Interested in being a Physician? Consider a call to serve the Nation.

DrMom

5-Year Member
Joined
Aug 25, 2011
Messages
1,385
Ladies and Gentlemen;
I would be remiss if I did not share this with our families who might have cadets or mids thinking about becoming physicians but there are also siblings who might be considering medical school.
Please read the following and think about National service as an affordable pathway to pursuing the dream of being a doctor:
https://www.washingtonpost.com/news...lead-to-crushing-debt/?utm_term=.e691e77767cb
Enjoy.
-Dr Mom
 

2022mom

Member
Joined
Sep 20, 2017
Messages
74
Ladies and Gentlemen;
I would be remiss if I did not share this with our families who might have cadets or mids thinking about becoming physicians but there are also siblings who might be considering medical school.
Please read the following and think about National service as an affordable pathway to pursuing the dream of being a doctor:
https://www.washingtonpost.com/news...lead-to-crushing-debt/?utm_term=.e691e77767cb
Enjoy.
-Dr Mom
Don’t only a very small amount of mids get selected for medical corps? Like 8? I think a more likely path is to pay back your obligation from an academy and apply to USU at that point.
 

Capt MJ

Ancient Mariner
10-Year Member
Joined
Sep 27, 2008
Messages
8,020
Don’t only a very small amount of mids get selected for medical corps? Like 8? I think a more likely path is to pay back your obligation from an academy and apply to USU at that point.
Yes, only about 13-15 mids, varies by class size , are allowed to go to med school out of USNA. It can be USUHS, Harvard, Mt. Sinai, wherever they get in, as long as it aacredoted and acceptable to the Navy.

This article addresses the fact Joe or Jane CivGrad from any college can attend USUHS - not just those coming from SAs, making lateral transfers from other officer communities, coming from prior enlisted status and with the appropriate college degree and test scores, and former military. They gain a commission. USPHS med students are there too. It is a great program too little known.
 

DrMom

5-Year Member
Joined
Aug 25, 2011
Messages
1,385
@2022mom There are so many opportunities to kids from civilian colleges but also for our cadets and mids. If they do not get in straight outta' West Point, they can reapply the next year, and reapply again to any of these programs--and their service as an aviator or artillery officer or Marine makes them more desirable candidates for all of the medical education programs. It is not one shot and done--there are multiple pathways and multiple opportunities.
 

DrMom

5-Year Member
Joined
Aug 25, 2011
Messages
1,385
Oh, and everyone's favorite program at USU? The Enlisted to Medical Degree Preparatory Program. Each year EACH service (including the Marine Corps!) selects up to 5 enlisted/NCO men and women--who have completed a BA or BS. The program sends them to two years of pre-med prep--and prepares them also for the scholarship application process and USU application process...when the two years are finished (given they are successful in the program), they are commissioned and enter medical school. It is a great program.

Stand by for the Enlisted to Dental Degree Preparatory Program.

Of course, if you are enlisted or an NCO and have taken all of the lab sciences and have great grades and strong MCAT scores, you can just apply to HPSP or USU.

Oh, and this says nothing about the PhD in Psychology program at USU. The Navy brings in two or three brand new ensigns per year to the program (no previous masters required)...the Air Force sends O-3s...and civilians can apply too.

So many exciting programs and opportunities at the Uniformed Services University.
 

DrMom

5-Year Member
Joined
Aug 25, 2011
Messages
1,385
So many great ways to answer the Call to Serve the Nation and Humanity. :usa:

I was looking for a 'heart'...really. <3
:tank:
 

UHBlackhawk

Member
Joined
Sep 22, 2015
Messages
985
Prior to being selected for medical school my DW did quite a bit in the Army. I won’t mention it all or I will probably give away who she is.
But we have friends who were Armor and infantry prior to medical school. In some ways it is an even better route. Once you’re a doctor it’s tough (if not impossible), to do things like flight school, ranger school, SEALS, etc. But it’s very possible to go the other route.
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jonny_Kim
 

Old Navy BGO

5-Year Member
Joined
Jan 5, 2012
Messages
2,476
While a good program, I would not encourage anyone to attend a Service Academy (at least USNA) if your primary goal is to become a Doctor. The objective of USNA has historically been to produce LINE officers, and although that distinction may have slipped a bit with direct commissions into a variety of staff and support fields, the vast majority of graduates are still commissioned as line officers and serve in ships, subs, aviation, and USMC. The Needs of the Navy will always control your assignment, and unless you are ready to serve as a line officer, USNA is really not for you.
 

