Med School After USNA?

Discussion in 'Naval Academy - USNA' started by tallbutshort, Dec 23, 2009.

  1. tallbutshort

    tallbutshort Member

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    I know it's possible to go to med school after attending the USNA, and it'll require a lot of hard work. But I've heard that *officially* they discourage midshipmen from going to medical school because it's restricted line. On CC, one person even said that your BGO will make note of the fact you are planning on med school and it'll count against you. Is there any chance I could get accepted to med school and then not be able to attend immediately after graduation? I really want to be a military doctor but I don't want to work my butt off at USNA and get into med school and then not be able to attend.
     
  2. Profmom2

    Profmom2 Member

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    Old information and not true for class of 2014 and beyond.

    I was at a presentation given to our area Alumni Association and Parent Club attendee's by the State BGO coordinator. Navy needs Dr's and not those who can not make it in private practice. The BGO's have been instructed to council applicants that you can go to Med school from USNA. The number of slots for Med school is also increasing to 20 and may go higher.
     
  3. EWNordy248

    EWNordy248 Member

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    Med school is an option for the service academies, but should never be your only reason to go...
    My BGO officer told me that one candidate he interviewed wanted to go to USNA for the sole purpose of getting a free MD, which for him was not very impressive. Wanting to get into Med school is great, just realize that you need to have a higher purpose in mind, not just getting a free education.
     
  4. usna1985

    usna1985 USNA Alumnus

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    It is true that USNA is more "welcoming" of MD-wannabes than they were a few years ago. HOWEVER, not everyone who wants to be an MD out of USNA gets it. And while there may be 20 slots, that doesn't mean all 20 will be filled.

    There was a story in the Washington Post a couple of weeks ago about a varsity football player who never played in a single game (scout team only). (BTW, he wasn't complaining about that fact). The point is that he wanted to go to med school -- had taken the MCATs, was applying to med school . . . USNA turned him down. He got his 2nd choice -- subs.

    Remember, needs of the Navy come first. Thus, if you won't be happy doing anything but med school right out of "college," find another way to do it b/c you can't count on it out of USNA. Of course, you can do what many grads have done over the years and that is do your 5 yrs in the unrestricted line and then go to med school.
     
  5. USNA '16

    USNA '16 Member

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    I realize I am younger and have time before I need to make any big decisions, but after reading the posts a year or so ago, I had decided against becoming a doctor and began to think about my second choice - marine aviation. If i could become a doctor through the NA I would. This new info is causing me to rethink my plans. Also, what is the "unrestricted line?"
     
  6. Memphis9489

    Memphis9489 Parent

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    The football player you mention did not get turned by the Academy. Well, yes, they did not allow him to go Medical Corps but that is ONLY because he did not get accepted into medical school. There is not a single instance where a midshipman, seeking to go Medical Corps and got accepted into a medical school, was NOT allowed to go Medical Corps.

    These are not competitive slots. In other words, you are not competing against other midshipmen for Medical Corps slots. Historically, the number of slots allotted for Medical Corps are seldom filled and that's primarily because very few pursue that route. Most of those who initially had the desire to go Medical Corps give up along the way.

    I talked to Captain Klunder during this past I-Day about this very subject and he described the Medical Corps quota as a "soft number." He said that any midshipman who energetically pursues the Medical Corps and gets accepted into medical school is not going to be prevented from going that route. If the Academy advertises 25 vacancies and 27 midshipmen get accepted into medical school - they will all go.

    However, the FACT of the matter is that very few ever even get that far. Those who enter the academy with the intent of going Medical Corps drop out of the process because of many reasons ...
    1) They find out they do not have the grades. *
    2) They do not want to major in something that facilitates going to Medical School (Chemistry)
    3) They do not want the extended military obligation that goes along with it.
    4) They do not do well on their MCAT's
    5) They do not do the "extra" things required to get into medical school (i.e. shadow a doctor during their summer months)

    You are only competing with yourself when you make the decision to pursue the Medical Corps. There is no quota standing in your way as in the other service selections (although they advertise one). The academy is not going to arbitrarily deny your selection if you get accepted into medical school in order to fill some other quota. Basically, if you get accepted into medical school - you are going to be virtually exempt from the trials and tribulations of service selection roulette. And, believe me, it HAS become a game of roulette.

