military or not?

Discussion in 'Naval Academy - USNA' started by kwill958, Apr 29, 2010.

  1. kwill958

    kwill958 Member

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    I'm trying to decide whether I want to go to a service academy or not, and here's the deal. I want to be a doctor. But the biggest emphasis I've heard on attending a service academy is whether or not you want to be an officer in the Navy. I don't really know. Even with family who went there, I still don't really get the gist of what it means to be an officer. I just want to better understand how my life would play out if I went to the Naval Academy, followed by medical school, then worked as a doctor in the Navy. What all does this entail?
     
  2. FeartheGoat

    FeartheGoat Member

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    I'm not exactly sure how the whole medical thing works with going to graduate school after the academy except that I've heard its pretty hard to do. I think you have to apply to be allowed to go to grad school. And secondly, if you are iffy on whether or not to be in the military the academy is not for you. You need to be really committed before you decide to go to school at any of the military academies.
     
  3. kwill958

    kwill958 Member

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    It's not really that I'm iffy, it's just that I don't know much about it...
     
  4. SteveHolt243

    SteveHolt243 Member

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    There's a small number each year who go to med school from the Academy, so it is very competitive. If you are considering joining the Navy, but only if you can be a doctor, I would consider a different route, as there is a pretty good chance you will be doing something other than med school after graduation. If some other Navy job is fine with you, then consider the Academy.
     
  5. usna1985

    usna1985 USNA Alumnus

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    I suggest you do a number of things. First, contact your BGO. Even if you're an underclassman, you can talk to your BGO (but will need to see out him/her as he/she won't have your contact info yet). That person has some ties to the military and/or can put you in touch with people who do, all of whom can help you understand what it's like.

    Read. There are lots of books about the SAs and the military -- many of them current and very good. Search Amazon or some other site -- or post a message on the "Off Topic" board here and ask for recommendations.

    Try to visit one or more SAs -- the one(s) closest to you. Take a tour. Meet with the admissions folks. See if it's possible to talk to mids/cadets.

    Contact your local SA parents group -- you can probably find them via the SA itself, doing a google search, or asking on one of these boards. The members may be able to put you in touch with current or former mids/officers.

    There are many people out there who don't know much about the military, and there's nothing wrong with that. You are exactly the type of people that USNA at least (and probably the other SAs) are trying to contact. A SA and the military may or may not be right for you and you do want to do your best to figure this out before you sign up, so to speak. But the fact that you haven't wanted to be in the military since you were 2 isn't disqualifying.

    Try some of the suggestions above. Whatever you do, don't go into it blind and simply "hope for the best."
     
  6. USNA

    USNA Member

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    I applaud your lofty goal of becoming a physician and wish you well in following your dream. However, military academies are intended to prepare young men and women to serve in the military, according to their defense needs. If becoming a physician is the only career that will be acceptable to you, may I suggest that you seek a civilian college in order to achieve that goal.

    There is a mid'n in my son's company who desires to become a physician. He will be leaving the academy at the end of this semester, his first year. It is unfortunate that his spot was used up by somebody who was fixated on his career path, more than his dedication to serve. As this mid'n now accepts the possible reality of Med Corps dwindling, he is conflicted over his future.

    You could always become a doctor at a civilian college and later serve in the military, if that is your desire.
     
  7. Navy15

    Navy15 Member

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    As said, if your ultimate goal is to become a doctor you're best options are likely in civilian or other military routes. From what I understand, medical slots are both very limited and very competitive. Also, bear in mind that you take the Oath of Office years before any Hippocratic Oath. If you go the military route you;re allegiance is to them first, doctor second. Moreover, if you wait till your fourth year and don't get a doctor slot, not much you can do but punch your TS card and hop on a ship or three for five-six years.

    I tend to think you don't have to buy into the whole "Navy is my life goal, yadda yadda yadda" and dream about it from age twelve, or even be dead set on it to apply. I know a few who passed through the SAs with reservations and tentativeness right through commissioning week. But in the case of the doctor thing, be sure to realize the reality.
     
    Last edited: May 2, 2010
  8. kwill958

    kwill958 Member

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    cool thanks for the opinions
     

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