USMMA Career Options

Discussion in 'Merchant Marine Academy - USMMA' started by kpx2, Jan 7, 2012.

  1. kpx2

    kpx2 New Member

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    My DS recently received the long awaited letter offering him an appointment to the USMMA Class of 2016. Now he is having second thoughts. He has always had an interest in becoming a Dentist. Since he is excelling in Anatomy this year, he is sure he wants to be a Dentist. Are Biology and Anatomy offered as electives at Kingspoint? What options are available at USMMA that might help my DS achieve his goal of becoming a Dentist? Any information would be appreciated. Thank you!
     
  2. bugsy

    bugsy Member

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    Chemistry and physics but no biology department.
     
  3. KP2010

    KP2010 Member

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    If he wants to be a Dentist I would advise him to not go to Kings Point. There is no program that is even related to the medical field.
     
  4. sprog

    sprog Member

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    One of the Mods is a KP grad and a physician. I wouldn't say it's impossible, but there are certainly easier ways. For one, and I don't know Kp2001's personal story, but I would imagine he had to either leave campus to get in some of the pre-med prerequisites, or he took them after graduation from KP.

    As you know, dental schools require the completion of a certain set of courses before consideration for admission. Without a bio department, KP cannot offer all of those classes.

    Why did he want to go to KP in the first place? Did he want to be a ship's officer and had a change of heart? Nothing wrong with that, but I'm just curious as to what drove him to consider KP. Whatever that was, I'd just ask him if it's still there, or if he is realizing that he has other priorities. As others have noted, the academic schedule at KP is compressed and is very focused in the majors. If he is losing interest in the maritime industry and would prefer to focus on a pre-med/dent path, I think you have your answer.

    On the flip side, if he is still interested in the maritime subjects and the sea, and if he still wants the adventure that goes with all of that, KP should still be in the mix. I mean, he is what, 17? He'll graduate when he is 21/22 and have five or so years to sail after graduation. If he is sick of it at that point (and once all of his obligations are up), he can take whatever extra courses he needs, take the DAT, and move on to dental school. I would think his experience at sea would be interesting to dental schools because it's not something you see on every application. If he goes that route, he's had an adventerous early 20s sailing the seas, and is ready to be a dentist at the ripe old age of 29 or 30.

    No college sets you into a career field for life. A college choice is, for lack of a better term, a gamble on what you think you will like to be doing after graduation. After graduation, the reality of that career might make you want to make a change down the road. It's certainly far from uncommon to make a career change later in life.
     
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2012
  5. kp2001

    kp2001 USMMA Alumnus

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    Definitely no easy route from KP to dental school. As mentioned above there is no life science dept so you can't get courses such as biochem, biology, anatomy, etc etc.

    With that being said there are several (but probably less than 30) graduates who have gone on to dental or medical school, but the shortest time between graduation and starting medical school I have heard of is 2 years and that was me. The hurdles are that you will need AT LEAST one full year of credits in the sciences to complete your pre-requisites and be prepared to take the DAT or MCAT. The other hurdle for dental school is that from what I know most dental schools want more than a few hours of shadowing a dentist to be competitive.

    Now, the third hurdle and the most difficult: the service obligation. How does one fulfill the maritime (or active duty) portion of your obligation in medical/dental school. The only way I know to do this on the "up and up" is going to the military medical school where you are on active duty. There is no dental equivalent. So that means you are really looking at at least five years after graduation for dental school. (Admiral Stewart even went so far as to lobby on my behalf with MARAD and I still couldn't get an education delay waiver).

    So, with all that said I still think KP was the best thing that could have happened to me in preparation for medical school. I went there with no clue that I would want to go to medical school after graduation (EMT and some harrowing incidents during sea year did that to me), but the school is hands down an incredible preparation for any career.


    My personal story is that I actually took a night biology class 3rd trimester of 3rd class year at Nassau Community College while a midshipman and then still had to take a full year of classes between sailing periods as a 3rd Mate. (I'm still not sure how I convinced them to let me take that class, but
     
  6. Lynpar

    Lynpar Member

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    Kp2001 also wears a red cape but is unrecognizable when appearing in regular clothes and a black pair of eyeglasses. Yes, that has to be it!
     
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2012

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