    * Never lose sight of this fact: By definition, half the class will be ranked in the bottom half of their class. This is a very sobering realization for all these high-achievers. You have to have a very high GPA to be considered a viable contender for medical school acceptance. At the end of your first semester Plebe year, when you get a 2.3 GPA with a "C" in Chemistry - your quest for Medical Corps is essentially over at that point. You have to hit the ground running. And you can't stumble along the way.
     
    Last edited: Dec 24, 2009
  7. Capt MJ

    Capt MJ Member

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    Let me add...if a mid gets into heavy-duty conduct or performance issues, even if they get accepted into med school and have great grades, that can sink their post-grad school opportunities, med school included. I used to sit on the Board, as the Commandant's Rep, that reviewed, interviewed and recommended mids to be allowed to go to med school. I know of cases where a mid got a major conduct offense during 2/C year and was thus ineligible to apply med school. He had a 4.0 and had gotten into top medical schools. I had to brief his offense at the Board. The mid went SWO, re-applied to med school when he could. Just a year ago, I ran into him as a resident at a Navy hospital. I told him I had thought about him in the intervening years and wondered how he had done after a very sobering wake-up call, suffering both the immediate punishment of his conduct offense and the follow-on consequences. He replied it was one of the best things to ever happen to him. Much to his surprise, he had loved his time as a SWO, felt much more mature and developed in his leadership skills, aced med school and was highly respected for his SWO pin amongst his peer residents who had been direct commissioned, as well as his uniformed professors and the staff docs.

    There used to be a condition of "no major conduct offenses 2/C year or later as a prerequisite to applying for any IGEP, VGEP or other post-grad opportunity." I'd have to go look at the current instruction to see if that still applies.

    Smart thing to do is to (a) avoid idiotic conduct mistakes, or, (2) get that out of the system the first 2 years!

    The mids approved during my years on the board were accepted into accredited U.S. medical schools, had the requisite MCATs, grades and class standing, clean conduct/performance/honor record starting 2/C year and had shown through personal effort and commitment their desire to pursue military medicine. They also had a good answer to "What is your Plan B should we not approve your med school service selection?"

    There are numerous posts/threads on here about the medical school route. Worth searching out and reviewing.
     
  8. tallbutshort

    tallbutshort Member

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    Thanks for all the information everybody. Don't get me wrong, I would be perfectly okay if I didn't make the cut for med school and had to wait a while to try again. I just wanted to make sure that I wouldn't get into med school and then be unable to attend because it didn't mesh with "the needs of the Navy" which obviously have to come first.
     
  9. usna1985

    usna1985 USNA Alumnus

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    Unfortunately, I had to rely on the Post article b/c I don't know the individual involved. It said:

    "Last month, Hatcher learned that he did not receive one of the medical corps spots; he was assigned his second choice, submarines. He was disappointed, especially since he had already begun applying to medical schools; he had to cancel at least one interview that he had scheduled for late November. But he didn't second-guess his decision to continue playing football."

    As written, it clearly suggests the decision not to go to med school wasn't his and that his applications were still in process. [That makes sense, BTW. My roommate went the med school route and she didn't hear from any schools until after January.] The Post obviously was wrong and/or there were things that they weren't told for whatever reason. I'm glad to hear that mids who want to go and otherwise meet the requirements (grades, conduct, etc.) can go to med school without limitation.
     
  10. Memphis9489

    Memphis9489 Parent

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    If you have not been accepted into any medical school by the time of service selection, the academy will not allow you to select Medical Corps. I mean, that only makes sense. It is the midshipman's responsibility to get accepted into medical school. He has to do that on his own.

    Most of those who go Medical Corps have already been selected into medical school at the time of service selection. If this midshipman gets accepted into medical school I'll bet you they will CHANGE his service selection. I'm familiar with this particular midshipman's case. He has a GPA which, although good, is not conducive to admission into medical school. There's a REASON he has not been accepted at this point in time.

    Like I said - if you don't get accepted into medical school - it is unlikely you are going to get Med Corps. However, there was one instance where the academy allowed a graduate to spend time at Bethesda in order to reapply to medical school. He did. He was accepted, and went Medical Corps after graduation.

    The bottom line is that the academy is far from being anti-Medical Corps. That is the administrative perspective. Now, from a Brigade perspective, it is a different matter. Those who pursue Medical Corps are often looked down upon a bit by their fellow midshipmen. They get comments like, "If you want to be a doctor - why in the hell did you come here?" This usually happens early on. But once that midshipman starts getting good grades and is persistent, usually they back off and accept his career choice.
     
