USAFA vs. USMA for Med School

connorswims

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Apr 14, 2021
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Hello all, I am currently applying to both the USMA and USAFA for class of 2026. I am currently interested in a career in the medical field. As of right now, I am trying to find the best option between USAFA and USMA in terms of chances of being able to enter Medical School right out of the academy. Looking at both academies’ websites, USMA allows up to 2% of their class to enter Medical School immediately after graduation (roughly 20 spots), whereas USAFA allows up to 18 graduates to attend medical school. I was wondering if anyone has any insight into the competitiveness for these slots.
*Note- I am aware that there is a chance that I may not receive a spot. I have been given the advice to not attend an academy if all I want to do is become a physician. I am more than happy to become an officer and serve before attending graduate school, I am just curious about the chances of going straight to medical school.
 

cbasulto1

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Mar 29, 2021
Messages
39
You could always do ROTC and do an educational delay, then you could stay in the same college for your bachelors and undergrad.

Just remember that in most cases they will pay for a doctorate which would entitle you to serve in the Medical Corps, Vet Corps, etc., but that then you owe them 4 more years of active.

If you want to be an officer AND a physician, what I have heard points to ROTC. You may not even get a scholarship for your medical school, and if you dont, then you still only have the one term of service obligation. If you can get your degree and then commission in the service this is excellent as you immediately get a job, security, insurance, etc. You dont have to worry about starting a practice or anything like that.
 

Capt MJ

Ancient Mariner, Salt-Encrusted
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Sep 27, 2008
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11,931
Hello all, I am currently applying to both the USMA and USAFA for class of 2026. I am currently interested in a career in the medical field. As of right now, I am trying to find the best option between USAFA and USMA in terms of chances of being able to enter Medical School right out of the academy. Looking at both academies’ websites, USMA allows up to 2% of their class to enter Medical School immediately after graduation (roughly 20 spots), whereas USAFA allows up to 18 graduates to attend medical school. I was wondering if anyone has any insight into the competitiveness for these slots.
*Note- I am aware that there is a chance that I may not receive a spot. I have been given the advice to not attend an academy if all I want to do is become a physician. I am more than happy to become an officer and serve before attending graduate school, I am just curious about the chances of going straight to medical school.
You’ve got the chances right there. You’ll have to be a top performer in all respects, do well on the MCAT, get the right courses scheduled (could involve heavy academic load and summer school in lieu of a leave period), and apply for one of those spots, get approved, and get into a med school. USUHS usually takes SA grads with appropriate grades and scores.

Do spend time thinking about officer paths you would be willing to do if you do not make the med school cut at this point in your career. There are options later in your career, as well as getting out, using your Post-9/11 GI Bill and coming back in as a military doc.

There are also options out of ROTC, as well as direct commissioning programs through HPSP scholarship programs. The military gets the majority of its healthcare professionals through civilian collleges and professional schools. You can also apply to USUHS out of civilian college.

Before you put all eggs in two baskets, research the service obligation that goes with med school out of an SA. Years and years, because the obligated service time starts much later.
 

DrMom

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Aug 25, 2011
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1,561
It is the same number of spots at each of the academies. (Even if you do not receive a spot, you can apply, apply, and re-apply.) At USUHS, we love all of our students but there seems to be a special place in our hearts for those who have served in the line or flown jets or been away at sea. Applying to med school straight out of college is not a requirement--just ensure that you have those pre-med prep classes because the lab classes are hard to make up when you are an Artillery officer.

If you want to know a true comparison of the pre-med prep programs why not give a quick phone call to the Dean of Admissions at USUHS? He or his talented crew can help you compare the programs and opportunities.)
You might think about what you want to do...do you want to be in the Air Force or do you want to be in the Army? The Army and Army Medical Corps are bigger and have more opportunities and ways to serve.
 

prospective2019

USMA 2023
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Nov 25, 2017
Messages
551
The competition for medical school here does not come from the fact that there are a lot of applicants--there are, but they self-select out. The challenge comes from being able to maintain the required GPA to stay in the pre-med program/society. I believe it is a 3.3 or 3.5 (seems low for high school, but is surprisingly difficult here). You have to do a lot of the MCAT prep on your own which is an added burden to the tough coursework.

If you meet the requirements and can get accepted to a medical school program at a university, West Point will send you.

I am not going through the process myself (no thank you) but learned this from a friend/grad as they went through the process who is a first-year student at an Ivy League med school right now.
 

UHBlackhawk

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Sep 22, 2015
Messages
1,546
As pointed out, equal odds.
I would select based upon your “plan B” post graduate desire.
Also, as pointed out above, many great doctors did something prior to medical school.
You can be a pilot, a tank officer, a Ranger... you name it... and then go to medical school.
Once your a doctor, however, many of those doors close.
 
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