Med School after USNA?

Discussion in 'Naval Academy - USNA' started by USNAHopefull2012, Jan 30, 2011.

  1. USNAHopefull2012

    USNAHopefull2012 New Member

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    I have found mixed information on the Internet about attending Medical School after USNA. I'm a HS Junior who is interested in becoming a radiologist, as well as serving my country in the Navy. I know that the Navy offers scholarships to Med school but I was wondering what the procedure is for Mids at USNA, what major I would take, service commitment, etc. Any help is appreciated.
     
  2. luckymacy

    luckymacy Member

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    If going to med school and then practicing medicine is really all you want to do in the Navy I suggest not going to USNA. The safest route is probably civilian schooling and not participating in NROTC. At least don't take a scholarship so they don't own you at that point. Then after you get accepted into med school on your own accord, you have the leverage on the government and then you can approach them and say hey, I'm in med school. Please give me a scholarship and I'll serve in return. Otherwise after undergraduate school, the needs of the service will take precedence over what you want and you could find your butt on a mine sweeper as a SWO.

    The percentages that go from USNA to med school are VERY low. Not a serious consideration.
     
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2011
  3. blueridge

    blueridge Member

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    The amazing Dr. Rhee

    If you saw Dr. Peter Rhee, the trauma surgeon who provided care for Congresswoman Giffords, it sounded like he took the route described to you by Lucky.

    I do not think he attended a service academy. He is a 24 year Navy doctor, and he is battlefield trained.

    In a horrible situation, he was just the best of the best, IMO. He handled the trauma, the media, and all flawlessly. He trusted his team.

    How fortunate we are that he is now providing his expertise to the civilian population and I am sure training others as he works. What a great physician
    and I am thankful that he served for so many years, taking care of the men and women who serve our great country.

    Good luck to you.
     
  4. USNAHopefull2012

    USNAHopefull2012 New Member

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    LuckyMacy: Thanks for the opinion, that's what I've been hearing most and where I may be heading. Just trying to keep options open:smile: I'm planning on applying to NASS and seeing how I feel about USNA after that.
     
  5. usna1985

    usna1985 USNA Alumnus

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    USNA is now more "open" to people entering who want to become MDs upon graduation. They will allow up to 24 a year to enter med school directly after USNA. However, whether you can attend is up to the USN, not you. If being a doctor is your primary goal, you're probably better off at a civilian college and entering the USN through a medical accession program. If you're open to doing something else (ships, aviation, etc.) if med school right after USNA doesn't work out, USNA might be a good option.
     
  6. Hurricane12

    Hurricane12 USNA 2012

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    It's possible but very difficult. It's easiest if you validate a lot of things, otherwise you usually have to do voluntary summer school, which takes the place of leave.

    Most who attempt to go Med Corps are chem majors because a lot of the requirements are already in their matrix and it gives them a strong background in sciences. Usually you declare your interest to your academic advisor at the end of plebe year when preregistering for fall classes and they'll help you out. However, every year there's a few people who declare an "easy" major like English and just fulfill the Med school requirements on top of that (one of my classmates is trying to do this as an Aero engineer...)

    I would say that if you would be happy to serve in the Navy if you didn't get med corps, then go for USNA. If being a doctor is the only way you'd be interested in serving, I'd suggest ROTC or doing another commissioning program because the odds are slim out of here. I know a lot of people who came wanting Med Corps and quickly realized it wasn't going to work out for them and had to change plans.
     
  7. Capt MJ

    Capt MJ Member

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    There are several threads relating to military medical corps careers - worth searching out. KP2001 has authored several excellent posts, and the USNA BGO's on here have up-to-date comments. As I recall, KP2001 laid out an excellent time line of how the years (and years) of post-medical school service obligation stack up.

    Following up comments by above posters, most military doctors do not come from the service academies, or even ROTC. They either come directly from civilian practice via a direct commission, or take advantage of a Navy Health Professional Scholarship Program deal available for a variety of healthcare specialties, which is an excellent program. Some attend civilian universities but then attend USUHS, the uniformed services medical school. And, there are Navy docs who served as line officers (roughly meaning warfare) who came in via SA, ROTC or other commissioning programs, served as warfare officers, separated from the service, used their GI Bill benefits to attend medical school, then reapplied for a commission to return as a medical officers. There are also some Navy docs who serve some period of time as line officers, then apply for a lateral transfer and request to go to medical school, either at a civilian medical school or USUHS, without breaking service. Very few do that, but it is done.

    As noted by Hurricane12 and usna1985, as long as you would be happy going either way out of USNA, there are a number of slots set aside each year for those midshipmen to go directly to medical school. No matter what path you take, you will have to have a top-notch USNA GPA or civilian GPA, excellent MCATs and steer clear of any stupid conduct stuff, especially at USNA.

    Here are some links of interest:

    For the HPSP, http://www.med.navy.mil/sites/navme...rofessionsscholarshipprogram_prospective.aspx

    For USUHS,
    http://www.usuhs.mil/

    And finally, the needs of the Navy (you can fill in any service), rule all. Just because certain programs or quotas exist today, doesn't mean they won't be adjusted in future years.
     
  8. kp2001

    kp2001 USMMA Alumnus

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  9. usna1985

    usna1985 USNA Alumnus

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    I would also point to advice given to BGOs several years ago by the then senior Medical Officer at USNA (a Navy Captain and USNA grad). He said (and I paraphrase): If you really want to be a doctor, go do something else fun and interesting first, like flying planes or driving ships. You have the rest of your life to be a doctor.

