AEGD-2

Perio

Prosthodontics

OMS

3 years

3 years

4 years

6 years

  7 years*

8 years

3 year HPSP

None

AEGD-1

AEGD-2

Perio

Prosthodontics

OMS

3 years

4 years

5 years

6 years

  7 years*

8 years

4 year HPSP

None

AEGD-1

AEGD-2

Perio

Prosthodontics

OMS

4 years

5 years

6 years

7 years

  7.5 years*

8 years

*Total time on active duty will increase if selected to attend an AFIT sponsored civilian program rather than a military sponsored program.

Air Force AEGD-1 Application

The big question that many Air Force dental HPSP students have, is when do I receive the application, and what does it entail? Despite the fact that students have very little contact with the Air Force throughout school, the Air Force knows who each student is, and when they need to apply for the AEGD-1. The office that processes applications for the AEGD-1 is the Air Force Personnel Center Dental Education Section, known as “AFPC/DP2ND Dental Education Section”. Sometime in the summer before 4th year (summer before 3rd year for UOP students), the AFPC/DP2ND Office will email all Air Force dental HPSP students the application for the AEGD-1 residency. The exact dates for when the application is emailed out, when the application is due, when the selection board meets, and when results are released will be different from year to year.

The following dates can be used as a rough guideline and were applicable for the 2018 application cycle (graduating class of 2019):

AFPC/DP2ND Office emails AEGD-1 application to all Air Force dental HPSP students entering their final year of dental school:

July 12, 2018

Local AEGD-1 program director must be contacted by student and interview must be set up no later than:

August 15, 2018

(Interview can happen after this date, but must be set up before this date)

Application and interview must be complete and submitted, with transcripts, boards report, and letters of recommendation received by AFPC/DP2ND Office no later than:

September 21, 2018

Air Force Graduate Dental Education Selection Board (GDESB) meets to review each Air Force dental HPSP student’s application:

October 22, 2018

AFPC/DP2ND Office assesses results from GDESB and matches applicants to specific AEGD-1 programs:

October 22, 2018 - November 13, 2018

 

AFPC/DP2ND Office emails applicants to inform them whether they were selected for an AEGD-1 or other specialty residency:

November 14, 2018

 

AFPC/DP2ND Office emails AEGD-1 selects an offer letter indicating which AEGD-1 residency program they will be serving at:

November 30, 2018

AEGD-1 selects are required to return signed AEGD-1 acknowledgement letter by:

December 14, 2018

AEGD-1 selects receive official orders for base assignment, which is required to initiate relocation process:

April 2019

 

Application Components

1. Class Rank, Transcripts, and Boards Report

As part of the application the AFPC/DP2ND Office requires the following administrative documents:

  • AFRS Form 1413:  Have the appropriate office at your dental school complete this form showing current Class Rank, GPA, and projected graduation date.  If your school does not track Class Rank or GPA, please have them submit a letter stating this fact and that you are in good academic standing.

  • Official transcripts: Have your dental school send an official copy of your transcripts DIRECTLY to this office that includes your junior year grades.

  • NBDE Report: An Official NBDE Report needs to be sent DIRECTLY to this office. It is obtained by contacting the Joint Commission: http://www.ada.org/en/jcnde/examinations. If you will not have taken Part II of the NBDE by the application deadline, a score report showing Part I only will suffice.

It is important for students applying for the AEGD-1 to start completing these documents as soon as they receive the application, as it may take time to request each of these reports from the respective agencies that will be providing them.

2. Letters of Recommendation

Applicants will be allowed to submit up to 3 Letters of Recommendation. The AEGD-1 application does not give any direction on who should complete letters of recommendation for the applicant. Anyone who can speak to the applicant’s character would be a good choice, but given that this is an application for a dental residency, it would be wise to choose at least 1 or 2 people who have worked with the applicant in a clinical setting, and can speak to the applicant’s clinical skills – such as a clinical attending dentist at the applicant’s dental school. The following is the only direction given regarding letters of recommendation on the actual AEGD-1 application:

  • Up to 3 Letters of Recommendation. These need to be on letterhead and signed by the author. Have the author email the letter as a PDF to AFPC/DP2ND office.

