Medical School

Discussion in 'Military Academy - USMA' started by kwill958, Apr 28, 2010.

  1. kwill958

    kwill958 Member

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    I'm in high school and starting to think about college choices. I think I want to be a doctor, and I also want to attend a service academy. So obviously I'm intrigued about the option of attending USMA, then medical school, then serving my service obligations. Does anybody know how this works/ opinions about it all? I know there's two options: the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences and the U.S. Army Health Professions Scholarship Program. Beyond that, I don't know much about the whole deal.
     
  2. laxfan

    laxfan USMA 2015 Appointee

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  3. kp2001

    kp2001 USMMA Alumnus

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    laxfan, thanks for post that link, it actually has a wealth of information, especially in the FAQ link.

    kwill: you are going to get a range of responses here when you mention you would like to go to medical school. They will range from you shouldn't go to USMA because the mission is not to train doctors to go for it.

    I say that the service academies are a perfectly viable path to becoming a military physician; however, it is not the easiest route to say the least. If you want to be a military officer first and foremost then by all means go for USMA. If you are not okay with the idea that you possibly would be delayed in medical school for five or more years then choose a different option.

    If you have any questions about being a military physician feel free to post and I'll try to answer for you.
     
  4. scoutpilot

    scoutpilot Member

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    My roommate took the medical school route, as did another friend (who incidentally introduced me to my wife, a fellow med student).

    My roommate went to Duke, and my other friend went to Yale. I only know of a few who have gone to USUHS.

    The advice here is good. It's POSSIBLE to do, but it's very competitive to get a med slot. Think about what you want to do more: USMA or med school.
     
  5. laxfan

    laxfan USMA 2015 Appointee

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    Actually, getting a medical school slot is not that competitive at USMA. In fact, as long as you meet USMA's minimum requirements you can almost be guarenteed a slot.

    Last year only 16 out of 20 spaces were taken, which is odd considering I have heard it's nearly impossible to go this route from the other service academies.
     
    Last edited: Apr 29, 2010
  6. cjs

    cjs Member

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    My son was looking to go this route and our MALO hooked us up with a local doctor that had done this. From what we were told, it's highly competitive and really not an easy thing to do.
     
  7. laxfan

    laxfan USMA 2015 Appointee

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    well the stats speak for themselves. Over the past two years, there have been more slots than qualified cadets.

    Last year, cadets with GPAs as low as 3.2 got to go to medical school from USMA. At a civilian university, you probably wouldnt be able to go to med school with a 3.2 GPA.

    Many people are confused about the competitiveness of becoming a doctor from USMA because it is very hard to branch Medical Service Corps. However, one does not need to branch medical service corps to become a doctor. You can select whatever branch you want; you will automaticaly be transfered into the medical corps once you become a doctor.

    Im not saying it's easy to get to med school from USMA, but in no way is it impossible.
     
  8. Stormtrooper30

    Stormtrooper30 Member

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    Is there any way that you can elaborate on this? Are you saying that you could be military full time but then earn a doctorate in your free time? I'm confused about how this would work.
     
  9. laxfan

    laxfan USMA 2015 Appointee

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    No, What I mean is that you can branch infantry but still go to medical school through the army. Once you get picked to go to med school you will be switched to the Medical Corps

    For example, many of my dad's cadets branch combat engineers but still get picked up for med school slots. Once they finish med school they are automatically transfered to the medical corps and are no longer combat engineers.
     
  10. USMAalltheway

    USMAalltheway Member

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    Laxfan, are you stating this merely on statistical data or real-life experience? Scoutpilot is a USMA grad so I think I would take his word if he says it's difficult to get into (cjs'word too) rather than focusing on statistics:thumb:

    USMAalltheway
     
  11. laxfan

    laxfan USMA 2015 Appointee

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    [I know] the director of Biomechanical Engineering here at USMA, many of his cadets go to med school.


    I have posted some statistics from cadets in recent years who got med school slots: (yes I know the information is a little outdated)

    Class of 2005
    Avg. GPA
    3.67 (range 2.94-4.06)


    Avg. MCAT
    27.5 (range 18-38)

    Class of 2006
    Avg. GPA
    3.50 (range 2.77-4.06)


    Avg. MCAT
    26.7 (range 18-39)

    Class of 2007
    Avg. GPA
    3.55 (range 3.03-4.18)


    Avg. MCAT
    28.0 (range 24-35)

    source: http://www.dean.usma.edu/departments/Chem/Courses/MedicalSchoolQuestions.htm

    As you can see, These GPAs and MCAT test scores are quite achieveable. In fact, some of the lower GPAs ( such as the 2005 low, 2.94) and the lower MCAT test scores (such as the 2006 low, 18), wouldnt get you into a medical school from a civilian college.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 30, 2010
  12. kwill958

    kwill958 Member

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    Thanks for the great info and links everybody, it's really helpful information. Granted I know college is way harder than high school, but I still think I could manage a high enough GPA to get in to med school based on the stats that were posted.

    So essentially, these are my thoughts regarding med school. I'm thinking that I want to be a doctor, and I'm sure that I could get into civilian medical school after college, but frankly I don't want to spend years after trying to pay off those huge bills. It seems like it would hardly be worth it. Which is why I was thinking military--doing my service time and then being done with it all seems like a much better path for me. And I didn't only think about a service academy because of that; with a whole family of Naval Academy grads I've been leaning towards service academies for a long time now.
     
  13. scoutpilot

    scoutpilot Member

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    One cannot compare GPAs at USMA or any other service academy with a civilian school. The courseload and curricula are too different to compare.

    Do not be fooled by the "stats" posted. Yes, there are more slots in some years than there are qualified applicants. That is due to the lack of qualified applicants, not due to the overabundance of slots for any and all who want them. The chem/life sciences major is a grueling curriculum for cadets, and isn't for the faint of heart.

    If you want to know more about medical school, my wife is a physician. I met her when she was a med student at Yale, and we were introduced by her med school classmate, the 2005 USMA grad.
     
  14. kp2001

    kp2001 USMMA Alumnus

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    I think some people get confused and think that there are going to be so many qualified applicants fighting for those 20 medical school slots and that is why they think service academies are not a good choice. The thing to remember is that if you are qualified you will have a very good chance of getting one of those slots. It's not like there are 50 qualified people fighting for the slots.

    The difference between a civilian school and a service academy is the service academy saves med school admissions committees the pain of weeding out sub par applicants. They don't even let them apply. Which is good because if you are one of the "qualified" and a school sees your application they know you likely "have the right stuff."

    Yes, it's a demanding path, but be sure to know that if you succeed in the path set out by WP you will likely be on your way to medical school
     
  15. America's Finest

    America's Finest USMA Cadet

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    Scoutpilot is right. Don't compare those GPA to high school or even another college and think that it's easy. College is way harder than high school, and a service academy is way harder than college. Just to give you an idea, the average GPA for the USMA class of 2010 is 2.8 and having a 3.5 GPA in the class of 2010 would put you in the top 30 of the class out of over 1,000.
     
  16. laxfan

    laxfan USMA 2015 Appointee

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    I agree that getting a 3.5 GPA isnt an easy thing to do at USMA. However, I believe that if one is determined and really works hard, they can achieve the GPA and be competitive for a med school slot.
     

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