  11. DevilDog

    DevilDog Member

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    I called the Academy and spoke with my son's Admissions Rep. My son thinks he may want to be a doctor. He has been accepted to USNA, USAFA and has an NROTC Scholarship. He has been told that the Academies are not the way to go if hew wants to go to Med School.
    His admission Rep said it used to be like that. They are encouraging the young people that want to go to med school to work to that goal and they have developed a curriculum to point them in that direction that starts with the class of 2014. He also said that if they can get accepted into a med school or the USHS (I am not sure if those are the abbreviations) the Navy would be encouraging it.
    The NROTC rep said they can't go to med school from the academy. I know that is not the case.
    All that being said, when I went in the Marine Corps, I found out right away that if it is not in the contract, it does not mean anything.
    I think my son will be going to the USNA because that is where his heart has been all along. As I told him, if he does not want to be a doctor, he can go on to be a pilot, a Marine, a SEAL, a Submariner, or even other things. The options for him would be countless compared to other schools and he loves the idea of serving his country.
     
  12. Profmom2

    Profmom2 Member

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    Most graduate programs including Med Schools and Dental schools have not announced their admittance by mid November when service selection is made. The Mids put their preferences in for community in August with no indication of graduate school. They are assigned to a community at Service selection, this year on November 18th. IF they get into Med school, Dental School or a graduate program they then are allowed to commence on that track. For pure grad school they will return to their community - although they will be a year to two years behind in the pipeline.

    The Marshal (1 for class of 2010) and Mitchell (2 for Class of 2010) scholarships were not even announced until late November, with Rhodes not announced until first week of December. The interviews for Gates were just announced this week and the interviews for domestic scholarships are on going. Most of the kids in the grad scholarship program are just applying to Grad school and will not know until starting next month. Only Gates and Rhodes guarantee you admittance to Cambridge and Oxford respectively. The other scholarships including Rotary you need to then apply to the schools that you have listed on your scholarship app. The applications were all being submitted this fall, well after the Mids had put in their service selection preferences.

    Many domestic graduate programs start their admittance cycle in mid to late January well after service selection was announced.
     
  13. usna1985

    usna1985 USNA Alumnus

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    The bottom line is that med school directly out of USNA is an option. It has been an option for over 25 yrs and is more accepted today than it was in the past.

    However, needs of the Navy always come first. Anyone entering USNA must be prepared for the possibility of not attending med school directly out of USNA, even if they do all of the right things. It's unlikely (if you do all of the right things) but it could happen.

    It's also important to research your options after med school. MOST USN docs spend a tour as a General Medical Officer (typically but not always on a carrier or as a flight surgeon) and then apply for residency. Residency slots are based on your performance and. . . guess what . . . needs of the Navy. I know of folks who've received their first choice and those who haven't.

    The commitment is long. If you attend USUHS, you owe 12 yrs and internship and residency don't count. The 3 people I know who've gone to med school out of USNA have committed 20+ years. And they have no complaints.

    For many people, this is a great deal. For some, it may not be. As with everything, do your homework in advance.
     
  14. Memphis9489

    Memphis9489 Parent

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    In that regard there is nothing unique about the quest to get into the Medical Corps any more than there is to become a SEAL, pursue EOD, or Navy/Marine Air, etc. Despite the fact there seems to be a strong submarine draft in effect, nonetheless, there were probably many midshipmen who would have loved to get subs but did not have the grades for it.

    There are disqualifiers for nearly everything ... well ... maybe with the exception of SWO which seems to be, by far, the most liberal in acceptance. I don't think I've ever heard of anybody who requested SWO and was deemed "unqualfied." If anything, they didn't get it because they were over-qualified and got drafted into Nuke Power. Further, I don't think I've ever heard of any SWO quota being exceeded.

    The nice thing about Medical Corps is that the "quota" is never exceeded and is very flexible. Like I said before, the only stumbling block for a midshipman seeking acceptance into the Medical Corps is HIMSELF.
     
  15. USNA '16

    USNA '16 Member

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    SWO? sorry, i need a translation...
     
  16. Memphis9489

    Memphis9489 Parent

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    SWO = Surface Warfare Officer

    i.e. ship driver
     

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