3. Interview

As part of the AEGD-1 application, each applicant must complete an interview at a nearby Air Force Base that houses a residency program. Applicants may be near an Air Force Base, but if it does not have a dental residency program, they will need to travel to another Air Force Base which has one to complete their interview. The Air Force does NOT reimburse HPSP students who are AEGD-1 applicants for travel to and from the AEGD-1 interview. The interview should take place in person, which means students should plan for travel costs leading up to the AEGD-1 interview.

Many students fear that interviewing at a nearby base may increase their chances for serving at that base, when it may be the last base they want to serve at. However, the base and program director the applicant interviews with, has no bearing on the actual AEGD-1 assignment the applicant receives. A detailed process of how assignments are made will be explained in greater detail later in this article.

As part of the interview, students should be prepared to provide the interviewer with a personal CV. This is something that can be prepared and refined in the years leading up to the AEGD-1 application, and will save the applicant a lot of time if already completed. A sample CV can be viewed here: Air Force HPSP Personal CV Example for AEGD Application. The interviewer may want a copy of the applicant’s transcripts to view at the interview as well. When setting up the interview, applicants should ask the interviewer if they would like a copy of the transcript provided at the interview. If the interviewer answers yes, a personal copy of the transcript will need to be requested by the applicant to take to the interview, in addition to the copy submitted to the AFPC/DP2ND Office. The interviewer may be able to obtain the applicant’s transcripts directly from the AFPC/DP2ND Office, but this needs to be confirmed with the interviewer in advance.

The following is the direction given by the AFPC/DP2ND Office in the AEGD-1 Application regarding interviews:

  • Interviews for AEGD-1:  The location for personal interviews is determined by geographic proximity of the dental school you are attending to an AEGD-1 Program. AFPC/DP2ND (this office) will notify you of your interview location. Exceptions will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis. This office will direct you accordingly. Once you know your interview location, call that AEGD program director to set up an interview no later than 15 August 2018.  After this date, interviews may be denied.  The interview can take place after 15 August, but must occur before the application deadline, 21 September 2018. The interview is a chance for you to discuss the value of the AEGD-1, geographic preferences, and scope of clinical practice.  The director might ask you to furnish a copy of your transcripts, personal CV, etc.  Please have these available when asked.  Call one week prior to your interview to confirm the time and place.  Arrive 15 minutes early to your appointed time in proper attire to help make a good first impression.  Remember, you are interviewing for a residency in the Air Force; your appearance should reflect that as much as possible. At the personal interview, you will be given a tour of the clinic, and a chance to sell yourself.  Your AEGD-1 assignment is not dependent upon where you conduct your interview. Unlike the civilian match system, it is not necessary to complete the interview at the program you wish to attend.  Your selection to your residency of choice is based upon the competitiveness of your record, not which director accomplished the interview.

AEGD-1 Interview Bases: Closest Major City

Andrews: Washington, D.C.

Barksdale: Shreveport, LA

Eglin:  Ft. Walton Beach, FL

Keesler**:  Biloxi, MS

Lackland*:  San Antonio, TX

Langley:  Norfolk, VA

Nellis:  Las Vegas, NV

Offutt:  Omaha, NE

Scott:  St. Louis, MO

Travis:  Sacramento, CA

United States Air Force Academy: Colorado Springs, CO

Wright-Patterson:  Dayton, OH

*Lackland AFB: An applicant may set up two interviews – AEGD-1 and either AEGD-2, Perio, Pros, or OMFS.

**Keesler AFB: An applicant may set up two interviews – AEGD-1 and AEGD-2.

  • Your interview is IMPORTANT.

