I need some help deciding what to do

Discussion in 'ROTC' started by daniellebuxton517, Aug 29, 2013.

  1. daniellebuxton517

    daniellebuxton517 DB517

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    Hi, my name's Danielle.

    I want to be a Navy Physician. I'm currently a senior in High School and I'm trying to decide where to go to college. I've been told that doing the NROTC program will be very beneficial so that's the direction I'm heading in. Right now I'm looking at Georgetown University, University of Michigan, Purdue University, and the Naval Academy.

    I have a 3.9 GPA and I'm in the top 10% of my huge class. I'm taking AP and accelerated classes, but I don't have many extracurricular activities...will that ruin my chances of getting the NROTC scholarship? I don't play any sports due to personal family reasons, but I'm physically fit. I am part of a club at school - HOSA (Health Occupation Students of America). It has competitive events nationwide and my group did really well last year.

    Also, my great uncle is an Admiral in the Navy. My dad seems to think that will give me a better chance of getting the scholarship or getting into the Naval Academy..is he right about that?

    Keep in mind that I'm assuming that I'll be one of the 25 students nationwide that is awesome enough to go medical school after NROTC before serving my years.

    Should I apply for the NROTC and take the risk of maybe not going to med school until after I serve a few years or take out a butt-load of student loans? My parents aren't really for the idea of the Navy at all & know nothing about it so I can't even ask for their advice. I just frustrated and would like to hear what others think or have done.

    Thank you.
     
  2. Aglahad

    Aglahad Member

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    1. Don't do ROTC or got to USNA
    2. Go to college and major in whatever you want (avoid Bio, Chem or the stereotypical pre-med majors)
    3. Take MCAT after Junior year, spend $2000 on a prep course
    4. Get ~30 on the MCAT
    5. Get accepted into med school and inquire about Navy HPSP program.
    6. Get into HPSP program and become commissioned as an Ensign for the duration of med school
    7. Graduate med school, receive LT bars and match into a residency
    8. You are now a Navy doc, congrats

    If you really want to be a doc avoid the stress of ROTC and the academies. Most military physicians are direct commissions anyway.

    I don't know what personal family reasons would preclude you from playing sports but that WILL hurt you considering most other applicants have tons of extra currics and varsity letters
     
  3. AROTC Parent

    AROTC Parent Member

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    Medical School Path

    I would update numbers 2 and 3.
    2. If Chem, BIO, or any other science is your passion -- do pursue that for your undergraduate degree.
    3. Take the prep course prior to the Summer after Jr year. Ideally, schedule the MCAT to get your scores before the application period for Med School begins in June unless you plan to take a year off between graduation and Med School.

    ROTC does interfere with Med School pre-requisites (Academic and EC).
     
  4. DeskJockey

    DeskJockey Member

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    Let’s start with your initial premise: “I want to be a Navy Physician”. This may mean that there is something special about the practice of medicine in the Navy that is particularly attractive to you, or it could mean that you want to be a physician and are willing to serve in the Navy in order to get some financial aid or practical experience to help you achieve your goals.

    In my opinion either one is a good enough reason to pursue a commission through NROTC or the Naval Academy, but the best path to take may be different depending on where your interests lie. If serving in the Navy is something that you very much want to do, I think that you may want to take the NROTC/Academy route and work your tail off to be competitive for a med school slot at graduation. Even if you don’t make it right away, you will have the advantage of a free college education and the opportunity to serve in the Navy for a few years – and be in a better position to decide if a Navy medical career is what you really want to do.

    On the other hand, if becoming a doctor is a much bigger deal to you than serving in the Navy, it is probably true that it will be easier to prepare for med school admission without the additional burden of NROTC/Academy coursework – and you won’t need to worry about getting a delay to attend med school. In this regard, I think that a distinction has to be made between NROTC and the Academy. The additional courses and activities for NROTC are not all that onerous, and they should not be a large obstacle to successfully completing a pre-med curriculum. Dozens of NROTC mids do it every year. In fact, participation in NROTC may set you apart and improve your odds of med school admission. By contrast, the demands that the Naval Academy places on every midshipman will definitely affect your ability to get high grades.

    As to your lack of sports and extracurricular activities, I don’t think that it will necessarily disqualify you from NROTC scholarship consideration. There appears to be a great deal of subjectivity in the selection process, and no one knows exactly what the decisive factors are for any particular applicant. You have nothing to lose by applying.