UHBlackhawk

Member
Joined
Sep 22, 2015
Messages
985
While a good program, I would not encourage anyone to attend a Service Academy (at least USNA) if your primary goal is to become a Doctor. The objective of USNA has historically been to produce LINE officers, and although that distinction may have slipped a bit with direct commissions into a variety of staff and support fields, the vast majority of graduates are still commissioned as line officers and serve in ships, subs, aviation, and USMC. The Needs of the Navy will always control your assignment, and unless you are ready to serve as a line officer, USNA is really not for you.
Again, I strongly disagree with this. Yes, understand that you may not initially be selected for medical school, but aspiring to be a doctor in the military is no different from any other path many aspire to attain, being a pilot, a SEAL, a Ranger. I've known some who attained that goal of going to medical school straight out of an academy and became fantastic military doctors. Then I've known some who did not get selected at first, but reapplied and made it. Thank goodness someone like you did not squash their dreams.
 
Last edited:

KYparent

Member
Joined
Jan 31, 2018
Messages
178
I tried to talk one of our VISTA volunteers at work into applying to USU but her parents did not want her to go into the military so she applied to other med schools. It seems like an excellent opportunity.
 

Humey

Member
Joined
Jun 21, 2016
Messages
1,451
From what I read, your best bet if you want to be a doctor and serve is to become a doctor through civilan college and medical school and then join the military. My clients son just passed the bar and is now a full fledge attorney. He joined the Marines right aftwards as Marine Lawyer or whatever they call them. Sure, you jave to pay this on your own without the military's help. If you do it through the military, its a crap shoot.
 

5centsmom

Member
Joined
Feb 18, 2018
Messages
158
My perception is more like Old Navy BGO’s... at least as far as the navy goes. Had an enlisted army first cousin successfully apply & graduate from med school. But a nearer & dearer relation turned down an USNA appointment when he decided on a medical future during his senior year of HS. His reasoning was that at the time (many years ago) maybe only 5 of the top of the class were going on to med school. The odds that he’d be one were slim. So he accepted the consolation prize of an Ivy. And? Fell in love with pure science research.

Just perception, as I said. At the end of the day there are many ways to become a doctor/pilot/boat captain/whatever, so if you choose a military path, with the possibility you aren’t competitive within that smaller world, I’d hope you’re still gung-ho on a military career, because that’s what you’ve really signed up for.
 
Joined
May 4, 2018
Messages
67
While a good program, I would not encourage anyone to attend a Service Academy (at least USNA) if your primary goal is to become a Doctor. The objective of USNA has historically been to produce LINE officers, and although that distinction may have slipped a bit with direct commissions into a variety of staff and support fields, the vast majority of graduates are still commissioned as line officers and serve in ships, subs, aviation, and USMC. The Needs of the Navy will always control your assignment, and unless you are ready to serve as a line officer, USNA is really not for you.
Again, I strongly disagree with this. Yes, understand that you may not initially be selected for medical school, but aspiring to be a doctor in the military is no different from any other path many aspire to attain, being a pilot, a SEAL, a Ranger. I've known some who attained that goal of going to medical school straight out of an academy and became fantastic military doctors. Then I've known some who did not get selected at first, but reapplied and made it. Thank goodness someone like you did not squash their dreams.
The love for medicine and the love for the Arm Forces comes from the same place, our hearts, we Healthcare Providers serve and protect our patients every day. What a better gift for a cadet that love Medicine than to be given the opportunity to serve and protect those that fight by their side.
 

UHBlackhawk

Member
Joined
Sep 22, 2015
Messages
985
My perception is more like Old Navy BGO’s... at least as far as the navy goes. Had an enlisted army first cousin successfully apply & graduate from med school. But a nearer & dearer relation turned down an USNA appointment when he decided on a medical future during his senior year of HS. His reasoning was that at the time (many years ago) maybe only 5 of the top of the class were going on to med school. The odds that he’d be one were slim. So he accepted the consolation prize of an Ivy. And? Fell in love with pure science research.