    • Some of you attend a school that doesn’t have GPA or Class Rank, and the NBDE no longer gives scores. If this applies to you, you have no data points for the Board to evaluate. This makes the interview that much more important.

    • If possible, travel to accomplish a face-to-face interview. This will give you the chance to give your interviewer MORE of you to accurately produce a report for the Board. This will also give you a chance to check out your future, check out the clinic, and talk to current residents.

    • ARRIVE EARLY, LOOK PROFESSIONAL, BE PREPARED. Have the documents the interviewer requested with you. Have questions ready to ask the interviewer (about the location, clinic, program, etc.). Realize you are heading for Active Duty, which has a certain appearance.

It is important to note that Lackland AFB and Keesler AFB do not have AEGD-1 programs, but applicants may still be asked to complete their AEGD-1 interview at these bases.

4. Other Miscellaneous Documents

  • Personal Data Sheet - This asks for the applicant’s name, phone number, address, and whether they have attended Commissioned Officer Training (COT) or not.

  • Memorandum for HPSP Students Attending COT - This form explains the physical fitness requirements expected at Commissioned Officer Training (COT). It requires a signature indicating that the applicant is aware of the high physical expectations that will be placed on them at COT.

  • Statement of Understanding - This form explains to the applicant that the AEGD-1 will not count towards the payback requirement, and that it will add one year to the total amount of time spent on active duty (see table above). A signature of acknowledgement is required.

  • Training Preference - This provides applicants a space to mark which residencies they are applying for. Every applicant will mark AEGD-1, and some applicants may mark one other residency of their choosing (as explained above).

  • Statement of Training Location and Base of Preference - This is where applicants will indicate their order of preference for AEGD-1 location. There is one column for students to rank AEGD-1 programs, and another column to rank all other Air Force Bases in the continental U.S. (CONUS) with dental clinics, in case the applicant is not selected for the AEGD-1.

To view a map of all Air Force Bases where dentists can serve, including AEGD-1 program locations, please visit the follow link or click the image below: Map of Air Force Bases Where Dentists Can Serve

Preview Map of Air Force Dental Bases

Section from AEGD-1 application regarding training location:

USAF AEGD-1 BASES

(Mark order of preference from 1-10)

GENERAL DENTAL BASE PREFERENCES*

(should you not be assigned to an AEGD-1)

Rank

AEGD-1 Bases: Closest Major City

Rank

General Dental Base (CONUS Only: see Map)

 

Andrews: Washington, D.C.

 

1

 

 

Barksdale: Shreveport, LA

 

2

 

 

Eglin:  Ft. Walton Beach, FL

 

3

 

 

Langley:  Norfolk, VA

 

4

 

 

Nellis:  Las Vegas, NV

 

5

 

 

Offutt:  Omaha, NE

 

6

 

 

Scott:  St. Louis, MO

 

7

 

 

Travis:  Sacramento, CA

 

8

 

 

USAFA: Colorado Springs, CO

 

9

 

 

Wright-Patterson:  Dayton, OH

 

10

 

*General Dental Base Preferences can include AEGD-1 Bases, as they also have non-resident, general dentist positions.

When ranking your bases, keep in mind the following:

  • Each AEGD-1 Program is created equal regarding curriculum and skills training

  • The AEGD-1 Program is one year, and it goes by quick. You will be busy learning more than you imagined as you become a much better dentist.

  • A large majority of AEGD-1 residents (more than 4/5) PCS (Permanent Change of Station, a.k.a. move) after that one year.

  • AEGD-1 graduates are eligible for OCONUS (Outside of the Continental U.S.) assignments. Those who do not attend an AEGD-1 WILL NOT be assigned OCONUS for their first duty assignment.

  • A majority of AEGD-1 applicants in the past had the following top five AEGD-1 Bases: USAFA, Travis, Eglin, Langley, and Andrews. We cannot have all 75 AEGD-1 residents at those 5 bases.