    Finally, I am sure you know that there are a lot of college freshman who start out in pre-med but change their minds (for a variety of reasons) after a semester or two. It is also increasingly the case that college graduates who did not take any pre-med classes are able to make up the coursework and go to med school after working in some other field. In other words, it is not possible or necessary for you to come up with the perfect path to your ideal career as a high school senior. If you are willing to be flexible and persistent (two very valuable traits for prospective naval officers), you can reach your goals whether you choose to go the NROTC/Academy route or not.
     
  5. Aglahad

    Aglahad Member

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    New guidance form med school adcoms states there is a push for more LA types of majors going into med school. Since majors like chem and bio usually beat up a GPA and an undergraduate degree for a doctor is just a means to an end why does it matter? You will get enough bio and chem application in med school.

    You can take the MCAT prep course when it suits you
     
  6. DeskJockey

    DeskJockey Member

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    If prospective pre-med students are applying for NROTC scholarships, it will be to their considerable advantage to declare a major in chemistry, biochemistry, or molecular biology. These count as technical majors, and receive priority in the scholarship selection process (85% of the scholarship offers will go to candidates who choose technical majors).
     
  7. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    JMPO, and throw it in the circular filing cabinet after you read it.

    1. Great Uncle. My kids Great Uncles are in their late 70's/early 80's. An O7 in their 70's is not going to pull a lot of weight. An O-10 will still have some pull because O-10s are rare. I am 48 yo. Young by many standards today as a parent....my youngest is 19.

    I.E. Colin Powell as a great uncle means something since he was a 4 star.

    2. How well are you connected to this great uncle. Our family is close, and my kids great uncles would recognize them on a street...on one side of the family.. They see them at least 2x a yr. On the other side, they could trip over them and never know they were blood. IOTW can this uncle speak on your behalf, or are they just helping out?
    ~~~~ If they don't know you, really know you, than I wouldn't place much value on their recommendation.
    ~~~~ Yadda, yadda, yadda. Great kid, as a retired O7 I give my full support is different than, I have watched this child grow for 17 yrs. They have achieved every goal that they set forth. When they were 15 they did XYZ, and the result was past any expectation.

    I also agree with other posters. Do you want to be a Doc or a Navy officer? The cliche is SERVICE BEFORE SELF. It is true, and your great uncle would tell you that. I am betting he had to give up something he wanted during his career because the Navy's needs came 1st.

    Finally, I am going to be honest. You have stated you have little to no ECs. For AF, 20% of the WCS is ECs. They don''t want a book smart kid. They want the kid that has the WHOLE package, which means they have dealt with rigorous academic schedules and maintained a high CGPA while they also are in sports, hold a job, etc. every week.

    I would strongly suggest to look on USNA class profile. Try to strengthen your resume. You don't need sports per se, but you need to be well rounded. Working in a soup kitchen 20 hrs a week, or being a lifeguard will matter. Just like being in NHS. NMSF candidate. NYLF. Boys/Girls State.
     
  8. Aglahad

    Aglahad Member

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    Well yeah of course but if you look at my first post I do not advocate NROTC or USNA if the goal is to a military physician.

    Look at it this way, if you don't do NROTC/USNA and fail to get into med school you can at least try again sooner rather than later. Whether it be getting some work experience, volunteering, retaking the MCAT or pursuing more classes you have much greater odds of getting in eventually then being branched by the Navy for 4 years of AD time where you will have little time to improve on any of your weak areas.

    At AMEDD BOLC every doctor I met was a DC. There is a trend for a reason.
     
    Last edited: Aug 29, 2013
  9. MabryPsyD

    MabryPsyD Dr. G.

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    As previous posters have stated, most physicians are direct commissioned officers. That doesn't mean you can't become a physician through ROTC or the Naval Academy, however the odds are extremely against you. For you to become a physician through ROTC, the stars would have to align perfectly at least three times in a row.

    1. Gain scholarship/ appointment
    2. Be accepted to med school
    3. Earn Ed delay

    Oh yeah, GRADUATE!

    I'm not dissuading you from this path. I just want you to know the path you proposed to take.

    As a medical officer you need to choose. There are two types of medical officers:

    You can be an officer who happens to be a clinician or you can be a clinician who happens to be an officer.

    You have to choose one. They are both philosophically different.
     

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