USNA, M.D., and Service Requirements

Discussion in 'Naval Academy - USNA' started by TheKrzyAsn, Jul 5, 2009.

  1. TheKrzyAsn

    TheKrzyAsn New Member

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    Basically, I'm a rising Junior, so all of a sudden, everyone is throwing all of this college stuff at me. For awhile now, I've wanted to be a doctor, and had been looking at some of the local colleges near me for undergraduate degrees.

    Now, at a barbecue I was at the other day, I was talking to my dad's friend about good places to go, and he mentioned either a Military Academy or an Ivy League School as a precursor to a Medical School. He also said that his friend, from his navy days, was on the admissions board, which would help my chances of getting in. Now, I think I would have pretty good chances of getting in, I'm taking AP classes and doing well in them, I'm in Honor Society, World Language Honor Society, and Math Honor Society, as well as being an officer in several clubs, but aren't really sure about a Military School. Like, with the committed service, would that come before Medical School? Or would I go through USNA and then Med School, and fulfill my service requirements as a Physician or some sort? He told me that I would receive full scholarships for Medical School as well, in exchange for committed service, but does that get added on to the USNA service? As in, I recognize the fact that you can either, go to USNA, and serve x amount of years, or go to an undergraduate school at your own expense, and then attend a medical school of your choosing, have it funded by the government, and have to serve x amount of years. But if you were to do both, would you have to serve x+x amount of years? Or just one of those.

    I'm sorry for all of the questions, and I looked through some FAQ's and such, but the answers didn't really help me understand it all. As this basically has the potential to sway the outcome of my life, it is something I really want to have a firm understanding in.
     
    Last edited: Jul 5, 2009
  2. 2012mom?

    2012mom? Member

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    The bottom line is that, if you really want to be a doctor, and you're looking for a "free" :eek: way to pay for college and med school, USNA is probably not the best way for you to go. If you are interested in a career as a Navy/Marine Corps officer, and you would be willing to serve a number of years as a line officer if you weren't selected for med school straight out of USNA, then USNA might be the right place for you.

    Here is a link to an older thread that probably has most of the answers to your questions.
    http://www.serviceacademyforums.com/showthread.php?t=3868&highlight=medical+school
     
  3. TheKrzyAsn

    TheKrzyAsn New Member

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    Thanks for the link. It's very helpful.
     
  4. Capt MJ

    Capt MJ Member

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    Here's the link for Navy Health Professional Scholarships:

    http://www.navy.com/careers/healthcare/physicians/

    It's a great program.

    Cruise the discussions on here to read many good comments. In general, the Service Academies are geared toward producing warfare officers, though a handful out of USNA (assume other SAs too) are allowed to go to medical school. The majority of military officer health professionals come in via direct commission out of civilian colleges and medical/dental/other health profession school, many taking advantage of the HP scholarships the services offer.

    There is also USUHS, the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences at the National Naval Medical Center Bethesda (NNMC). Many med students come right out of their civilian B.S. program into uniform at this all-service plus Public Health Service medical school, then go on to health provider careers in uniform. Link: http://www.usuhs.mil/

    You should explore all these options. Good luck - knowledge is power!
     
  5. peskemom

    peskemom Member

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    There IS another way for a 'free' medical education..... one that our son is doing now: an MD/PhD program. You graduate with your undergraduate degree - get in the top 2% of MCAT scores....and apply your heart out to all the schools, in the hopes that you land one of the about 150 slots that are open every year in about 40 medical schools in the country. ( Thank you, University of Virginia, Charlottesville!!)

    Oh yeah, about 3000 apply - and you have to commit 8-10 years of your life.

    BUT it's 'free'. The government pays your entire education plus you get a stipend for the entire time to live on.

    :)

    My point?

    There is nothing FREE or guaranteed to finance your education this way: be it a military or non-military way to become a doctor.

    IF you want to serve our country as a military officer - then apply to an ROTC or Service Academy. If you want to be a doctor - then be a doctor. But the odds are far to great, and your motivations wrong - if you start with the idea that you are looking for a 'free' way to pay for your education.

