Uniformed Services University of Health Sciences


15-Year Member
Jun 9, 2006
As requested in a different thread a little info on the Uniformed Services University of Health Sciences (USUHS or USU).


Motto #1: Learning to Care for those in harm's way
Motto #2: Good Medicine in Bad Places

I think those two motto's sum up the school pretty well, but here's the scoop.

Located on the campus of the National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda, MD the school was founded in 1972 we graduated our first class in 1980. The University now consists of two schools the School of Medicine and the Graduate School of Nursing. Several degrees are offered at the school beyond the M.D. Within the School of Medicine are several programs granting doctoral or master's degrees in public health and biomed fields. The School of Nursing was established in 1993 and now offers Master's degree in Nurse Anesthesia, Family Nurse Practicioner, and Perioperative Nursing. The newest path is a PhD in Nursing Science which began in 2003.

Unfortunately I don't know much about the School of Nursing or the other programs in the School of Medicine so I'll concentrate on my program. The school is a joint service school with students from the Navy, Air Force, Army and Public Health Service. Each class in the school of medicine is about 180 students of which 50 are Navy, 50 are Air Force, 2 are PHS, and the rest are Army (give or take). The application process is the typical medical school process, no nominations or the such are needed. The only difference is that you must select a service preference when entering. After acceptance students without prior service as an officer will attend officer school for their respective service prior to matriculation. Any prior service officers will be recommisioned into the medical corps of their respective service AND will be reduced in rank back to 2LT or ENS. During time at USUHS all students are paid as O1's and receive housing allowance for the DC area. The school is a typical medical school with a few added military unique training requirements including two multiple-day field exercises. The third and fourth years of the school are spent rotating through the various military medical centers (for example my schedule: Walter Reed, Madigan, Wright Patterson, Bethesda, Pensacola, Tripler).

Upon graduation all members are conferred their M.D. degrees and promoted to O3 (LT or CPT) in the medical corps of their branch. All USUHS graduates will complete the rest of their medical training (internship and residency) in a military hospital (there are a few exceptions here though). The service commitment for attending is as follows: 7yrs after residency, plus some reserve time. For those who graduate from a service academy and USUHS the commitments are served consecutively and will therefore be a 12 year commitment. In reality this commitment means that the minimum a person will serve on active duty after graduation is 10 years as the shortest residencies (Family practice and Internal Medicine) are three years in length.

For those who attend service academies (or are thinking of it). Approximately 2% (20 or so) graduating midn/cadets are allowed to go straight to medical school. This seems very competitive; however, most of those who would be accepted to a medical school will be in this 2%. One must remember that not everyone wants to go to medical school so this does not mean you have to be in the top 2% of your class. There are however several graduates of Academies who have a first career in the service prior to going to medical school. We have several former pilots and other line officers in my class.

I hope this helps answer some questions for anyone who was interested. If you have any other questions feel free to post them and I'll get back to you.