  • The number of residents at each AEGD-1 program is: Andrews (9), Barksdale (6), Eglin (8), Langley (8), Nellis (8), Offutt (8), Scott (6), Travis (8), USAFA (6), and Wright-Patterson (8). (Note: The numbers can vary slightly from year to year.)

  • We base which AEGD-1 Program you are assigned to on how the Board scores your record and your preference. We also keep in mind that variety in each program benefits all involved.

*In years past, there was an AEGD-1 residency at Bolling AFB. However, due to a large new facility at Andrews AFB, the previous AEGD-1 at Bolling AFB has been moved and combined with the AEGD-1 program at Andrews AFB.

How the AFPC/DP2ND Office determines training location for each AEGD-1 applicant:

If each applicant only interviews at one AEGD-1 program, how does the AFPC/DP2ND Office determine which location to assign each applicant to? The commander of the AFPC/DP2ND Office was asked this very question, and he went on to explain the following process for determining training location.

At the time of the interview, each interviewer has a rubric they follow to grade the applicant on the strength of the interview as well as provide their own feedback on the applicant. The rubric, and feedback, is then sent to the AFPC/DP2ND Office prior to when the Air Force Graduate Dental Education Selection Board (GDESB) meets. The GDESB board consists of higher ranking dentists in the Air Force who meet once a year to attend to other business, and while they are together for their annual meeting, they spend time reviewing AEGD-1 applications. Each person on the board is assigned to review a handful of applications. For each applicant a board member reviews, they are provided with the interview rubric and feedback from the interviewer, letters of recommendation, class rank, transcripts, and the AEGD-1 application. After reviewing all of these things, the person assigned to the applicant completes a detailed rubric that gives the applicant a score on the strength of the application as a whole. The score given by the interviewer, along with the score given by the board reviewer, is inputted into a computer algorithm, along with the scores from all of the other AEGD-1 applicants. The computer system then sorts the AEGD-1 applicants into a ranked list showing the relative strength of each applicant in regards to the other applicants. The number one applicant on the list is theoretically the strongest applicant, and the last applicant on the list is the weakest applicant, for lack of better words. This list is never made public, and the AFPC/DP2ND Office will not inform applicants of their ranking on the list at any point in time. The list is only used internally by the AFPC/DP2ND Office to determine training locations.

Once the ranking list has been produced, the AFPC/DP2ND Office uses it in conjunction with the training preferences provided by each applicant to make assignments for all applicants. The AFPC/DP2ND Office goes down the ranking list and tries to match applicants in a way that provides the best outcome for applicants and for the diversity of each training location. For example, they do not want the 8 best applicants at one AEGD-1 program, as much as they don’t want the 8 worst applicants at another AEGD-1 program. Instead, they want an even mix of strengths among applicants at each AEGD-1 program. So if the top five applicants on the ranking list prefer to go to Langley AFB, the AFPC/DP2ND Office might assign two of them to Langley, and send the other three applicants to their 2nd base of preference. In this way, they move down the list, making assignments that provide a beneficial outcome for applicants and the Air Force as a whole. This process isn’t an exact science, and applicants likely get moved around quite a bit as the AFPC/DP2ND Office works their way through the list, until they feel comfortable that the assignments will produce a diverse mixture of experience amongst the applicants at each AEGD-1 program. Although it isn’t possible for every single applicant to get the exact location they chose as their number one preference, it seems that the AFPC/DP2ND Office works hard to keep each applicant happy by assigning them to a base that is more towards the top of their preference list. Before assignments are sent to applicants, the decisions must be finalized by different departments within the Air Force.

Once the proper authorizations have been received from the powers that be, official offer letters are sent to the applicants. The program directors at each AEGD-1 residency find out which applicants are assigned to their program at the same time the applicants find out, reiterating the fact that interviewing with a certain program director doesn’t increase or decrease the chances of serving at that specific program. The program directors themselves are not involved in the actual decision making process, as the final assignments are decided by the AFPC/DP2ND Office.