Just perception, as I said. At the end of the day there are many ways to become a doctor/pilot/boat captain/whatever, so if you choose a military path, with the possibility you aren’t competitive within that smaller world, I’d hope you’re still gung-ho on a military career, because that’s what you’ve really signed up for.
Probably about the same odds as someone applying from a civilian university. Also, I know many Army doctors who graduated from West Point, did a tour as a "line officer", then went to medical school, fully funded. Frankly, I think it makes them better doctors to have these life experiences and an understanding of how the military works.
 

Old Navy BGO

5-Year Member
Joined
Jan 5, 2012
Messages
2,476
Probably about the same odds as someone applying from a civilian university. Also, I know many Army doctors who graduated from West Point, did a tour as a "line officer", then went to medical school, fully funded. Frankly, I think it makes them better doctors to have these life experiences and an understanding of how the military works.
I'm not sure how this thread got resurrected., and didn't go back to read it all...but I think that our difference of opinion arises from the Navy's distinction between Line and Staff officers. I don't know how the Army views staff positions, but the Naval Service is divided between Unrestricted Line Officers (Star on shoulder board) and various Staff corps (JAG, Medical, Dental, CEC). Only Line Officers are qualified for "Command at Sea". While not explicitly stated in the USNA mission statement, it is implied (and borne out initial service assignments), that the purpose of the Naval Academy is to produce Line Officers. Hence my comments above. West Point may have another perspective.

Navy certainly has a good program for attending medical school and serving as a doctor, and the opportunities are much better than they were in my day (although I probably mentioned above, one of my good friends did a SWO tour before going on to a very good career as a Navy Doctor). I agree 100% that having a tour as a line officer would make someone a better officer in any staff position, whether it be medical, JAG, or whatever.
 

UHBlackhawk

Member
Joined
Sep 22, 2015
Messages
985
I'm not sure how this thread got resurrected., and didn't go back to read it all...but I think that our difference of opinion arises from the Navy's distinction between Line and Staff officers. I don't know how the Army views staff positions, but the Naval Service is divided between Unrestricted Line Officers (Star on shoulder board) and various Staff corps (JAG, Medical, Dental, CEC). Only Line Officers are qualified for "Command at Sea". While not explicitly stated in the USNA mission statement, it is implied (and borne out initial service assignments), that the purpose of the Naval Academy is to produce Line Officers. Hence my comments above. West Point may have another perspective.

Navy certainly has a good program for attending medical school and serving as a doctor, and the opportunities are much better than they were in my day (although I probably mentioned above, one of my good friends did a SWO tour before going on to a very good career as a Navy Doctor). I agree 100% that having a tour as a line officer would make someone a better officer in any staff position, whether it be medical, JAG, or whatever.
The Army does things quite differently. We have combat arms (infantry, armor, artillery, air defense, aviation, engineers, special forces); combat support (chemical, MP, MI, signal); combat service support (AG, finance, quartermaster, ordnance, transportation); and special (nurse, JAG, Chaplain, Medical Service (medical support such as medivac), dental, vet, chaplain). I think I left a few out such as cyber warfare which is new. Within branches, there are companies, battalions which must be commanded, so officers graduating from West Point can anticipate commanding at some point if they reach the rank of O-3. Brigades often have multiple branches though some such as aviation usually only have aviation battalions within them.
Doctors(and nurses, vets, dentists), normally don't command, but they can command such as with Forward Surgical Teams (FST's), and Combat Support Hospitals (replaced the old MASH), and hospitals. Think of Col Potter in "MASH". They also can find themselves at staff positions such as a Chief of Surgical Services within a hospital.
In order to get promoted doctors are required to complete the same military schooling as other officers such Command and General Staff College, though most will do this by correspondence.
For a long time West Point graduates had to branch in the combat arms, but this changed about the time that women were accepted. I think they still have to list combat arms in their top 5 choices.
 

Devil Doc

Teufel Doc
Joined
Apr 25, 2018
Messages
1,859
From what I read, your best bet if you want to be a doctor and serve is to become a doctor through civilan college and medical school and then join the military. My clients son just passed the bar and is now a full fledge attorney. He joined the Marines right aftwards as Marine Lawyer or whatever they call them. Sure, you jave to pay this on your own without the military's help. If you do it through the military, its a crap shoot.
Marine lawyers are titled judge advocates.
 
Top