    Say you really want to be a military officer AND a doctor? Get your education first - work with your service selection to see what ROTC or OCS options might help fund you....Get your MD and the military would most happily not only take you ( assuming you meet all their requirements) they would promote you a few ranks and your future as an employed doctor would be assured and most welcome.
     
  6. marvin7794

    marvin7794 Member

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    If your dream is to become a doctor, the Naval Academy is not the best place to pursue it. Go to some sweet undergrad program and live the life while learning about anatomy and biology. No need to bog your mind down with EE circuit diagrams, sonar propagation waves, top dead center equations or Kant's theories on life. Unless you know for sure that you will be able to graduate at the top of the chain, you shouldn't risk the medical dream for the sake of a USNA diploma/Navy commission. I play the lottery, but only for fun.
     
  7. usna1985

    usna1985 USNA Alumnus

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    ^^^^^

    I agree. This was more or less the same advice the Senior Medical Officer at USNA gave to BGOs several years ago. He recommended attending USNA only if your desire was to serve in a warfare community for awhile. If you still wanted to be an MD after that, great. His view: you have the rest of your life to be an MD; do something fun first. Again, his view, based on experience.

    Yes, they have medical billets available for a reason. Yes, about 24 people each year can to to med school from USNA. But the primary purpose of USNA is to turn out unrestricted line officers and that's pretty much what 97+% of the physically qualified class will do.
     
  8. navymidshipman2015

    navymidshipman2015 Prospective

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    I agree with everyone's comments. It seems to me that your motivations for applying to USNA are to get a free ride to medical school. What will you do if you don't get a medical slot? If you aren't willing to serve as a line officer, or deal with four years of a military institution and life as a military doctor, you should go the civilian route.
     
  9. kp2001

    kp2001 USMMA Alumnus

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    Sorry that I did not see this thread earlier....

    Everyone here is trying to give their best advice, I always have a slightly different view as I am an academy graduate (USMMA) who went on to medical school at USUHS and now work as a flight surgeon with the Navy.

    If you want to go to the Naval Academy with the hopes of being a physician, then by all means apply and see what happens. It is a viable option, but not the easiest route. IF you are willing to be flexible and possibly have a few years off between undergrad and medical school then you show the flexibility that may be required if not selected straight out of USNA.

    The others are making sure you realize that you may not be able to go directly to med school out of USNA. True....but the same goes for those who go to USNA with dreams of being a pilot, SEAL, Marine, etc. It is all about the "needs of the Navy" and if you are willing to deal with the possibility of not going straight to medical school then USNA is a great option. (Med school committees love two things, among many, in my experience: Academy graduates and those who have done something different than the typical premed/bio/chem straight to med school path.)
     
  10. usna1985

    usna1985 USNA Alumnus

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    KP --

    Generally agree with you. Two points, however. USNA Admissions is NOT excited about people who want to be MDs. The reason is that they know that (currently at least), a max of 24 out of 1200 (class entry size) can do it. If they admit 50 MD-wannabes, they've got to figure that 26 of them are going to be unhappy campers come graduation. I realize the same is true of other service selections, but it's a bit different, as you know, given the # of available billets.

    Second, understand that what USN gives, it can take away. They could decide tomorrow that the medical program is closed to SA grads. Unlikely, but it has happened before (in the 1970s).

    Thus, it's fine to enter a SA wanting to be an MD right away. However, you must be prepared -- really prepared -- to do something else for 5 yrs. Of course, you can always go to med school after your commitment -- something quite a few grads do and what the then Sr. Med. Officer at USNA recommended several years ago (he basically said to do something fun for a few years before you go to med school! -- his words, not mine).

    I suppose I'm saying that, if all you've ever wanted to do is be an MD, there are other routes that are more certain to get you there than a SA.
     
  11. kp2001

    kp2001 USMMA Alumnus

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    Agree with you 100% here, but hate to see potential applicants discouraged from applying just because they think they want to be a doctor. They should definitely get and heed the guidance you have provided here in regards to chances and plan b's, etc though!
     

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