As mentioned earlier, if an applicant is selected for an AEGD-1 residency, it is required for the applicant to accept the residency assignment. After receiving the offer letter, each applicant is required to return an acknowledgement letter accepting the residency selection. However, this is just a formality, since it isn’t possible to decline the selection to the AEGD-1 residency.

Summary

The Air Force AEGD-1 application does not require a lot of effort on the part of the applicant. The majority of the application is consumed by administrative documents requiring signatures of acknowledgement for different Air Force protocols. There is no personal statement required of the applicant, or specific list of questions to be answered. In fact, the only things the applicant must personally complete outside of signing a few documents is the training location preference order and the Personal CV – and this is technically only if the interviewer requests it. The 3 Letters of Recommendation, transcripts from the registrar’s office, and boards report, will all be requested by the applicant, but will be completed by someone other than the applicant.

For Air Force dental HPSP students who want to be prepared leading up to the AEGD-1 application process, the following things can be accomplish beforehand:

1. Formulation of personal curriculum vitae (CV)

  • This can be started at any time and continually refined up until the AEGD-1 interview takes place.

  • A quick Google search produces thousands of resources for creating a professional personal CV.

  • An actual Air Force AEGD-1 applicant’s personal CV can be found at the following link: Air Force HPSP Personal CV Example for AEGD Application

2. Get to know certain clinical attending dentists and professors

  • When it is time to ask for a letter of recommendation, the process will be much easier if the applicant already has a relationship with certain attending dentists or professors at their school.

  • Many attending dentists or professors will not feel comfortable writing a letter of recommendation for someone they don’t know very well. It is beneficial for applicants to find certain attending dentists or professors early on in their education to act as mentors to them. If applicants work more closely and more frequently with these attending dentists or professors, they will be more willing and able to write letters of recommendation for the applicant when the time comes.

3. Track clinical progress from the first day of being in the clinic

  • Every procedure an applicant completes in the clinic should be tracked in a spreadsheet. A spreadsheet can be formulated in a way that makes it easy for the applicant to see at any point in time, how many of each procedure has been completed.

  • This information can be valuable for the AEGD-1 interview, in case the interviewer asks how the applicant’s experience has been in a given discipline of dentistry. Responding with, “I have been fortunate to do 20 root canals” is much more informative of an answer than “I have done a lot of root canals”. Tracking each procedure in a spreadsheet is not only a good way to prepare for the AEGD-1 interview, but is also a good way for the applicant to be self-motivated throughout school. Applicants should be careful about how this information is used, and how it is presented in the AEGD-1 interview, so that it does not come across as boastful.

4. Research AEGD-1 locations and create a tentative preference order

  • It isn’t likely the AEGD-1 locations will change drastically over time. Applicants and their spouses/families can start researching the different training locations as soon as they receive the scholarship so that they are prepared to rank them as soon as they receive the AEGD-1 application. As a reminder, the 10 Air Force Bases currently with AEGD-1 programs (listed with the nearest major city) are:

1.  Andrews: Washington, D.C.
2.  Barksdale: Shreveport, LA
3.  Eglin:  Ft. Walton Beach, FL
4.  Langley:  Norfolk, VA
5.  Nellis:  Las Vegas, NV
6.  Offutt:  Omaha, NE
7.  Scott:  St. Louis, MO
8.  Travis:  Sacramento, CA
9.  USAFA: Colorado Springs, CO
10. Wright-Patterson:  Dayton, OH

  • Although Air Force Bases without AEGD-1 programs must also be ranked in order of preference in case the applicant is not selected for the AEGD-1, it isn’t necessarily important to research bases without AEGD-1 programs prior to receiving the AEGD-1 application, as there is a much lower likelihood of not being accepted for the AEGD-1 than there is for being accepted. All applicants should approach the AEGD-1 application process as if they WILL be accepted, since the goal of the Air Force is to accept as many applicants as possible.