Med School

Discussion in 'Coast Guard Academy - USCGA' started by Idzak, Apr 4, 2013.

  1. Idzak

    Idzak Member

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    Since the Coast Guard does not send people to med school, what might be a plan to attend CGA, graduate, and ultimately attend med school? Has this been done?
     
  2. usafafam

    usafafam Member

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    That's the exact route I want to take... great question
     
  3. LineInTheSand

    LineInTheSand USCGA 2006

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    You go to CGA, graduate, eventually leave the Coast Guard and attend medical school.

    Not only does the Coast Guard not send people to medical school, the Coast Guard doesn't have doctors.

    The Coast Guard uses U.S. Public Health Service officers for its healthcare professionals. There are SOME Coast Guard PAs though.
     
  4. Idzak

    Idzak Member

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    LITS: Anynone know if that has this been done or is it a technical feasibility?
     
  5. Luigi59

    Luigi59 Banned

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    Of course it's feasible. I have heard of a few USCGA grads who did their 5 years, resigned their commission, and then went on to medical schools such as Yale and Stanford. A few even attended local colleges (local to their duty station) and took "pre-med" courses while still on active duty.

    I'm not really sure of your ultimate question though - are you looking to serve 5 years in the USCG and then go to med school and become a civilian doctor, hoping that your academy education will give you a "leg up" on other candidates applying to med school?

    Or are you asking about the feasibility of resigning your commission after 5 years, going to med school, and them re-joining as a USCG (USPHS) doctor?
     
  6. LineInTheSand

    LineInTheSand USCGA 2006

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    I'm essentially saying you won't be able to do it as a Coast Guard officer. I'm sure people have started a second life, after getting out, and going back to school for an M.D. I don't know of any though.

    I guess, you COULD be an M.D. and be in the Coast Guard reserves, but the two wouldn't be directly related.

    As far as becoming a PHS doc working for the Coast Guard, they aren't the easiest billets to get. But remember, the Public Health Service is not the Coast Guard. The PHS docs assigned to the Coast Guard will wear Coast Guard uniforms (with a few differences), but they are not USCG officers. The FDA, CDC, IHS and BOP also use USPHS officers...
     
  7. Idzak

    Idzak Member

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    Many thanks for the info. Luigi: The question is from a young man who is conflicted between trying for CGA or attending civi-school for pre-med.
     
  8. Objee

    Objee USCGA Admissions

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    LITS may just be too young to have classmates who have done it, but there are many examples of CGA graduates doing their five years (sometimes even more) of active duty service and then attending medical school as a civilian. There is obviously a lot of factors that go into getting accepted to medical school, but I think the life experiences and maturity of these individuals who have served as Coast Guard officers for 5+ years make them attractive candidates to medical schools.

    If he's just "trying for" (thinking about applying to) CGA then I would definitely recommend he apply and worry about whether or not to attend once he's appointed. If he has already been appointed and is deciding between attending CGA or a civilian college, he needs to decide if short or long term goals are more important because he may not be able to accomplish both. You can definitely attend CGA, do your active duty service, go to medical school, and become a doctor, but that's obviously not the traditional route and it could be harder (could also be easier) for him in the long run. I guess I would just not recommend someone attend CGA because they want to attend medical school nine years later...they should attend CGA because they want to be a Coast Guard officer who may want to also attend medical school at some point in the future.
     
  9. Idzak

    Idzak Member

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    Many thanks for the info. I will pass it on.
     
  10. LineInTheSand

    LineInTheSand USCGA 2006

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    Right, that's what I'm saying. My focus was really that you won't do that as an officer, but anything is possible once you separate.

    I don't know or anyone who has done it, as in I can't name anyone, BUT I have no doubt people could. At this point, none of my classmates have been out long enough, but really 5 years of service is nothing in the grand scheme of things.

    You'll have classmates who go off and get a Master's, Ph.D., J.D. and I'm sure M.D.

    Again, it won't happen while you're active duty in the Coast Guard. The world is your oyster when you get out.
     
  11. waterdogmom

    waterdogmom Member

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    From an MD perspective

    While, this option is obviously possible. Keep in mind that after your 9 years in USCGA/USCG active, you will be 27 at the youngest. You will likely have to take some pre-med courses not offered at the USCGA, mainly biology courses, for pre-med curriculum and to prepare for MCATs. This will take about a year. Then you apply to med-school for the following year. Most medical schools either want research experience or volunteering, but most in my class had both. IF you are accepted, you will be 29 at the youngest when you start. I started undergrad at 22, med school at 26, residency at 30, and a 3 year string of fellowships at 34. I was 37 when I started my actual career as an attending physician.

    Needless to say, I was more mature than many of my fellow med school students, and you would be undoubtedly as well. However, keep in mind that this is a VERY long haul, and the length of my course is not atypical in any way. I never took anytime off between undergrad and starting my career.

    If med school is truly what you want, I would consider one of the other Academies, which do send some to med school, or go private. You can always become an officer in one of the other branches and practice medicine once you graduate. Even at 39 I still get offers to join the reserves as a medical officer.

    Hope this helps.
     

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