    I would offer the same advice to those thinking of becoming an attorney.:wink:
     
  10. patentesq

    patentesq Parent

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    I like the way you think, usna1985! I couldn't agree more.
     
  11. ski_addict29

    ski_addict29 Member

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    when i was a drag their they said that the only way you really can is if you major in chemistry, but then only 10-15 get chosen. so you can take that chance or do the ROTC and try to get into the military's medical school route.
     
  12. usna1985

    usna1985 USNA Alumnus

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    In my day, one could also major in Oceanography. They key was getting Organic which, as a 3-6-5 course (3 class hours, 6 lab hours, 5 credit hours), killed one's schedule. It was required for Chem and Oceano majors, so that's what the med school folks did. IF you validate sufficient courses, you might be able to do it with other majors.

    Up to 24 students from each class can go directly to med school. However, in practice for various reasons, the number tends to be 10-15.

    As noted, it's an option. But if you'll be terribly disappointed not attending med school right out of college, you might want to take a different track. Also, realize that many grads do their 5+ years on active duty and then go to med school. Not uncommon.
     
  13. US2015NA

    US2015NA Member

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    I am considering going to medical school from USNA. I am by no means opposed to doing 5 or so years of service, and then going to medical school. But does anyone know if being out of college for 5 years would hurt your chances of getting into medical school?
     
  14. ski_addict29

    ski_addict29 Member

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    I think if you did good on the MCAT you'd be fine. But thats just an opinion.
     
  15. usna1985

    usna1985 USNA Alumnus

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    Have to defer to an MD on this one but from what I do know, med schools actually react favorably to applicants with previous life/work experience. Obviously, you need to have the grades and do well on the MCATs whenever you apply. But grad schools like the maturity, etc. of "older" students.

    Obviously, there could be some "rustiness" if you've been away from Chem and Physics for quite a few years. Again, I'd have to defer to someone who had done it to tell us how difficult it is to catch up after being away from school (assuming your job in between is not medical or science related).
     
  16. kp2001

    kp2001 USMMA Alumnus

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    Doesn't hurt one bit as long as you are a competitive candidate in other respects. This is definitely true if you have spent those five years on active duty in one of the Services.

    Some schools may ask you to attend a refresher course they offer for a few weeks before starting school, but it really won't effect the application. In fact sometimes it can make you "different" and therefore stand out a bit more to admissions committee's.
     
  17. Memphis9489

    Memphis9489 Parent

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    In recent history, the academy has only permitted 10 graduates to go into the Medical Corps.

    Sounds impossible - doesn't it?

    You have to remember that you are only competing with a handful of classmates for those slots.

    First of all, you have to take the MCAT (Medical School Admissions Test). That means you have to take specific courses to prepare for it. One of those courses is Organic Chemistry. Only CHEMISTRY majors are required to take Organic Chemistry. Others may take it, but they would need to have validated quite a few courses in order to make room for it. That does happen.

    But, for the most part, we're only talking about CHEMISTRY majors.

    Nominally, there are 45-50 Chemistry majors in a class, some of whom have no intent to pursue the Medical Corps.

    Let's be conservative and say 40 of them, initially, are intent on going Med Corps.

    Let the carnage begin!

    Some will find out pretty quickly that they won't have the grades to be successful. They may get a couple C's in science courses or get a D in Organic Chemistry. It's over for them for all practical purposes.

    Some will simply drop the major because, after all, it is one of the more difficult majors.

    Some will change their minds and decide to be a pilot, subs, or something else.

    Some will realize the extreme commitment involved with going the Med Corps route and will decide, "Hmm, I'm not sure I want to be in the Navy that long."

    There may be somebody who is the victim of some egregious conduct offense or honor offense and drops by the wayside.

    Some will simply not do all the little "extras" that are required to get accepted into medical school. It's a lot of work.

    By the end of your Youngster (sophomore) year, the field will be thinned out dramatically. Of the original 40 who initially expressed an interest in going Med Corps, it may be down to a dozen or so.

    It's hard to excel at the Naval Academy - true. But if you do excel - going Med Corps is very doable.

    But it should not be your only acceptable service selection. You must be willing to do something else.

    This may be an URBAN LEGEND: I heard that there was one midshipman who was excelling in every category and was ranked very high in his class. He wanted to go Med Corps and seemed to be a shoe-in. At his academy interview, he was asked if he had any other choices. He told them that he only wanted to go Med Corps - nothing else was acceptable. Apparently, the Board was turned off by his arrogance and he was not awarded Med Corps for his service selection.
     
  18. Hurricane12

    Hurricane12 USNA 2012

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    I don't know about that one, but there's another urban legend floating around regarding service selection from many moons ago. Apparently, the mid who was going to be the first semester Brigade commander wanted Marine Corps, but bragged to a few too many people that because he got stripes he wouldn't need to go to Leatherneck (this was not true). The Marines on the yard got a whiff of that and come service selection wouldn't take him.
     
  19. Whistle Pig

    Whistle Pig Banned

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    Legend or not, the lesson's the same and worthy of one's embrace.
     
  20. Memphis9489

    Memphis9489 Parent

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    The problem with being out of school for so long and then attempting to go to medical school is that you'll still have to take the MCAT (Medical College Admission Test). It is going to have Physics, Chemistry, and Organic chemistry questions on it plus lots of technical essays to be read and questions regarding those essays. You will probably be at the top of your game (academically speaking) while in school - not 5 yrs afterwards.

    Yet, there are those who do it all the time.

    The average age of a new medical school student is 25yrs old. So, clearly, many are not getting into medical school directly out of college.
     

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